Re-discovering Knaresborough

11 May 2017

My friends particularly wanted to experience the history of this medieval town, so a visit to the castle was a must.  The imposing 12th century keep is perched dramatically on the river cliff with fabulous views overlooking the River Nidd, and even has its own resident ravens!  We visited on a beautiful sunny Spring day and the kids especially loved playing in and around the castle grounds!

We planned our trip to coincide with market day (Wednesday) in the medieval town square and we loved browsing the stalls with lots of goodies – great to talk to some really passionate people about their produce!

Knaresborough is a town of two halves, and we chose to walk down from the upper town, through the delightful Bebra Gardens to the Waterside – and it felt like we’d arrived on the French Riviera!  The sun sparkled on the water and the riverside cafes were so inviting – it would have been rude not to have tried them and the Black Mulberry didn’t disappoint!  Just fabulous food and service, and even Molly the dog was welcome!

We contemplated hiring one of the row boats for an hour or two of messing around on the river, but decided that dogs and boats don’t always mix – perhaps best left for another time,  and decided to head past Conyngham Hall for the Nidd Gorge.  The kids had a whale of a  time exploring the numerous paths of this woodland trust managed site,  so the local wildlife had probably taken cover – but friends have seen woodpeckers, kingfishers, deer and even an otter, so Molly and I plan to return on a quieter day!

Time was getting on, so we had to leave Mother Shipton’s Cave and Petrifying Well for another trip, but we couldn’t call it a day before dropping in to the independent Half Moon Free House – a firm favourite and just over the road from Half Moon Cottage (sleeps 5)!  At a time when all pubs seem to look and feel the same,  it’s great to find a well-cared for independent serving tip top food.  The Half Moon was tastefully and stylishly renovated in 2014 and has quickly become beloved by the locals.

We came by car to Knaresborough and parked at Conyngham Hall, but the real beauty of the town  for visitors is the railway station; rail travellers enjoy a stunning arrival over the towering viaduct across the gorge – worth a visit for this alone!

My trip reminded me that this wonderful Yorkshire gem is right on our doorstep and I’ll be returning to Knaresborough very soon – to the world famous Bed Race in June which pleases the crowds of spectators who cheer teams racing around the narrow streets of the town pushing ……… a bed!  A little bit bonkers, but lots of fun!

Harrogate Holidays has great self catering accommodation in Knaresborough to suit all tastes and pockets – The Stables at Spinney Croft is the perfect bolt hole for two, Dray and Shire Cottage are neighbouring properties able to accommodate 10 guests in total,  and if you want to be right at the heart of the town – brand new Bank Chambers Apartments are bang up to date and sure to please!