In early-December, after what felt like weeks of sitting, waiting, wishing, we were finally all set-up and settled into life in Leeds.
So, naturally, we decided that there was no better time to get up and start exploring some of the villages and towns that surround our new home. Up first: Knaresborough.Knaresborough (pronouced [naerz-be-ra] and not [naerz-bo-ro] as I’d been saying it) is a quaint village located just 15 miles north of Leeds in the Borough of Harrogate. Although it wasn’t too far away, we decided it was the perfect destination for our first-day trip–scenic, peaceful and just 47 minutes by train away.
We woke up that morning with the best of intentions, but by the time we finally mobilised and made it out the door it was well past noon–oops. You know what they say about those best-laid plans… Undeterred by our late start, we made our way to the train station and within minutes we were seated on our train anticipating our departure.It wasn’t long until our little commuter train was chugging north, winding us out of Leeds towards Harrogate, through fields and past moors, until finally (
It wasn’t long until our little commuter train was chugging north, winding us out of Leeds towards Harrogate, through fields and past moors, until we finally arrived in Knaresborough.
Knaresborough is a small, historic market town that makes a big first impression. As the train approaches the station, it crosses the 78ft high, triple arched railway viaduct giving travellers an impressive view of the river below.
From the train station, we headed off in the direction of the town centre. As we started up the hill, there was the faint sound of music coming from the distance. The closer we got the town, the louder the music grew. We rounded one last corner and BAM, there we were: at the centre of it all!
From corner to corner, the main square in Knaresborough was packed with people, browsing market stalls of handmade crafts and local foods, and listening as the local high school brass band played loud and lively tunes. It was the exact opposite of what we expected from a spa town on a Sunday, but it was fabulous!
We spent a little town browsing the goods before making our way to one of the towns main attractions: the remains of the Knaresborough castle.
Knaresborough Castle dates back to the 1100s and was left to ruin in 1648. The remains of the castle surround a beautiful green space and sits on a cliff overlooking the Rived Nidd.
We took our time wandering throughout the park (which is open to the public) and examining the ruins before making our way to the edge to take in the iconic views of Knaresborough’s stunning viaduct.
When we’d decided we’d spent enough time looking at the bridge (and taking more than a few photos) we started to make our descent. Along a tree and leaf-lined path, we wound our way down to the waterfront, walking through public gardens and along the edges of people’s backyards.
We reached the bottom and ambled along the calm and serene riverside until we found ourselves face-to-face with the immense viaduct.
It was a picture of the viaduct that inspired us to visit Knaresborough, and seeing it up-close and personal not just lived up to our expectation, but surpassed them. It is seriously impressive, and we could barely get over the scale of it as we stood in its shadows.
We marvelled at the viaduct as the winter sun slowly started to dim around us. As the afternoon darkness started to envelop us, we made our way through the winding streets and back to the train station, waiting just a few minutes for our train to take us back to Leeds.
Knaresborough was one of our first day trips in Yorkshire and one that set a high standard. Even on a cold and cloudy day, the quaint spa town was warm and inviting, and the colourful houses and buildings brought cheer to an otherwise dreary day. The architecture was unique and awe-inspiring, and we had such a fantastic time exploring and wandering around.
Our afternoon in Knaresborough was a fantastic introduction to the villages of Yorkshire; the first of many we hope to explore.
The Petite Adventures Guide to… A Day in Knaresborough
From Leeds, York, Manchester or anywhere in the North, getting to Knaresborough couldn’t be easier. Trains run frequently throughout the day making it super easy to get to the small, market village.
Buses also run frequently from Leeds City Centre, but most require a quick transfer in the spa town of Harrogate.
For more information on getting to Knaresborough, visit: http://knaresborough.co.uk/visiting/.
What to See/Do
- Explore the remains of Knaresborough castle
- Take a scenic walk along the River Nidd Waterside
- Explore Mother Shipton’s Cave and The Petrifying Well (this attraction wasn’t open when we were there, but it looks awesome! Something I’d definitely check out if we’d had the chance)
- Take in the views!
Where to Eat
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