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Town

Ripon

Ripon City was founded over 1300 years ago. It boasts a wealth of cultural heritage including a magnificent seventh century Cathedral, quaint medieval streets filled with fascinating shops and cafés and a fine Georgian market place. There are three unusual museums all on the theme of law and order; The Courthouse, Ripon Workhouse and the Prison and Police Museum. Then there is the canal basin and nature reserve and the friendly racecourse.

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Masham

Set in lovely rolling countryside, the small market town of Masham is built around a large square. It has held a market charter since 1250 and thrived due to the easy access of the flocks of sheep from nearby Fountains and Jervaulx Abbeys. There is still a sheep fair every September where huge numbers of sheep are bought and sold. The independent shops and cafés are set around a large cobbled square.

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Middleham

Famous for its twelfth century castle, the childhood home of Richard III, and its thriving racehorse training industry, Middleham is set in the beautiful countryside where Coverdale and Wensleydale meet. The town is elegantly arranged around two market squares surrounded by Georgian buildings, interesting shops, galleries and cafés. The training of racehorses has been carried out here for over 200 years and there are still several hundred horses stabled here.

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Pateley Bridge

Pateley Bridge lies at the mouth of Nidderdale, designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in 1994. The town's long, narrow main street has everything you might need and more from cosy tea shops, banks, a post office and a great range of independently-run shops.

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Skipton

Skipton, the southern gateway to the Dales grew wealthy as a trading centre for sheep and wool. A small and friendly town with nostalgic cobbled side streets, it began life when the owners of Skipton Castle acquired a market charter in 1204 and never looked back.The town still keeps its essentially medieval layout dominated by the magnificent castle, parish church, and traditional high street market place with radiating alleys and covered passages.

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Richmond

Richmond sits just outside the Yorkshire Dales National Park and is one of the most dramatically-beautiful, architecturally-rich towns in the north of England. Dominated by Richmond Castle - a great Norman castle which occupies a commanding position on a cliff high above the River Swale. The old town huddles around the castle and its imposing walls. Behind this the town's cobbled market place leads into the remarkable Georgian part of town.

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Leyburn

This fine market town is just outside the Yorkshire Dales National Park, but makes an excellent base for exploring the eastern Dales. The town itself, pleasantly situated on a low ridge above the River Ure, offers a good choice of local shops, restaurants, cafés, and even a cinema. There are also banks, a post office as well as its celebrated Friday market. The town hosts a superb annual Dales Festival of Food & Drink in June.

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Settle

Under the imposing limestone Attermire Scar limestone escarpment with the crag of Castleberg hovering above the town, Settle enjoys a splendid setting at the edge of some of England's most dramatic limestone country. The town is full of fascinating buildings and a labyrinth of narrow alleys and courtyards. Most buildings date from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, including the French-style town hall.

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Hawes

Hawes is the market town of Upper Wensleydale. It once enjoyed an important position on the eighteenth century Lancaster-Richmond Turnpike road, a memento of which is a coachman's bell high on the wall of one of the town's inns. Modern traffic has replaced the coach-and-four and packhorse trains that once clip-clopped along its narrow streets. Market day (Tuesdays) in Hawes is as busy as ever.

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Sedbergh

The town, famous for its independent school and for being one of Britain's leading 'Book Towns', enjoys an enviable position under the massive backdrop of the Howgill Fells, a magnificent area of rolling hills and open common land which is a walker's paradise. The stone-built market town of Sedbergh (pronounced 'Sed-ber') has a twelfth century Norman church to explore, as well as Castlehaw, the site of an early motte and bailey castle.

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