Knaresborough’s mystery legends and folklore

After visiting Harrogate last weekend, we had to continue the West Yorkshire adventure and the next stop was the nearby Town of Knaresborough. We were told about this amazing town, but no words would do justice to its beautiful landscapes.
Again, the car was provided by my colleagues from Indigo Car Hire and I must say that if you plan to visit the entire district we recommend to rent a car that suits you best…
So, let’s start another travelling diary file and explore Knaresborough’s mystery legends and folklore.

Located just a few miles from Harrogate, lies in a magnificent setting built in the gorge of the River Nidd: the lovely little town of Knaresborough. Standing supreme, high on the cliff top overlooking the river, is Knaresborough Castle and down the hill the Bebra Gardens are nestling at the foot of it.

Once a royal residence, it’s said that Richard II was once imprisoned in the keep. The town’s castle is alas now just a ruin, having been destroyed by Cromwell’s forces during the civil war. Today the ramparts provide a glorious view of the Victorian stone railway viaduct and houses inspiring many artists and photographers.

Bebra gardens, the beautifully tended public park located behind castle site, should not be missed. Particularly pleasant is the riverside walk from the gardens down to the viaduct, where you can admire a number of little cafes and restaurants overlooking the river. Boats can be hired on the river during the summer season.

This town has so many interesting sights, including a market square surrounded by historic streets, boating and a mixture of charming buildings and scenic picnic areas. You can visit here the oldest chemist shop in England in the picturesque market square, and enjoy a perfect afternoon in one of the cozy old world tea rooms. And all these shrouded in mystery legends and folklore.

One good example for this is on the opposite side of the river: Mother Shipton’s Cave and the Petrifying Well, England’s oldest tourist attraction, a curious place where the famous prophetess once lived and where you can still see things being turned to stone. Mother Shipton lived 500 years ago during the reigns of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I. As she grew older, her prophetic visions became known and feared throughout England.

As for the Petrifying Well, it is recorded that people travelled great distances to bathe here, as it was believed to have miraculous healing properties, as early as 1538. You’ll be able to see a whole host of everyday objects being turned to stone in the cascading waters of the Petrifying Well. Also visitors don’t forget to make a wish in the wishing well before they go.

The little cafes, great pubs, plenty of independent shops which are scattered throughout the town would make your day. There are boats available for hire, cycle tracks to follow and the riverside walks to be enjoyed. There are also some great annual events including a thriving Wednesday market, FEVA a vibrant 10 day Festival of Entertainment and Visual Arts (that celebrates everything musical and artistic.), the Great Knaresborough Bed Race ( a 3km run through town and river pushing a bed) and of course the Christmas Market.

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