Grassington in Upper Wharfedale is a southern gateway into the Yorkshire Dales National Park with an ancient history. A variety of archaeological sites have been unearthed around this charming Dales village including Bronze Age burial mounds, Celtic villages and medieval farmsteads.
The Romans appeared on the Upper Wharfdale scene around 50AD and by the 5th century had left after having developed the area around Grassington for grain growing. In the 15th Century Lead mining was widespread in the area around Grassington Moor attracting miners from Cornwall and nearby Swaledale to the area.
The coming of the Leeds Liverpool Canal to the nearby Skipton and Gargrave opened up the town further. Today Grassington is one of the major Yorkshire Dales tourist destination, home to one of the National Park Centres and with a lovely picture-postcard centre of pubs and craft shops clustered around a cobbled village square.
How to Get to Grassington
For visitors arriving by car, follow the A59 either off the M6 or A1 and continue towards Skipton. Exit the A59 on to the B6265 Grassington Road.
The nearest train station is at Skipton (Northern) just to the south. Regular bus services run between the two, or pick up a taxi direct to your accommodation.
Leeds Bradford Airport is the nearest airport. Other airports within reasonable driving distance include Mancester Airport, Doncaster Sheffield Airport and Newcastle.
Areas of Interest in Grassington
The central cobbled square is a real hub area for Grassington’s many festivals and events ranging from acclaimed arts and music festivals to a Christmas themed Dickensian market and a very popular 1940s weekend.
Spectacular Upper Wharfedale scenery surrounds the village, a mecca for cyclists and walkers. The Tour de Yorkshire cycling event regularly passes through Grassington on its annual run. Pick up walking guides and cycle route information at the National Park Centre.
Many scenic gentle and challenging walks branch out from the village including a riverside walk along the Wharfe to see Linton Falls.
Grassington’s Claim to Fame
The village’s claim to fame is the great Grassington Festival, a 15 day programme of arts and music with an international reputation for excellence. This legendary arts festival has been running for over 38 years and features an eclectic mix of exciting projects and has it own Festival Fringe.
Things to Do in Grassington
The scenery of the southern Yorkshire Dales and Upper Wharfedale around Grassington attracts huge numbers of visitors annually along with a year round programme of events and festivals. The variety of outdoor activities in the area include walking, cycling, pony trekking and fishing. Both fly fishing and sailing are available at nearby Grimwith Reservoir.
Walkers are ideally placed with Grassington almost adjacent to the Dales Way. In the nearby area just to the west sits Malham, a top spot for walkers in the Dales.
Take a tour of the little Grassington Folk Museum, a real trip back in time with exhibition ons lead mining, craft tools, dales farming and period costumes.
A big draw are the high profile events and festivals hosted in the town, and there are many nearby attractions including Skipton Castle and markets, pony trekking at the Kilnsey Centre and why not head underground and explore the Stump Cross Caverns. Lots of lovely Dales villages like Kettlewell surround Grassington, and it’s a great touring base within easy driving distance of Skipton, Harrogate and York.
Food & Drink in Grassington
Sample the best of Yorkshire Dales local produce in Grassington’s fine selection of restaurants and bistros, inns, cafes and tea rooms. In the centre fine inns serving best Yorkshire real ales and hearty pub food sit around the cobbled village square.
In winter cosy up in front of roaring log fires in pubs and in summer enjoy your cask-conditioned Yorkshire ale al fresco where outside seating is available adjacent to most venues. Vegetarians and alternative diets are well catered for or enjoy locally sourced meats and locally sourced dishes in relaxed dining atmospheres.
Where to Stay in Grassington
This Southern Dales village offers a great mix of bed and breakfast accommodation, character inns with rooms and restaurants and a wide choice of country cottages.
Stay in an old inn clustered around the central cobbled square or opt for great value B&B accommodation in the countryside around the village. Style and individual character are assured whether you stay in a charming traditional Yorkshire stone cottage for two or a spacious family friendly cottage with free WiFi and all home comforts.
Michelle is an experienced travel writer with iknow and has travelled extensively across the UK, Spain, Portugal and the USA. When she’s not busy writing for iknow she enjoys spending time touring museums and art galleries and seeking out the best independent shops in Manchester and Leeds.