Office Manager's Jason Preston's take on living in Skipton, Craven and The Dales
In 2014, the Sunday Times revealed to the nation something that we've known for a long time: Skipton is the best place to live in Britain. Singled out for praise were its 'vibrant community, excellent schools, low crime rates and an idyllic location'.
The stunning countryside of Craven and Upper Wharfedale is amongst the finest in the country with rolling hills, fells, wooded valleys and picturesque villages surrounding and within the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Skipton, is the area's hub, known as the ‘Gateway to the Dales’, it is a thriving market town with a vibrant high street and a market four days of the week. The town has housing for all tastes and budgets and is serviced by some superb retail outlets including a House of Fraser department store, Tesco and Morrisons supermarkets as well as numerous quality independent shops.
Recreational facilities in Skipton include numerous sporting clubs, a modern swimming pool, a ten pin bowling venue and a cinema as well as a wide array of cafes, quality restaurants and public houses.
The villages that surround Skipton also provide properties of all sizes and to suit all budgets. Those between the town and Keighley all have excellent local facilities and are handy for the commuter whilst those in Upper Wharfedale, Littondale and Malhamdale are picturesque but also readily accessible.
Skipton is well connected by fast roads to Leeds, Bradford, Harrogate, Colne and Kendal and their motorway connections to the M1, M62, M65 and M6. Skipton station also offers regular local train services to Leeds, Bradford and Carlise and the national rail network, as well as a direct service straight through to London.
There is a very good range of schooling options for families in Skipton and the surrounding area. Ermysted's Boys Grammar School and Skipton Girls’ High School regularly achieves some of the best exam results for state schools in the country. Craven College in Skipton is a good further education college offering provision in all subject areas. For parents choosing private education, a direct train service means that Bradford Grammar School is a popular choice, whilst the highly regarded Giggleswick and Sedbergh, which offer boarding facilities, are also popular and within easy reach. Brooklands Community Special School in Skipton is a co-ed school for children aged 2 to 19 with learning difficulties, which has been ranked 'good' by Ofsted (2013 report).
For anyone wanting to combine the delights of rural life with ease of access to the business centres found in West Yorkshire and East Lancashire, Skipton, Craven and The Dales may well provide the perfect location.
What we love about Skipton, Craven and The Dales
The Plaza Cinema
Like many towns in Britain, Skipton once had several cinemas (four in fact). Unlike many small towns it has managed to retain one of these, the charming Plaza Cinema, which is a traditional, single screen theatre. It shows all the latest movie releases but in a unique environment, harking back to the glory days of the silver screen. A visit to The Plaza makes a refreshing change to the usual multiplex cinema experience.
Around 300,000 acres of beautiful countryside and over 80 miles of footpaths make up the Bolton Abbey Estate just six miles from Skipton in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales. It's a lovely place to walk at any time of year. The popular Welly Walk provides an adventure trail for energetic children.
Every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, Skipton high street is thronged with market stalls and shoppers eager to bag a bargain. Offering everything from fruit and veg, baked goods, sweets, meat produce as well as fashions and household items, Skipton Market is the epitome of a traditional market experience.