Best Things To Do In Settle – Settle, a lovely stone-built town on the River Ribble is set in a heart-melting landscape at the southern extremity of the Yorkshire Dales.
As you go from Settle to waterfalls, cliffs, limestone gorges, far-flung caves, and peaks exceeding 700 meters, the National Park will always be on your mind.
You don’t need to be a mountaineer to appreciate the untamed grandeur of the Yorkshire Dales, as the Settle-Carlisle route allows you to do so from the comfort of a mainline train.
Settle also boasts a few attractions that will keep you in town a little longer, such as a museum housed in a 17th-century manor and a magnificent Victorian concert hall that is still in use.
Settle may not be as well-known as other UK cities, but don’t let that mislead you. Settle is a modest, but lovely, up-and-coming tourist location worth visiting. You’ll be astounded by some of the interesting things to do and places to visit at this hidden getaway.
You might want to return someday to Settle to take a break and unwind.
If you’re planning a trip to the United Kingdom and aren’t sure if Settle should be on your list, keep reading.
We’ve compiled a list of things to do in Settle and the surrounding area. If you do, we’re confident you’ll be delighted you included this city in your trip plans.
Everything you need to know about packing for a nice staycation, short getaway, or day trip in the lovely settle area.
What To Do In Settle – Popular Places To Visit In Settle
Settle offers a wide range of activities. Explore the downtown area for museums and boutiques or the next great lunch. What pleases your interest? A delectable five-course lunch at the restaurant about which you’ve heard so much? Perhaps reading the newspaper while sipping hot coffee at one of the town’s many cafés is more your style.
Why waste time pondering what to do in Settle? Allow the possibilities to flood over you as you explore this new region. Set out on foot to obtain a better understanding of the area. Find that perfect souvenir in one of the smaller boutiques, or rediscover your new favorite gallery and revamp your entire artistic taste.
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Find out what Settle has to offer in terms of attractions and activities.
Settle is an excellent tourist destination in the United Kingdom, with a variety of attractions and activities to do all year:
1. Museum Of North Craven Life
This Carolean mansion on the southern approach to Settle is the town’s grandest structure. It was built for wealthy 17th-century lawyer Richard Preston.
The Folly is now home to the excellent Museum of North Craven Life, although it has also served as a luxurious mansion, a farmhouse, a warehouse, a bakery, a fish and chip restaurant, and a bank.
In 2001, the home was refurbished and turned into a regional museum. In short-term exhibitions, this attraction displays its extensive inventory.
There was an exhibition of prints evoking the Dales, a timeline for The Folly, frightening tales from Settle’s Holy Ascension Church graveyard, and “Curiosity,” exhibiting the many treasures from the museum’s collection.
2. Stainforth Force
Stainforth Force, one of the many natural beauties in the Settle area, is only 5 minutes from the town center.
If you want, you may walk there on the Ribble Way in around 45 minutes, following the river back up to the village of Stainforth.
The river glides over small limestone shelves before tumbling into a deep and wide pool, creating a magnificent series of waterfalls.
You might stay on the river’s west bank edges to watch the leaping salmon and look upriver to a small stone connecting the settlement and a caravan park, both concealed behind the trees.
Make sure you don’t miss some of the best things to do in Settle during your trip to the Yorkshire Dales. The range of attractions in Settle will leave you spoilt for choice if you are interested in natural beauty areas.
Make your way to Ingleton, some ten miles north-west, to climb the 723-meter Ingleborough, the second-highest mountain in the Yorkshire Dales.
A 7.5-mile circular trek from this lovely settlement under a Victorian railway viaduct leads to the top, where you’ll have to navigate a field of potholes at Crina Bottom and battle your way up a steep ascent over limestone cliffs.
Another path can be found on the opposite side of the river at Horton in Ribblesdale, which is also easily accessible by vehicle from Settle.
A mile-long plateau at the summit of Ingleborough is slightly convex.
The ruins of a wall that dates back to a Roman camp and an Iron Age hill-fort may be found on the northern and eastern sides, while Snowdonia, 103 miles away in Wales, can be seen.
Ingleborough is one of the Yorkshire Three Peaks, a collection of towering hills around the head of the Ribble River Valley that includes Pen-y-Ghent (694m) and Whernside (736m), all of which can be conquered in one trip by anyone who desires to put themselves to the test.
4. Victoria Hall
Residents of Settle use this lovely 19th-century monument for a variety of purposes.
The Victoria Hall, originally known as the Settle Music Hall, opened in 1853 and is the UK’s oldest extant music hall.
Every day of the week save Sunday, there are various activities going on here during the day.
Dance classes, exercise programs, adult learning, Julian Smith’s operation, and Tuesday and Saturday markets are all possibilities.
In the evenings, this prestigious theater hosts a feast of live music, spoken word, movies, live screenings from major cultural institutions, plays, and stand-up comedy.
5. Scaleber Force
Another of the Yorkshire Dales’ captivating waterfalls may be found along the lonely High Hill Lane, which is bordered by drystone walls.
Scaleber Beck’s water is crystal clear, and if you’re feeling adventurous, the stratified rock allows you to climb up (within reason) for a perfect photo of the falls.
Scaleber Force is only a few minutes’ walks from High Hill Lane’s roadside along a wooded route.
6. Victoria Cave
The 4.5-mile circular trail to this cave up in the Dales among herds of Highland cattle is easily done in the morning.
The cave was named after Queen Victoria, as it was found in 1837, the same year she ascended the throne.
The journey out of Settle is delightful, passing by Georgian homes on Constitution Hill.
Outside of town, the path is steeply inclined, but there are heart-lifting views of Ribblesdale to keep you going.
Victoria Cave was discovered with bones of elephants, hippos, rhinos, and hyenas reaching back as far as 130,000 years.
At the Victoria Cave, the first evidence of humans in the Yorkshire Dales was discovered in the shape of a harpoon point embedded amid the 11,000-year-old reindeer bones. The Roman-era artifacts, which included coins, ceramics, and brooches from as far as Africa, were also fascinating.
7. Settle-Carlisle Line
The Settle-Carlisle line, which opened in the 1870s, was one of the last major railway lines to be built in the United Kingdom.
Faced with the nearly impossible topography of the Yorkshire Dales, the project was both a triumph of Victorian initiative and innovation and a tale of tremendous hardship for the workers who lived in shanty communities during construction.
There are 380 bridges on 72 miles of railway, including 14 tunnels and 21 viaducts.
The 400-meter Ribblehead Viaduct, which spans more than 30 meters above the Ribble Valley, is one example.
What’s even better is that this is still part of National Rail’s mainline, so you can join a regular train for one of the most picturesque railway journeys in the world.
In the summer, private operators run frequent steam trains, and if you visit Settle Junction station on a Saturday, be sure to visit the Victorian timber signal box.
8. Hoffmann Kiln
The Craven Lime Company built an unearthly industrial relic in Langcliffe, above the east bank of the Ribble, in 1873. The Hoffmann Kiln, named after its inventor Friedrich Hoffmann, converted limestone stones into burnt lime, which was used in agriculture, textiles, papermaking, and construction mortar.
This took place in a circle of 22 burning chambers with apertures on the sides for the lime to be transported to railway trucks beside.
The kiln has been abandoned since the 1930s, but the site is still in superb condition, with an exciting tunnel lit by little portals on the sides every few meters. Outside, there are displays that explain how the kiln functioned.
9. Janet’s Foss
Gordale Beck tumbles over the little but well-constructed Janet’ Foss directly downstream from Gordale Scar.
This tranquil green cauldron is covered in moss and draped with greenery, and it cascades through limestone topped by volcanic tufa.
If you’re arriving from the Malham side, Janet’s Foss is a 20-minute walk from the car lot through the lush valley.
You can continue up the trail to Gordale Scar from here.
If at all feasible, come after a period of steady rain, which should be easy in the Yorkshire Dales!
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10. Malham Cove
There are a few compelling reasons to travel deeper into the Yorkshire Dales, aiming for Malham, a few miles to the east.
One of these is to marvel at the magnificence of adjacent Malham Cove, a curved limestone cliff with limestone pavement on top.
This is the result of a massive cascade conveying meltwater around 12,000 years ago during the conclusion of the last Ice Age.
With a width of 300 meters and a height of 80 meters, it’s easy to imagine the enormity of this flow.
Climbers flock to the cliff and its treacherous overhangs, and you may have seen this magnificent natural landmark in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1.
Malham Cove is connected to other local attractions such as Janet’s Foss, a tight limestone ravine with walls 100 meters high, and Gordale Scar by a circular walk.
Settle is a place of peaks, dales, caverns, and waterfalls, with a bustling, historic market town at its heart.
11. Settle Stories Festival
The Settle Stories Festival, which began in 2010, is a biennial arts festival that focuses on spoken word, creative ideas, and digital art.
There are performances, exhibitions, outdoor story trails, plays, and workshops for writing, digital storytelling, weaving, enameling, and ceramics over the course of three days.
The 2018 edition featured Brazilian journalist and storyteller Ana Maria Lines, who performed a live show inspired by Frida Kahlo, and Sierra Leonean contemporary rhythmical storyteller Alim Kamara, as examples of what to expect.
Outside of the festival dates, Settle Stories organizes creative writing and mindfulness retreats, as well as short-term exhibitions at locations such as Settle Library.
12. Settle Falconry
The stirring uplands of the Yorkshire Dales are an ideal location for falconry.
Settle Falconry is a tiny enterprise based in the National Park, a few miles outside of town, that offers bird of prey experiences for an hour or half-day.
You’ll get to wear a falconer’s gauntlet and call a trained buzzard or Harris hawk down from the trees during the hour-long session.
On an adventure in the Dales, you’ll get to handle falcons, kestrels, hawks, and owls during the longer, more in-depth session.
The Settle Falconry includes a farmhouse tearoom with home-baked pastries, which makes for a cozy start to an amazing afternoon.
13. Gallery On The Green
The Gallery on the Green, which prides itself on being the “smallest gallery in the world,” is housed in a red Upper Settle phone box purchased by the town council in 2009. Sir Giles Gilbert Scott created this K6 style phone booth in 1935 (who also developed the Tate Modern’s power station).
Cultivating Settle, a local organization, quickly took over the space and transformed it into a one-of-a-kind gallery open 24 hours a day.
The Gallery on the Green is entirely funded by donations, and in its ten years of existence, it has hosted nearly 30 exhibitions. There was a picture exhibition for the majestic sycamore by the phone box on the green at the time of writing in early 2019.
Previous exhibitions have included Ingleborough studies (Big Hill in a Small Space), a mixed media celebration of Canada’s people (Canada Calling), and an exhibition about the evolutionary process (Archaos II).
14. Ribble Way
Starting at the river mouth on the Irish Sea in Longton and ending at Ribblehead high in the Yorkshire Dales, Settle is on a 73-mile route that follows or remains near to the River Ribble.
This makes it simple to hike to a few of the natural sights mentioned on this page, including Stainforth Force.
On the riverbank, there are enormous historic cotton and snuff mills, as well as Settle Hydro, a pioneering community-owned hydropower plant.
You might see kingfishers and herons on your way to Stainforth Force, as well as peregrine falcons circling and swooping overhead.
Scramble up the slope from Stainforth to another waterfall at Catrigg Force for a challenging but rewarding detour. Views of Ribblesdale may be seen from the hike, and the falls are set in a wonderfully sheltered gorge.
15. The Courtyard
The Courtyard, a cluster of stone barns just off the A65 outside of Settle, is a shopping and dining destination. The Abraham Moon woollen mill produces fine tweed, Dalesbred produces luxury home furnishings, Bellezza Dentro offers beauty treatments, and the Roaming Hen Farm Shop sells freshly laid free-range eggs, bread, honey, and preserves.
Discerning diners flock to the Courtyard’s Brasserie, where British recipes with a modern twist are prepared using local ingredients. The menu rotates every two months, depending on what’s in season.
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What To Do In Settle – Five Amazing Reasons To Visit Settle
Settle is one of those gorgeous towns in the Yorkshire Dales that makes you want to come back again and again. What better motivation could there be to return to the town?
Our top five amazing reasons to visit Settle are as follows:
1. The Historical Town
In the Yorkshire Dales, Settle is an excellent example of a market town. There are eccentric independent stores and eateries, as well as a vibrant market held every Tuesday (the charter for the market dates all the way back to 1249).
We think it’s a terrific base for experiencing this amazing region of the world because it’s surrounded by gorgeous Dale’s scenery.
Many of the historic buildings in the town date from the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries, and many of them are Grade II listed. Settle Victoria Hall, a Victorian music hall that hosts various performances throughout the year, and The Shambles, with its six characteristic arches, which houses a range of local stores, are also worth seeing.
The Settle Flowerpot Festival, which takes place every July and August and transforms the town into a riot of colour with funny characters and lovely flowers, is one of the year’s highlights. The Settle Folk Gathering in September and the Settle Stories Festival in April are two such events.
2. Settle To Carlisle Railway
Settle is the beginning point for this world-famous railway journey, and while you don’t have to travel the entire 73 miles to Carlisle by train, we believe it is worthwhile to do so. It was built in the 1870s and is currently regarded as a masterpiece of Victorian engineering.
The Ribblesdale Viaduct, located in Horton-in-Ribblesdale, a popular starting place for the Three Peaks challenge, is an iconic structure measuring 400 meters in length, 32 meters in height, and with an amazing 24 arches.
3. Eating And Drinking
You’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to places to eat and drink in Settle, but one of the most popular (and intriguingly named) venues is Ye Olde Naked Man Café, which was built as an inn in 1663 and today provides a variety of baked bread, cakes, and meals to its customers.
The name comes from a tradition that a nude man was buried beneath the structure and that it was formerly the residence of an undertaker.
The Lion bar is housed within another ancient structure (dating from 1640), which contains an inglenook fireplace and historical photographs of the town.
The Royal Oak, which has recently been refurbished, and The Talbot Arms, which boasts a spacious beer garden for those hot summer days and a wood-burning fire for the cooler months, are two other pubs. All three pubs have a fantastic assortment of authentic ales, home-cooked dishes, and a lot of personalities!
4. Stunning Countryside
For many visitors, Settle’s central location in the Yorkshire Dales is one of its most appealing features. It’s an excellent starting point for climbing the Penyghent, Whernside, and Ingleborough summits.
Castleberg Crag, a limestone cliff that rises over Settle, and Gordale Scar, a vast gorge with two waterfalls that you may climb up and explore, are two further areas of interest.
Settle is a place to make precious memories with family and friends
Stainforth Force is a beautiful waterfall on the River Ribble just north of Settle. You might even see some salmon jumping through the water on their way up the river if you look closely.
Ingleborough Cave, which has been exposed to the public since 1837, is filled with ancient treasures dating back millions of years. Beautiful icicle-like rock formations and streams of motionless water greet you as you enter through the intimidating cave entrance.
5. Gorgeous Cottages
For your next short break or holiday to Settle, you may now choose from a variety of holiday houses.
Our Pick: Dugdales Barn
In the heart of Settle is a wonderfully refurbished 19th-century historical barn. This two-bedroom cottage features exposed beams and a double-height living space for a genuine wow factor.
The Settle Area’s Unique Blend of 10 Ingredients that Make it an Extraordinary Destination
1. Fascinating Heritage “12,000 years of human activity”
2. Spectacular Limestone Landscape “300 million years in the making”
3. Events & Festivals “year-round program”
4. Independent Shops “proudly-owned by local people”
5. Wonderful Nature & Countryside “savour the sights, sounds, and smells”
6. Delightful Places To Stay “something to suit everyone”
7. Interesting Experiences “try something wonderful – develop a unique skill”
8. Haven Of Tranquility “recharge your batteries”
9. Amazing Adventures “for the brave as well as the not-so-brave”
10. Delicious Places to Eat “for all tastes and budgets” Read more >>
Frequently Asked Questions About Settle
When Is The Settle Market?
The presence of the weekly traditional market transforms Settle Town Centre every Tuesday throughout the year, rain or shine. The Market is held both outdoors and indoors at The Royal Oak Hotel, Church Street, in the historic Market Place (Market Charter issued in 1249).
Is Settle A City Or A Town?
Settle is a thriving market town nestled in the foothills of the Pennines, surrounded by some of North Yorkshire’s most beautiful landscape. The town is situated next to the UK’s largest limestone outcrop.
When Is It Best To Visit Settle?
Settle’s weather – Temperature
Settle’s average temperature fluctuates. Due to the humidity, temperatures appear cold throughout the majority of the year, and there is a chance of rain or snow for the majority of the year.
The location is less temperate than other tourist destinations across the world, scoring in the 15th percentile for pleasant weather.
If you want to visit Settle during the hottest months, July, August, and then June are your best chances.
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