Things to Do in Settle: Your Ultimate Guide to Exploring This Charming Market Town

2 months ago   •   8 min read

By More Yorkshire
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Things to Do in Settle

Settle, an ancient market town in the Yorkshire Dales, combines outdoor adventure with historical charm.

Established in 1249 when Henry III granted its market charter, Settle, from the Old English 'Setl', signifies a place of settlement in an elevated landscape.

Known for the breathtaking Settle-Carlisle Railway, it's the perfect gateway to the Dales' rugged beauty. Attractions include one of the world's smallest art galleries in a converted phone kiosk and the Holy Ascension church, notable for its exquisite stained glass.


Top Attractions in Settle

Settle, North Yorkshire, is home to a rich tapestry of historical landmarks and scenic beauty. Here, one can explore a range of attractions showcasing the area's significant architecture and breathtaking natural surroundings.

Settle-Carlisle Railway

The Settle-Carlisle Railway stands as a testament to Victorian engineering. It offers a heritage rail experience through some of the UK's most impressive landscapes.

It is vital for visitors interested in both industrial heritage and the pleasure of a scenic journey that traverses the rural beauty of the Yorkshire Dales and Cumbrian Fells.

Castleberg Rock

Castleberg Rock serves as a prominent feature of Settle's landscape. Easily accessible from the town centre, this limestone crag offers panoramic views over Settle and the surrounding countryside.

A quick hike to the top rewards visitors with a unique perspective of the area and a glimpse into its geological past.

The Folly

A Grade I listed historic house, The Folly is an architectural gem dating back to 1679. Originally built for a wealthy lawyer named Richard Preston, it now houses the Museum of North Craven Life.

The museum provides an in-depth look at the region's history through well-preserved artefacts and stories of the local community.

Victoria Hall

As the oldest surviving music hall in the world, Victoria Hall is a cultural highlight of Settle. This venue hosts a variety of events, from live music and theatre performances to community gatherings, all within its historically significant walls which have been reverberating with entertainment since 1853.


Scenic Beauty and Walks

Settle is a haven for walkers and nature enthusiasts. It offers a range of trails that showcase the stunning views of Yorkshire. These paths lead through a variety of landscapes, from the grandeur of peaks to the tranquil beauty of waterfalls and conservation areas.

Ingleborough Peak

Ingleborough is one of the Yorkshire Dales' Three Peaks and a highlight for any walker. It presents a challenging yet rewarding hike, culminating in sweeping panoramas from the summit.

The peak, a part of the Ingleborough National Nature Reserve, is notable for its geological features and diverse habitats.

Falls Trail

The Falls Trail near Settle is a route that takes visitors through some of the area's most mesmerising waterfall scenery. Visitors can witness the raw power and beauty of cascades within a relatively short walk.

The trail itself is well-maintained, making it accessible for most walking enthusiasts.

Clapham Nature Trails

Clapham, a picturesque village close to Settle, acts as a gateway to a network of nature trails winding through the Yorkshire Dales.

These trails often lead through the Clapham Conservation Area, which is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna. Alongside the environmental importance, the trails offer tranquil spots and stunning views that are quintessentially British.


Cultural Experience

Settle offers a vibrant cultural landscape with events and exhibits that celebrate the area's rich heritage and artistic talent.

Music Events at Victoria Hall

Victoria Hall stands as a cornerstone for music events in Settle, known for its eclectic mix of performances. Concert-goers can enjoy a range of genres, from classical quartets to modern bands, within the historic walls of this cherished music hall.

Settle Storytelling Festival

The Settle Storytelling Festival is an enchanting cultural highlight where tales and legends are brought to life.

Every year, storytellers gather and audiences are treated to a diversity of narratives, affirming Settle's commitment to preserving and promoting the art of storytelling.

Museum Exhibits

The Museum of North Craven Life, located in the impressive Folly, offers exhibits that delve into local history.

Here, visitors can explore collections portraying the social, agricultural, and industrial stories of the North Craven area, including Settle, fostering a deeper understanding of its past and present.


Outdoor Activities

Settle boasts remarkable opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts, particularly for those inclined towards golfing and walking. Its scenic landscapes offer a picturesque backdrop for an array of activities designed to engage visitors of all skill levels.

Walking the Three Peaks

Settle serves as the perfect starting point for the ambitious Three Peaks walk, a challenge that involves scaling the summits of Pen-y-ghent, Whernside, and Ingleborough.

  • Pen-y-ghent: A favourite for walkers, featuring distinctive limestone formations.
  • Whernside: The highest of the trio, offering panoramic views from its peak.
  • Ingleborough: Noted for its flat top and part of the Yorkshire Dales' famous walking routes.

Each peak presents a unique terrain and walking experience, with well-marked paths and a strong walking community that often gathers for communal hikes. It's essential for walkers to be well-prepared with the right gear and knowledge of the weather conditions, as the routes can be challenging.

Golfing in Settle

The charming town of Settle is not immediately famous for its golfing facilities, yet it offers access to nearby courses such as the delightful Elephant Hills.

This course is known for its undulating fairways and stunning views, providing golfers with a tranquil environment to enjoy their game.


Shopping and Leisure

Settle's market town charm is epitomised by its variety of independent shops and delightful cafes. Visitors can enjoy a personal shopping experience in the town centre, exploring unique items and relaxing in the artisan atmosphere of local teashops.

Independent Shops and Boutiques

Settle's town centre is a haven for those who appreciate the uniqueness and quality that independent shops offer. These boutiques provide an array of distinctive goods ranging from handmade crafts to bespoke clothing. Visitors can expect to find:

  • Specialty gift shops offering local crafts and souvenirs.
  • Clothing boutiques with curated collections of fashion items.
  • Bookstores that house a selection of both local authors and bestsellers.

One is likely to stumble upon items in Settle that they wouldn't find in a typical high street chain, making the shopping experience here quite special.

Artisan Cafes and Teashops

Nestled within Settle's picturesque setting are various cafes and teashops that pride themselves on their artisanal approach. These establishments typically feature:

  • Locally sourced ingredients for their baked goods and meals.
  • A selection of speciality teas and artisan coffee, often roasted nearby.
  • Inviting interiors that blend rustic charm with contemporary design.

These cafes not only offer a restful pause after perusing the town’s shops but also serve as social hubs where one can savour the flavour of the Yorkshire Dales.


Transport and Accessibility

In Settle, visitors will find that transportation is centred around the Settle-Carlisle Railway, offering scenic journeys, and parking options are readily available for those travelling by car, including proximity to the A65.

The Settle-Carlisle Railway is a historic line that provides not only a vital transport link for residents but also an attraction for tourists.

The railway line offers a spectacular journey through the Yorkshire Dales, making it an enjoyable experience in its own right.

Settle's railway station serves as an essential hub for those looking to explore the area. It is part of a network that connects to larger cities, ensuring accessibility for visitors coming from various parts of the UK.

Parking Facilities

Parking in Settle is straightforward, with several options available for drivers. Commuters and tourists alike utilise:

  • Long Stay Car Parks:
    • Ashfield Car Park (near the railway station)
    • Greenfoot Car Park
  • Short Stay Car Parks:
    • Market Place (limited hours)

Additionally, those arriving via the A65 will find that Settle is easily accessible and well signposted, making the drive into the town hassle-free. Parking facilities provide direct access to local shops, attractions, and the walking routes that make Settle a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts.


Accommodations and Stays

Settle offers a variety of accommodations, ranging from historic inns to charming caravan rentals.

The Golden Lion stands out as a notable mention, an Old Coaching Inn located in the heart of Settle. It provides visitors with an authentic stay, combining historical charm with modern amenities.

Visitors can peruse a wide range of properties through various booking platforms. This ensures they find a place that fits their requirements, whether seeking quality, quantity, or both.

Prospective guests are encouraged to book in advance. The convenience of full refunds is typically available up to 24 hours before the scheduled date, ensuring peace of mind.

Ratings and photos for establishments can be found on booking websites and travel review sites such as Tripadvisor. These offer insights into the quality and aesthetic of the stay.

This transparency helps travellers in making informed decisions based on previous guests’ experiences.

Accommodation options include:

  • Hotels: Experience traditional hospitality; often in picturesque locations.
  • B&Bs/Guesthouses: Personalised service with a homely feel.
  • Caravan Rentals: For those seeking a self-catering option with flexibility.
  • Cottages: Ideal for family stays or those preferring more privacy.
Accommodation Type Prospective Price Range Booking Options
Hotels Varied ££ - £££ Online platforms
B&Bs/Guesthouses Moderate £ - ££ Direct or online
Caravan Rentals Budget-friendly £ Online platforms
Cottages Premium £££ Direct or online

Prices vary widely based on the time of year, the quality of the facilities, and the duration of the stay. Presenting an array of options caters to different budgets and preferences.

It is advisable for guests to check recent reviews and ratings for up-to-date and accurate reflections of their anticipated experience.


Frequently Asked Questions

Settle offers a variety of activities that cater to different interests, from family-friendly outings to unique local attractions. Below are some commonly asked questions to help plan your visit.

What are the best activities for children in Settle?

Children can have an enjoyable time visiting the Museum of North Craven Life at The Folly, where they can learn about local history in an engaging environment.

Outdoor activities also abound with numerous walking trails suitable for families.

Can you recommend some dog-friendly spots in Settle?

Dog owners often visit Settle's scenic walking routes such as the Ribble Way footpath, which are perfect for pets to explore.

Many cafes and pubs in the area also welcome four-legged friends.

Where can one find unusual attractions in Settle?

The converted BT telephone kiosk on the Green is one of the smallest art galleries in the world, offering a unique cultural touchpoint.

Are there any notable free attractions in Settle to visit?

Guests can visit the historic Church of Holy Ascension and enjoy its beautiful stained glass windows without an entrance fee, providing an insight into local heritage.

Could you suggest some indoor venues in Settle for a rainy day?

The Museum of North Craven Life at The Folly is not only informative but also a suitable indoor venue for visitors to explore on days with inclement weather.

What shopping options are available in Settle?

Settle's marketplace and local independent shops offer various shopping opportunities. You can find anything from local crafts to outdoor gear. These cater to both residents and tourists.

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