Settle is a bustling market town in the district of Craven that is great for walking breaks, as it is within the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Settle is also perfect for potholing, caving, and rock climbing since it sits next to the largest outcrop of limestone in Britain, named Castleberg Crag, and there are many historical caves in the area.
A lot of archaeology has been discovered in Settle, mainly in its caves, and you can see some of the finds in the various museums and heritage centres in the town. There are more than enough shops, restaurants and other attractions in Settle to keep you going, including a railway station that has regular trips to Carlisle by steam train.
Settle truly is a walker's paradise - there are walking paths and trails suitable for everyone. You can find steep climbs, easygoing walks, long and short walks and more. You should always take a map with you, even if you think you know the way, and take supplies for the whole day.
If you are an experienced walker and feel up to the challenger of a very long walk, you should try walking along the Three Peaks, which will take you through the mountains Pen-y-ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough. It is a circular route and you can go as far as you like, although the challenge of walking the entire way in one day is very rewarding.
For those of you who require a shorter walk, you can travel to many of the nearby towns and villages very easily. Giggleswick, for example, is a village just four and a half miles from Settle. Giggleswick is famous for Kinsey Cave - a cave in which the prehistoric skeletons of various mammals have been discovered.
You can go rock climbing on Castleberg Crag, which, until 2009, was too dangerous to use. The town council cleaned up the Crag and created twenty-two climbing routes for residents and visitors to use. There are routes suitable for all levels of experience and, if you have time and are determined, you can work your way up from the easy routes to the hardest one - a thirty metre climb that even the most skilful of climbers have to train for.
You can delve into Settle's history at the Museum of North Craven Life. The museum is located within a breathtaking Grade I listed building that has been standing since the 1600s. There are both permanent and temporary exhibitions in the museum, including exhibits on the local landscape and people, the railway in Settle, historic furniture and trinkets and more.
You should not leave Settle without visiting Ingleborough Cave; a show cave just seven miles from the village. People have been visiting the caves for over one hundred and seventy years. You can see the amazing interior with the help of a guide, who will explain the different stalactites and stalagmites as well as other rock formations.
The Yorkshire Dales Falconry and Conservation Centre in Giggleswick is a hidden gem. They have many falcons that you can see in their scheduled flying displays, and you can even sign up for a day learning how to handle these special creatures. Their tearoom serves delicious cakes, biscuits, teas and coffees and is a great place to warm up if you are visiting in the winter.
Many people visit Settle just to go on the Settle - Carlisle railway. This railway, sometimes steam operated, can show you some of the most amazing scenery in the whole of England. You will pass through the Yorkshire Dales and the North Pennines and will see some beautifully constructed viaducts. The railway is seventy-three miles long so you will have to devote an entire day to it, but it is certainly worth it.
For a day of relaxing shopping, take a walk around the Watershed Mill in Settle. Amongst the shops inside you will find The Edinburgh Woollen Mill, where you can buy some classic knitwear garments for men and women, The Yorkshire Ale Shop, which stocks bottled bears and real ales, The Golf Shop, for state-of-the-art golfing accessories and equipment, and the Country Kitchen Coffee Shop that serves food unique to the Yorkshire Dales.
You can pick up some real bargains from the various markets in Settle. The indoor market in the Victoria Hall, which is held weekly, sells fruits, vegetables and meats while the monthly Farmer's Market in the town has healthy home-made meals, locally grown food and various other items. You can also attend one the car boot sales to buy great condition second-hand bric-a-brac.
If you are looking for the perfect present to take home for your friends and family you should visit one of the gift shops in Settle. They sell everything from postcards to toys to household items, and you don't always need to spend a lot to buy a friendly memento for people.
There are quite a few good bookshops in Settle. You can buy used books that are in good condition at budget prices, or new books that are sold at higher prices. Some book shops also sell highly sought after books that you can complete your collections with, and if you are searching for quite a rare book you can usually find help sourcing them at the shops in Settle.
Town Hall image contributed by Nicholas Mutton. Ye Olde Naked Man image contributed by Alexander P Knapp. Cricket club image contributed by William Bartlett. All images are copyrighted but licensed for further reuse under the Creative Commons License.