We’ve made a habit lately of taking day trips to smaller, less visited towns when visiting larger, more popular cities. Part of our motivation is that city breaks sometimes don’t feel like breaks—when you already live in a large, bustling city, sometimes what you really want from a weekend away is a bit of tranquility in the countryside. Hence our half-day trip to Knaresborough!
Knaresborough is nestled in a carved out nook of the River Nidd less than 30 minutes from York. As you approach the riverfront from the train station, two things become clear: the hilly nature of the town and the dominating yet charming and picturesque viaduct. Great views of the viaduct can be had on either side. We started with the view from the bridge to the west that carries Harrogate Road over the river.
We then walked back toward and under the viaduct along the riverfront. We grabbed lunch (and ice cream!) from Marigolds Cafe, equidistant from the viaduct and the high hill of the castle. The weather was fair when we visited in early April, but we can imagine that in high summer this must be a perfect place to laze in the sun and watch the rowboats bob in the water. You can even rent one if you’d like!
After climbing the stairs to the castle, we appreciated the view of the viaduct from the southeast. We could have walked straight to the town center from here, but we opted for the long, scenic route. We walked along the river, past a farm where we made friends with a family of cows, to the bridge that carries Bland’s Hill over the river.
From here it’s a sharp uphill walk toward the center. We took a rest at Bebra Gardens, situated just below the castle, before pushing on to Market Place. After relaxing and people watching in the square, we walked down the high street back to the train station to catch our train back to York and then ultimately back to London.