Skipton (also known as Skipton-in-Craven) is a civil parish and historic market town in the Craven district of North Yorkshire, England. It is a popular tourist destination in its own right, as well as being a convenient base for visitors to the Yorkshire Dales (the town is known as 'The Gateway to the Dales').
The town has a population of 14,313 according to the 2001 census.
HistoryThe town of Skipton is known to have been in existence since 1085 as it is listed in the Domesday Book. It played roles in history during the English Civil War and as the site of a prisoner of war camp during World War I.
Skipton lies within the Parliamentary Constituency of Skipton and Ripon, which was created in 1983. The constituency has returned a Conservative MP since its inception. The seat is currently held by David Curry MP
Skipton forms part of Craven District, a Non-metropolitan district, and is home of the offices of Craven District Council. In 2007 there proposals to make North Yorkshire County Council a unitary authority, removing the layer of government represented by Craven District were rejected.
Skipton also has its own town council.
The town's major local employer is Skipton Building Society and its subsidiary companies. Tourism and retail sales are also significant: the wide main street used to host the sheep market, but now a general market is held there four days a week, and livestock is auctioned at the Auction Mart on the western edge of the town.
Amenities and Culture
Skipton has many pubs, two nightclubs, and restaurants ranging from traditional fish and chips to high quality French cuisine, taking in modern British, Mexican, Thai, Indian, Chinese and Italian.
Skipton Little Theatre theatre is located near the town centre. The Mart Theatre is an unusual and unique venue. Opening in October, 2005 with funding from the European Regional Development Fund, Yorkshire Forward, Craven District Council and the Arts Council England, it aims to provide a unique rural theatre, events and other facilities within a functioning Auction Mart.
TransportSkipton lies close to the junction of the A65 road (from Leeds to the Lake District) with the A59 from York to Liverpool. The north section (A65 & A59) of the £16.4m Skipton Bypass opened in December 1981. The rest of the six-mile bypass (A629) opened in October 1982, greatly reducing journey times to the Dales.
Skipton railway station gives access southbound to regular services for Leeds and Bradford on the electrified Airedale Line; northbound services connect to Lancaster, Morecambe and Carlisle; the latter route is along the famously scenic Settle-Carlisle Railway, passing over the Ribblehead Viaduct.
Skipton Bus Station is a hub for local bus services.
Primary educationThere is a wide variety of choice for pupils at ages 5-11:
Two politicians were born in Skipton; the former Conservative MP and Chancellor of the Exchequer Iain Macleod in 1913, and the Labour MP Joan Humble in 1951. Former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill's personal physician during the Second World War Charles Wilson the first Baron Moran was also born in Skipton in 1882.