The lovely little town of Knaresborough, located just a few miles from Harrogate, lies in a magnificent setting alongside the River Nidd. The town has many interesting sights, including a market square surrounded by several interesting old houses and shops.
Knaresborough Viaduct © Kevin Barber
The town's castle is alas now just a ruin, having been destroyed by Cromwell's forces during the civil war. Its crumbling walls are set amidst pleasant gardens, on a fine vantage point above the river. The ramparts provide a glorious view of the Victorian stone railway viaduct and houses, built in tiers along the hillside, inspiring many artists and photographers.
An old building worthy of notice is the Manor House, believed to date from the thirteenth century. Other attractions include Conyngham Hall, a prestigious stone porticoed Grade II listed building, now a business centre.
Bebra gardens, a beautifully tended public park located on the slopes behind castle site, should not be missed. The riverside walk from the gardens down to the viaduct is particularly pleasant, where there are a number of little cafes and restaurants overlooking the river. Rowing boats can be hired on the river during the summer season.
The most famous of Knaresborough's attractions is the Dropping Well, a petrifying limestone spring. The well can be visited as part of the Mother Shipton's Cave attraction, on the far side of the river.
The 15 foot thick walls of the castle keep, towering above the River Nidd, are chiefly all that remains of this medieval fortress. The old Courthouse, in the castle grounds is now an interesting little museum to its history. The surrounding parkland, lawns and flower beds make a very attractive setting. The castle has been the scene of many important historic events, and once served as a prison for Richard II. Several underground passages have been discovered, one of which leads from the castle yard to the moat.
Opening times: Easter to Sept, daily 11am to 4pm Admission Charge
Location: Castle Yard, Knaresborough, HG5 8AS - Tel: 01423 556188 - Website
Facilities: Parking, shop
Image Credit: Tom Pennington (CC2)
The cave is said to be dwelling of a 15th-c prophetess who foretold the coming of the car and the airplane. The attraction is part of a riverside park and gardens, which also includes the famous 'Dropping Well' (shown right). A spring where various articles suspended are "petrified" by the action of the limestone rich waters.
Opening times: Apr~Oct 10 - 5.30 Admission Charge
Location: Prophecy Lodge, High Bridge, Knaresborough, Yorkshire - HG5 8DD - Website
Facilities: Parking, tea room, picnic area, play area.