The walk through Skipton Castle and Woods is a pleasant way to get a feel for the medieval origins of the town without walking to far. The walk starts in the woods and returns over the fields with good views over Skipton.
I always like castles to have a proper history. At some stage they should have been besieged, partly destroyed and have commanding views of the surrounding area. Skipton Castle has all of this. The rich history includes being the last Royalist stronghold in the north and beating off a variety of Scottish raids. It also pleasingly occupying a commanding position in North Yorkshire. The moat can be clearly seen behind the castle at which point the walls look impregnable. Skipton Woods was used for many centuries to collect fuel and to provide building materials with the animals providing more than sufficient food for the inhabitants.
The woods are now leased to the Woodland Trust and are mainly made up of a large variety of Ash trees and some birch. All are pleasantly framed along Eller Beck.
Start by following the banks of the canal in its initial stages before taking to the banks of the river. The paths in the woods are excellent and suitable for push chairs or wheel chairs. The walk is a little rougher when it leaves the woods but not much. It ends with a pleasant stroll over fields with great views over the town of Skipton.
The canal behind the main street also has some good walking. In fact if you keep to the left hand bank it goes all the way to Gargrave, an attractive village three miles distant.
Follow a path uphill in the woods alongside the side stream heading north west. This will bring you out on a public footpath just before reaching the bypass.
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