Why you should move to Knaresborough

Knaresborough castle

Knaresborough castle - Credit: Joan Russell

Yorkshire has some of the finest towns and villages in the country often surrounded by the most glorious scenery. Knaresborough in North Yorkshire is one of the best

Knaresborough's much photographed listed viaduct

Knaresborough's much photographed listed viaduct - Credit: Joan Russell

What’s special?

It’s a dramatic sort of place with a lofty viaduct spanning the River Nidd which flows through the town. And, as far as we know, Knaresborough is the only inland town in the region which has rock face properties. Tell us if you know differently. The town attracts many day visitors who call in at Knaresborough Castle and the quirky Mother Shipton’s Cave. The Courthouse Museum, in one of the castle’s oldest surviving buildings, is also something of a tourist treasure and gives an important glimpse into the town’s history. The riverside walks are a favourite with everyone who visits or lives in the town.

There is at least one event which isn’t to be missed and that’s the town’s annual bed race which has become something of a phenomenon, attracting thousands of people every year. Huge crowds fill the streets to watch teams parading through the town centre. Last year Harrogate Harriers won the race in just 13 minutes 10 seconds, with Ripon Runners for Girls screeching to a halt exactly three minutes later to scoop the title as fastest female team. The Knaresborough Bed Race must be coming up to its 50th birthday soon.

The other notable event is the summer FEVA festival (Festival of Entertainment and Visual Arts) now its 14th year.

Jacob Smith Park has a new nature trail designed by ecologist Bernadette Lobo and artist Carline Miekina with help from Harrogate Borough Council, the Friends of the park and nearby Meadowside School. ‘This is a great new leisure activity for all ages to enjoy,’ said Patrick Kilburn, the council’s head of parks and open spaces. ‘Jacob Smith Park is a very interesting ancient parkland with plenty of plants and wildlife to spot, especially with the nature trail as a useful guide.’


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The High Street

Knaresborough is an historic market town with trading going back to at least 1100. Today it is very much about local shopping with not too much in the way of tourism-led gift shops but a fair sprinkling of places to eat and drink. Interestingly Knaresborough is the home of the country’s oldest chemist which is perhaps better known today for its handmade chocolates and old fashioned sweets and toffees.



This town has its own railway station which must be the envy of nearby centres such as Ripon which has a passable bus service but how it, the smallest cathedral city, would love to have an easy train ride into Harrogate, York or Leeds. Knaresborough is also just four miles from junction 47 of the A1(M) and on the A59, and within easy reach of York and Harrogate. Transdev and Connexions run buses in the area.



Mention Knaresborough schools and the first to come to mind is King James’s School the town’s only secondary school, with an important historic background. It was founded as a grammar school with a charter from King James I. Today it’s a mixed comprehensive, happy and thriving and oversubscribed.


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