|Which visitor to Skipton hasn't eaten at Bizzie Lizzie's?|
You can spot the serious hikers with their knobbly knees, time-worn boots, Nordic poles and ancient rucksacks. The loud laughs and local accents of the burly ruddy faced off-duty young farmers fill the air in front of Wetherspoons on Friday night. Locals wander among the market stalls either side of the High Street. Young families stroll the towpath. The day boats ply back and forth, laden with happy trippers and their booze.
|Magnificent statue to Fiery Fred|
We haven't done the obvious tourist-y stuff like visit the castle though we have had the de rigeur fish & chips from Bizzie Lizzie's on the bridge, a place that seems to get bigger and busier every time we visit. Like all these must-go destinations, its quality seems to be edging down as its popularity edges up.
|The dead-end Springs Branch leads toward the castle|
Fortunately, this being Yorkshire not Hoxton, it had a complement of hikers, tourists and oldies like us too. And a decent pub-grub style menu (with a few hipster additions) which translated into plates of very appetising food.
As well as eating, we walked. Close by us the small Springs Branch tees into the main canal. It used to ferry rock from the local quarry but now has a few moorings and a towpath that evolves into a lovely walk round the back of the castle and into the castle woods.
|The green canopy and streams of the woods|
|Wonderful views and one of those snap-it photo locations|
|Fine renovated mill buildings in the town|
It was a marked contrast to our first night's stop here when we were slowly asphyxiated by someone next door who persisted in running his self-confessedly smokey engine until nearly ten pm, despite my (polite but firm) reminder that engines off at eight is the canal rule.
Today we are are Skipton Boat Club where we will be leaving the boat for a few days to return to Suffolk for domestic chores. Leaving, dammit, just as the weather forecast is for a phew, what a scorcher week.