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Skipton, the castle town

india Updated: Jun 30, 2010 01:19 IST
Rupali Dean
Rupali Dean
Hindustan Times
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Famed as the home of the best-preserved medieval castle in England inspite of a three-year siege during the Civil War, Skipton in North-West Yorkshire is a must-visit town while in Yorkshire. It boasts a myriad small independent shops which is always good to see and the locals are not short of a pub or three to visit.

Castle walking tour
Interestingly, the castle had two great round towers on either side of the gate, which read ‘Desormais’, which translates into ‘Henceforth’. After entering the castle, I then received a guide sheet with 40 sketches, which is available in nine languages.

The castle dates back to 1090. What impressed me on entering was the Great Hall and the adjacent kitchen and the sheer quality of the structure of the rooms. As I took the walking tour, I peeped out for the most fabulous view of the countryside below. I guess the high vantage point that the castle provided must have been the reason for the selection of this location.

Yorkshire tea
After the tour, I stopped in the Clifford Tea Room near the gift shop for a pot of Yorkshire tea and scones. What makes this tea special is that it is a blend of teas from about twenty gardens to give it that perfect strength and character. This blend originated in Betty’s Tea room in York and has been there since three generations.

Sure enough, I bought a box for home and as I make the tea every morning I can’t help looking behind the bold red, black and white logo, rolling hills with vast fields divided by dry-stone walls, a healthy smattering of sheep, a couple of tumbledown cottages, feathers of smoke lazily rising from their chimneys and a village church and nostalgia creeps in.