Skipton Castle Woods Visitor Information

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Waterfall at Skipton Castle Woods (photo: WTML/David Rodway)

These ancient woods have a fascinating history and lie alongside Skipton Castle in the heart of the town.

Skipton Castle Woods contain a wide variety of plants and amazing wildlife such as kingfishers, bats and deer, with some excellent pathways which follow the canal and the castle ramparts. Walk into a different world straight off the High Street.

Find out more about Skipton Castle Woods

Events at Skipton Castle Woods

Join us for a walk, see the beauty of the wood through a lens or wrap up warm and blow away the cobwebs with friends and family.

How to get here

Known as the ‘gateway to the Dales’, Skipton overlooks the Aire Gap which separates the Craven limestone dales to the north from the gritstone moors to the south and the pastoral Ribble Valley to the west. Skipton Castle Woods lies in the heart of Skipton, next to Skipton Castle on the northern fringe of Skipton.

OS Explorer 2, Landranger 103, SD990525.

You can discover more about Skipton by visiting the welcome to Skipton website.

By train

There is an excellent train network centred on Skipton, including the celebrated Settle-Carlisle line and the equally scenic Leeds-Skipton-Morecambe line which goes through Giggleswick and Clapham.

The main railway station is located along Broughton Road, approximately 1.5km from the entrance to the wood.

By bus

Bus route stops are close to the entrance to the wood at the top of the High Street.

Further information on public transport is available from traveline.

By car

From the M1 (northbound) take the M62 west, then the M606 to Bradford, A650 to Keighley, and A629 to Skipton. From the M6 (northbound) take the M65 to its end, then the A56 to Skipton. From the M6 (southbound) take the A65 to Skipton.

Parking: Pay and Display parking is available a short walk (0.5km) from the woods off Skipton High Street to the rear of the Town Hall. Other, slightly more distant parking, is also available in the town.

On foot

The surfaced paths and newly reinstated bridges allow access for all the family to enjoy the features that this wonderful wood has to offer. You can enter Skipton Castle Woods from three different entrances:

Old Sawmill Entrance – from the south, access is available via Chapel Hill (a private road). Follow the driveway of the Old Sawmill (a private residence) and enter via a gateway with wheelchair access. Here, the water of Sandy Goit and Eller Beck is on either side.

The Bailey Entrance – following a line of Victorian-aged lime trees, this inspiring walk has steep drops to old stone quarries and a viewpoint down to the rounds’ high-level walk overlooking the river valley.

Short Lee Lane Entrance – it is from here, when passing through the area of old pines and spruces among the oaks, that you are most likely to see the family of deer that make the wood their home.

All three approaches connect at the round dam, allowing different options for the return part of your walk.

Facilities and Access


Public access on foot is available throughout the site, while permissive paths follow Eller Beck and watercourses, and the eastern and north-western boundaries. All pedestrian formal routes within the woodland are surfaced, including a picturesque circular walk accessed via the Old Sawmill entrance, which is suitable for wheelchair and pushchair users.

Other surfaced paths run along the north-western and eastern boundaries and exit the woodland at The Bailey. They offer excellent views over and along the wooded valley, but have moderate to steep slopes, a flight of steps and are narrower.

Car Parking

No car parking is available on site, although the town centre car parks are only five minutes walk away.


Public toilets are available at the town centre car park, behind the town hall, including a Radar key accessible toilet. Toilets are also available in the bus station just off Keighley Road and other locations around the town.


To find the nearest accommodation visit TripAdvisor.

Looking to extend your adventure with a holiday in the great outdoors? Whether you’re glamping, camping or caravanning, our partner Freedom To Go can help you find the perfect pitch.  

Discover more about Skipton Castle Woods

Looking for events in our woods?

Join us for a woodland walk, have fun at a festival or get stuck in at a workshop.

See all our events