Situated on the southern edge of the Yorkshire Dales National Park lies the picturesque village of Gargrave. The area has been inhabited since the Roman era and visitors could be forgiven for thinking that they had been transported back to a bygone time.
With a population of barely 1,700, the village is small and quaint, making it an ideal place for a relaxing break as well as an outdoor adventure. Much of its architecture is Victorian and is constructed using traditional Yorkshire stone. Despite its diminutive size, Gargrave is home to number of public houses, some of which double up as bed and breakfasts.
Gargrave’s main appeal is its proximity to some of the most stunning countryside in the whole of the British Isles. As mentioned, the Dales start at one end of the village, but the sights to the west are also awe-inspiring.
Perhaps the first person to bring national notoriety to Gargrave was the poet Robert Story. Originally from Northumberland, he moving to the region in 1820 and penned some of his most famous works, including Craven Blossoms, Magic Fountain and The Outlaw, while looking out across the local scenery.
Gargrave enjoyed further attention during the 1960s when the remains of a Roman Villa known as Kirk Sink were found in the village. The dig, which was led by a team from the Archaeology Department at the University of Leeds and The Friends of Craven Museum, uncovered the foundations of a property built between the second and fourth centuries.
A number of the artefacts recovered can be viewed at the Craven Museum and Gallery in the town of Skipton, which is approximately four miles south of Gargrave.
Ordnance Survey Map of Yorkshire Dales – Southern & Western Area
The OS Explorer map of Yorkshire Dales, Southern & Western area, including Whernside, Ingleborough, & Pen-y-ghent. Whether you’re looking to take on all three peaks or just looking for a hike through the South-West of the dales, this map is a must-have.
Accommodation in Gargrave
Hikers and cyclists are common visitors to this part of North Yorkshire and it’s easy to see why. The Pennine Way National Trail, which runs for 267 miles from Kirk Yetholm on the Scottish border to Edale in Peak District, cuts directly through Gargrave.
The village also sits on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal. Built between 1770 and 1816, the pass was once an imperative system for the movement of cargo between Yorkshire’s mill towns and the docks on Merseyside. Today it provides and beautiful and tranquil place to walk.
Without question, Gargrave provides a fantastic base for those looking to spread their wings a little further afield, with the medieval Skipton Castle being a popular destination for history buffs. Visitors should also check out the Embsay and Bolton Abbey Steam Railway. Opened in 1888, the line runs over four miles from a station close to the 12th century ruins of Bolton Abbey through the villages of Draughton and Holywell before ending in Embsay.
Transport to and from Gargrave is quite good despite its rural location. The village is located on the A65 which is made up by a number of bypasses linking Leeds with Kendle in Cumbria. It also has its own train station on the Leeds to Morecambe and Carlisle lines as well as regular bus services to and from Skipton, Barnoldswick, Settle and Preston.