Walking

Top 10 Things to Do in Settle, Yorkshire

Be it a solo break, romantic getaway or family holiday, the Yorkshire town of Settle has something for every kind of adventure. Here are just some of the things you can look forward to during a luxury break.

Extending into Yorkshire and Lancashire, the area of Settle benefits from an array of jaw-dropping landscapes that range from greenery-clad dales to imposing chalk escarpments. At the centre of the Settle District is Settle town, an ancient market town with lots of history and character. Benefitting from a large number of attractions, both natural and manmade, Settle has plenty to tempt for both sunshine and rainy days. Here are just some of our favourites.

Best Things to Do in Settle 

Settle to Carlisle Railway

The world-famous Settle to Carlisle railway runs for 73 miles across the Yorkshire Dales and North Pennines. Affording one of the most beautiful journeys in the UK, the line takes in a range of incredible landscapes and landmarks along the way. One of the highlights of the journey is the Ribblehead Viaduct, a 24-arch bridge that towers 165ft into the air. Four-legged friends are also welcome to enjoy the ride too, with dogs allowed onboard free of charge. 

Malham Cove

Mighty in size and magical in nature, Malham Cove was used as a backdrop for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows film – captivating audiences with its enchanting natural aesthetics. Just 6.5 miles from Settle town, Malham Cove features an enormous curving amphitheatre made from limestone rock, with a vertical face reaching 260ft in height. Adding to the uniqueness, these cliffs are topped with an unusual limestone ‘pavement’, comprised of a jigsaw of higgledy-piggledy slabs. 

Norber Erratics

Take a walk to the Norber Erratics and be wowed by a jaw-dropping sight. Only 6 miles from Settle, this glacial display features more than a hundred enormous boulders precariously balanced on tiny plinths and slabs, seemingly defying gravity. The product of glacial activity and erosion, these Silurian boulders were deposited by melting ice thousands of years ago and their limestone bases whittled away by the elements over the years. A must-see. 

Stainforth Force

Just shy of 3 miles from Settle is Stainforth Force – a series of cascades gushing along the River Ribble. A year-round attraction, this spot is as captivating for riverside picnics in spring as it is for watching salmon making their heroic journeys upriver in autumn – although it can get a little busy in summer. Wander across the 17th Century bridge that crosses the river and grab a spot on the banks, ready to relax to the soothing lullaby of tumbling water. 

Ingleborough Cave

Ingleborough Cave is tucked away in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales. Only placed on the map in 1837 after it was discovered by Victorian explorers, it is now one of the most famous show caves in the UK and should be on everyone’s list of things to do near Settle. Enjoy a guided walk through the public fossil gallery and wander 500 metres into the cave, past incredible stalagmites, stalactites and flowstones that frame the walkway. 

Museum of North Craven Life at The Folly

If you’re ready to take a break from outdoor activities and learn more about the history of Settle and its surrounds, head over to the Museum of North Craven Life at the Folly. Located in the town of Settle itself, the museum showcases displays on all aspects of local life and hosts various exhibitions and events for all generations to enjoy. Open year-round, this attraction in Settle is a particularly popular rainy day activity. 

Gordale Scar

A hidden gem in the Yorkshire Dales, Gordale Scar is a huge limestone ravine home to 330ft high cliffs and two thunderous waterfalls. Having inspired walkers, artists and adventure-seekers for years, it is believed by some to be the inspiration behind Tolkien’s Helm’s Deep in the Lord of the Rings. For experienced hikers, you can actually walk through the atmospheric ravine. To get there, there is a great 7.5-mile circular walk from Malham to Gordale Scar.

White Scar Cave

About 20 minutes from Settle is White Scar Car. As well as offering the longest cave tour in Britain, White Scar Cave is also really famous for its stunning collection of natural formations and showpieces, including waterfalls, witch’s fingers, the arum lily and devil’s tongue. Book on for a guided tour of the cave and enjoy its many wonders, before treating yourself to a bite to eat in the onsite café afterwards and a browse of the giftshop. 

Janet’s Foss

If you fancy extending your walking adventures in the Settle area, then you should consider a ramble to Janet’s Foss. A small but impossibly picturesque waterfall and plunge pool, this off-the-beaten-track attraction sits within woodland along the footpath from Malham village in the direction of Gordale Scar. A mile from Malham and 7.5 miles from Settle, it requires a bit of preparation and effort but is well worth the trip.

Settle Victoria Hall

Another of the best things to do in Settle is a visit to Victoria Hall. A Grade II listed Victorian music hall, it originally opened in 1853 and is one of the world's oldest surviving music halls. Well worth the attention for its iconic status alone, it also continues to host a wide variety of events and shows to this day. With something to entertain all ages, this is a great place to visit at least once during your holiday in Settle.

If you’re feeling inspired to explore, take a look at some of our luxury holiday cottages in Settle here

 

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