Mother Shipton’s Cave
The market town of Knaresborough has grown, down through the centuries of the last millennium, around its strategically placed castle. Located high on the cliffs overlooking the deep ravine that has been cut, over millions of years by the waters of the River Nidd, Knaresborough Castle was built in the 12th century. King Richard II was, for a period, held prisoner here. Today, the white stone of its ruins is a potent reminder to thousands of visitors of the towns important and illustrious past. Parts of the ruins are so picturesque that many wedding photographers incorporate them as the photographic backdrop to compliment the bridal party photos.
Located in a very beautiful area, with wonderful, appealing scenery, you’ll find trails and a river walk offering convenient places to stroll and enjoy the natural beauty. Rowing boats are available to hire for an hour of leisurely cruising up and down the river and are very popular.
Many of the photos and postcards you’ll see of the town will feature the iconic, multi-arched railway bridge – built in the mid nineteenth century to carry the newly arrived railway line over the ravine. The railway dramatically increased the numbers of visitors as an alternative to Harrogate, its much grander neighbour.
Georgian homes built by the wealthy inhabitants give this very charming market town a unique attractiveness. Many of the narrow back streets still retain their cobblestones – particularly attractive after a shower of rain, when the reflective sunshine makes them sparkle. The busy hustle and bustle of the colourful shopping centre attracts both locals and visitors alike. Here you’ll find England’s oldest chemist shop – trading since 1720! Its interior still features original fixtures.
Mother Shipton’s Cave and Petrifying Well is an attraction you won’t want to miss. Legend has it that Mother Shipton made many accurate predictions in her time including the Great Plague of London and The Great Fire of London. Others claim she is merely a myth. However, the cave she was born in stands as a legacy of the town. Another cave to visit is St. Roberts, the home of a hermit.
Visit in the summertime and you may get the wonderful opportunity to become immersed in the Knaresborough Festival. This event features diverse music including country and the blues. There are also art and photography exhibits.
While here, you’ll feel to be in an intimate area that offers great outdoor activities as well as wonderful shopping expeditions. The area is well known for its excellent, warm hospitality and adventurous variety of home cooked meals in the restaurants and cafes. This is a great place to explore one of the smaller, less populated towns of Yorkshire.
I’ve enjoyed many happy days in and around Knaresborough and my 2nd wife’s family would spend the entire summer holidays here when she was a child. Although the facilities have been brought up to date since then, the town still welcomes families throughout the year, providing a great place to spend time.