A week in Settle


To help transition to my life of (hopefully) increased leisure (i.e. working part time) we decided that it would be a good idea to get away for a break. We decided to take a week’s break in Settle on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales which, although is less than 1 1/2 hours drive from home, would provide a good change of pace and scenery. We hired a former mill worker’s cottage on the edge of the small town for a week and kept our fingers crossed that the weather would be favourable and not like just a couple of weeks before when we were faced by three named storms in close succession! I’m glad to say things worked out well for us and I managed to get out for a wander from the doorstep every day only going out in the car the once, on a grey day to drive up to Ribblehead and on to Hawes . We even had a night out at a concert in the old Victoria Hall- the first time I’ve been in the audience at a show for over two years.

The Shambles, Settle

We arrived on a bright, sunny, but cold, afternoon and parked up ready to explore the small town. It’s a small town centre, but has a number of independent shops (including a good little independent bookshop, Limestone Books) and plenty of interesting old buildings.

It’s an old town having it’s market charter granted in 1249. Historically it was a centre of the cotton industry but only on a small scale and went into decline with the growth of the industry in Lancashire. It has a railway station linking it to the industrial towns of West Yorkshire but is also the starting point for the very scenic Settle to Carlisle line. Today, with it’s proximity to the Three Peaks and some beautiful limestone country, it’s a popular tourist spot. Luckily, being out of season, it was quite quiet during or stay.

The former Town Hall
Georgian shop
A grand Georgian House
More old houses
Quaker Meeting House
The Folly – a large “Gentleman’s residence” built in 1649. It now houses the Museum of North Craven Life and a cafe
Old workers’ houses in Upper Settle
Looking over to Bridge End Mill and the weir on the Ribble which has a hydroelectric power plant generating electricity
Kings Mill – a former cotton mill on the banks of the River Ribble – now converted into flats.
Another view of King’s Mill – I bet those flats aren’t cheap!
View over the churchyard towards the hills

After exploring the town and popping in to one of the local cafes for a brew, we drove over to the Booths supermarket on the edge of the town to stock up with supplies for the week. It was only a few minutes drive then over to our home for the week. We unloaded, settled in and spent an easy evening making ourselves feel at home. the weather looked promising the next day and I had a route planned out!

27 thoughts on “A week in Settle

  1. Great choice of location for a week’s holiday for a keen walker. Weather looks great for the time of year and after all the storms and rain of recent weeks. Glad you had a good time – walking and relaxing. I have been through Settle many times and travelled on the Leeds-Settle-Carlisle line on countless occasions but I can’t say I’m familiar with the town at all. Of course, these days there’s a by-pass which must make it a quiet and pleasant centre.

    • It was a good base Barbara. The weather turned grey towards the end of the week but that didn’t spoil anything. We only had half a day of rain and that was on our last day.
      We had thought about a trip on the train (the line passed directly across from our cottage on the opposite side of a field) but didn’t get round to it. It will have to wait!
      Settle was quiet with minimal traffic while we were there – but there are regular lorries from the quarries up Ribblesdale passing through and did pass along the road outside our front door – but that was a minor issue for us.

  2. I’ve been through Settle many many more times than I’ve stopped there, and except for one overnight with my girlfriend, only ever briefly. When we used to drive up to the Lakes, my Uncle at the wheel, it was always the place where Dad would drop off, having been up late packing: in his own words, he would settle at Settle.

  3. What a lovely little place to explore and photograph. I’m glad to hear you had a great time, I especially love the Old Worker’s houses 🥰 thanks for sharing and have a good day ☺️ Aiva

  4. I’ve only ever been to Settle once, about 15 years ago on a brief visit while camping elsewhere. I don’t remember much about it other than we went in a cafe with an odd name so I’m looking forward to reading more of your stay there.

      • It used to be a pub. It’s got a long history and there are a lot of theories about how it got it’s name as you might expect!

      • It could have been that one but the name doesn’t ring a bell and looking on google street view it doesn’t look familiar. I seem to remember the one we went in was set back off the road, not facing it – if I went to Settle I could probably find it without even thinking about it but maybe in 15 years it’s had a name change or isn’t even a cafe now.

      • I can’t think of another one with an usual name – but that doesn’t mean there isn’t one. I think you would remember the old naked man if you had been there!!

  5. Settle is a bonny little town, with some bonny shops and lovely walks. Oddly enough, we were there a couple of times recently – once to walk up to Victoria Cave, which is worth the lheaving lungs for the views alone. The Folly is wonderful.

  6. Thanks for this. I don’t think I would have heard of half of these towns if not for your posts. I’ve certainly never heard of Settle (which I misread as Seattle at first). Being a bookish person, I was especially interested in your mention of the Limestone Bookshop. Have you ever read Shaun Bythell’s book about running a second-hand bookshop in Scotland? It’s very funny.

    • Yes, I recall your post. We went to a concert at the Victoria Hall while we were in Settle. A band we’d never heard of but the venue was packed with locals and we enjoyed the evening. It’s a nice little venue

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