The small village of Addingham is a civil parish that lies serenely in the county of West Yorkshire and it is as picturesque and charming an example of English country living and landscape as any visitor can hope to find. With the river Wharfe gently lapping at its edges and the Yorkshire Dales National Park a mere stone’s throw away, it is a location that begs visitors to explore and appreciate this tiny area of Britain that, nonetheless, stores a wealth of natural and historical treasures.
To the south of Addingham Village the Rombald’s Moor guards a selection of carved stones know as ‘cup & ring’, which are clear evidence of the area having been inhabited at least as early as the Bronze Age. The Baildon Moor provides proof of the existence of an Iron Age population by the numerous artefacts that can still be seen. The earliest documented proof of an Addingham community is a record of the Archbishop of York having spent some time here in 867AD, but there is little or nothing that remains to suggest the typical type of housing shelter in use.
Houses that are still in existence in Addingham Village date back to the 17th century when this was mainly a farming district. Examples of the educational institutions of the time remain to this day in the form of The Old School, thought to have been built by Anthony Ward in 1666. The population size must even then have been rather small, as the school began as a simple two-roomed cottage, which eventually expanded to a double-story with the lower section, in part, becoming a gaol. Ironically, the other part was dedicated to teaching infants. There is certainly enough to hold the attention of those fascinated by early English history.
The current population that numbers approximately 4,000 have dedicated themselves to honouring a past that includes its survival of the devastating Great War that took the lives of a number of Addingham villagers. Restoration and replanting has seen the natural fauna greatly enhanced by the efforts of local residents and the Parish Council. The Marchup Ghyll Nature Reserve is the result of a collaborative effort to transform what was once a Victorian landfill into a magnificent area that is home to a variety of bird life, as well as more than 900 species of native shrubs and trees. It is only one of a number of stunningly designed gardens and parks.
There is also no shortage of quaint pubs and other recreational facilities.
Addingham Village caters well for sport and leisure activities, including beautiful camping areas and a number of serene fishing spots. Among an array of options, residents and visitors can enjoy bowling, cricket, football and table tennis, as well as spectacularly scenic golf courses. After a day’s worth of enjoyable exercise, drinks and eats can be obtained from a number of warm and friendly village pubs. With Addingham Village being close to the towns of Ilkley and Skipton, entertainment options are significantly expanded. It certainly makes visiting this stunning and fascinating destination a delightful and very rewarding experience.