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Things to do in Grassington, North Yorkshire

Market Day in Grassington © Julien King

Grassington is a small market town known as the capital of Upper Wharfedale. Situated on the banks of the River Wharfe in the Yorkshire Dales National Park, it is a scenic beauty spot which warmly welcomes visitors.


Things to Do in Grassington


Linton Falls

One of the main attractions near Grassington are the scenic Linton Falls where the River Wharfe goes over a weir and through some rocky rapids.

There's a popular walking route which takes you from Grassington village, along the River Wharfe to the falls which you can observe from the bank or from a bridge that crosses the water.


Grassington Folk Museum

You'll find the museum in the centre of the village, on the cobbled square.

The museum has interesting exhibits from the local area including exhibits on lead mining, farming, local minerals and a fascinating collection of domestic artefacts including kitchen equipment from bygone days.

Well worth a visit if you're interested in how life was lived in this part of the world.


Grass Wood Nature Reserve

If you enjoyed your walk to Linton Falls, you'll love a stroll through Grass Wood Nature Reserve. Just walk upstream along the River Wharfe and turn right. The wood is under the care of the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust and the Woodland Trust.

There are lots of paths, and the woodland is often quiet, offering you the chance to spot lots of wildlife.

 

Grassington Congregational Church

If you're interested in historic buildings, you might like to visit Grassington Congregational Church which was built in 1811 and is now a Grade II listed building. It's an interesting building which features a first floor gallery (now disused).


Threshfield

The village of Threshfield is next door to Grassington, and boasts an attractive village green and the small Wharfedale RUFC rugby stadium.

There's also a disused railway line which is great for country walks, and a museum of life in the Yorkshire Dales.

 

Hesketh Farm Park

Just a mile outside the nearby village of Bolton Abbey, you'll find Hesketh Farm Park - a family attraction that's well worth a visit if you're in the area.

Hesketh Farm is a working farm with cows, pigs and sheep. There's a large heated barn with a straw maze for indoor fun when the weather is bad, and tractor rides around the farm.

With plenty of opportunity to meet the animals including donkeys, ponies, chickens calves and lambs (depending on season) , animal lovers are sure to have a wonderful day out.

 

Raven Tree Top Adventure

If you've ever dreamed of swinging through the trees like Tarzan, then Raven Tree Top Adventure near Skipton could be for you.

An exciting treetop high ropes course for ages 7 to adult, featuring bridges, balance beams, high wires and zip lines. (Of course you're securely tied on at all times)


Skipton Castle

Exploring a medieval castle is always great fun, especially one with towers and dungeons like Skipton Castle - it's sure to fire the imagination.

The castle is one of the best preserved medieval castle's in England with the roof still intact, it gives a great idea of what life must have been like within its walls, hundreds of years ago.

 

Kilnsey Park Skipton

While you're in the Skipton area, why not explore beautiful Kilnsey Park? The park offers activities like fishing, pony trekking and cycling - set within the beautiful Wharfedale countryside.

There's even a cafe by the lake, a shop and you'll often find special events for the kids too.


(Craven Museum in Skipton is currently closed for refurbishment.)


If you'd like more details of days out in Grassington while you're there, Grassington Tourist Information Centre in the National Park carpark near the centre of the village will be able to help.


More Places to Visit near Grassington

The Grassington area is known for its scenic country walks, mountain biking and rock climbing.

Nearby Wharfedale is perfect for gentle strolls through the woodland or challenging hikes across the fells. The Dales Way runs through Grassington passing old churches and priories.

Other nearby attractions include Kilnsey Crag, a glacial formation and rocky overhang. Grass Woods is less than a mile away and has the remains of an Iron Age fort, known as Gregory's Fort.

Kilnsey Park and Trout Farm has an excellent lake for fly fishing enthusiasts and there is a children's playground there.

The nearby Stump Cross Caverns have some amazing rock formations for those willing to explore the underground caves.

The Folk Museum in Grassington is particularly interesting as it is full of exhibits which were donated by the townspeople to show what life was like for their families in the past. It occupies two 18th century miners' cottages in the village square and has a large fireplace with a beehive oven in the dairy.

Further afield, Grassington is fifteen minutes drive from the market town and church at Skipton and 30 minutes from Harrogate.

Also within 30 minutes drive is Haworth, home of the Bronte sisters, where you can visit the Bronte Parsonage Museum and get an insight into the place and objects that inspired their works.

Historic Bolton Abbey is just nine miles away.

 

Modern Day Grassington

Grassington is one of the pearls in the beautiful Yorkshire Dales. Narrow cobbled streets lead down to the river and over the ancient bridge. The village is always bedecked with summer colour, making it well worth a visit.

Local village social life is centred on the Devonshire Institute, formerly a Mechanics Institute, built in 1855. It has a main hall with a stage for plays and pantomimes. Badminton, bowling, snooker, ballet dancing, handbell ringers, sewing classes and horticultural meetings all keep the hall (and villagers!) pretty busy.

Old stone built miners' cottages and interesting local shops are arranged around the small cobbled town square. There is a fine choice of family-owned businesses to meet the needs of most visitors including some excellent food and craft shops.

Cafés, restaurants and the several local pubs full of character all provide good home-cooked food to suit all budgets and tastes. There is a Tourist Information Centre on Hebden Road.

Grassington hosts a number of local festivals including the Dickensian Festival just before Christmas when everyone dons Victorian costume and the streets are alive with street music and craft demonstrations.

The summer Grassington Festival is a two week extravaganza of arts and music and in the past has had such celebrities as Toyah Wilcox and Jo Brand as entertainers.


A Brief History of Grassington

Bronze age burial mounds show evidence of human habitation in the Grassington area, as far back as 2000BC. There is also evidence of Roman settlements as long ago as 50AD.

The village received its royal charter in 1282 and until 1860 was a regular centre for markets and fairs.

The Old Hall is said to be the oldest house in Yorkshire, dating back to the 14th century.

In the past its economy was dependent on lead mining in the 18th century, limestone quarrying and in more recent years, tourism.

Between 1909 and 1948 Grassington had its electricity supplied from a hydroelectric plant at nearby Linton Falls and there are plans to reintroduce it.

 

 

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Market Day in Grassington © Julien King

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