Exploring Knaresborough content

Explore Knaresborough

A town of curious secrets and History.

The historic market town of Knaresborough is the perfect place to spend 24 hours. Explore the pretty side streets and old buildings around the market place where the Wednesday market is opened by the town crier. The town is full of quirky little shops, cafes and tea rooms and perhaps one of the most Instagram-able views in the area. Knaresborough is easy to reach by public transport and there is plenty of parking too. Here are our top things to do.

In this Itinerary

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AM: First stop

Mother Shiptons Cave

This woodland estate runs along the side of the River Nidd and is full of mystery and magic and was the birthplace of the prophetess, Mother Shipton. You can visit the cave where she was born and the mysterious Petrifying Well where items hung up underneath the waters ‘turn to stone’. The small museum has some interesting artefacts on display. Children can enjoy playing in the adventure playground and you can grab some food and drink at the café.

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AM: Time for an explore

River Nidd and St Robert’s Cave

From the Castle grounds, follow the steps and paths down the side of the crag to the riverside, here you will find lots of places for refreshments or you can even hire a rowing boat for a bit of fun on the river. Once at the river, turn left and walk along Waterside and onto Abbey Road where you will find St Robert’s Cave, a medieval hermitage and chapel. You can continue to the end of Abbey Road where you can see some tree sculptures.

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Lunchtime: Picnic in the gardens

Bebra Gardens

Retrace your steps back to Waterside and head up to Bebra Gardens. Named after Knaresborough’s twin town of Bebra in Germany, this little park is home to flowerbeds and rockeries and the bushes and trees are home to different birds and wildlife. This is a great spot for a picnic and in the summer months the paddling pool offers lots of splashing fun for children.

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PM: Can you find them all?

Knaresborough Windows

Many of the houses in the centre of Knaresborough are decorated with illusionary window paintings known as trompe I’oeil. They cover the many windows that were bricked up to avoid paying a window tax in Georgian times. The different paintings include characters from Knaresborough’s past and provide a fun way to see the town. Pick up a window map from the Tourist Information Centre and see if you can find them all.

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PM: Afternoon tea

Goldsborough Hall

Hop in the car for the short journey to Goldsborough Hall, a stately home and hotel a few miles from Knaresborough. Once home to the late Queen’s Aunt, Princess Mary, you can indulge in a sumptuous afternoon tea in The Orangery. Afterwards, enjoy a stroll around the beautiful 12 acre gardens and parkland which are full of snowdrops in late winter.

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Late Afternoon/evening woodland walk

Nidd Gorge

From the High Bridge in Knaresborough, the Beryl Burton Cycleway links up to the Nidd Gorge, a beautiful woodland area along the banks of the River Nidd. The woods are home to an abundance of wildlife and are covered in bluebells in the spring. Walk along following the line of the river before crossing over the wooden bridge and returning to Knaresborough along the other side.

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