Grassington is one of the Yorkshire Dales’ best-loved towns, retaining its traditional character yet providing everything a visitor would expect in a small modern town, situated on the doorstep of some beautiful landscape that is ideal walking, cycling and outdoor adventure country.
It is a perfect walking base for exploring Nidderdale and Wharfedale, and the Dales Way and the Dales Cycle Way pass through Grassington. The National Park Centre, with its large car park, is just a short walk from the centre of the town and here you can pick up maps, guides and information about local walks and things to do. Grimwith Reservoir is nearby and offers opportunity for windsurfing and sailing – seewww.grimwith.co.uk – and fly fishing in the River Wharfe is also a popular pastime – day tickets can be purchased by Rod Fishing Licence holders from the Post Office in the main square.
The hub of the town is based around the small cobbled square with a narrow road each side, winding uphill away from the square – not built for modern traffic but that’s part of the attraction of this quaint town. Along these streets, and down attractive alleys, is a variety of shops including many independent gift, craft, and clothes shops, as well as the essential Post Office and convenience store.
For refreshment there should be something for every taste – traditional pubs and hotels, quality restaurants, tearooms and even a vegetarian café. In summer months you’re likely to find an ice cream stand in the square. The cobbled square also plays host to regular events such as plant sales, street entertainers, the farmers’ market (on the third Sunday of each month) and festivals.
The folk museum on the square is a fascinating little place, displaying all kinds of reminders of yesteryear such as craft tools, war memorabilia, period costumes, exhibits of the local lead mining history and much more. The museum is open each year from Easter, but check opening dates and times with the museum before setting off – www.grassingtonfolkmuseum.org.uk.
Grassington buzzes with life at the Dickensian festival in December, when the town is transported back in time. There is a traditional market and the local shopkeepers and villagers dress up in period costume. The summer also brings more festivities to the town, with the annual Grassington Festival held in June, with music, theatre, workshops, walks, street entertainers, comedy and all sorts of other activities and events taking place around the area – see www.grassington-festival.org.uk.