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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 now housing the Tourist Information Centre and the row of shops known as the Shambles. Pride of place is The Folly - a splendid seventeenth century yeoman's house behind the market place which is now The Museum of North Craven Life.
Settle is a working town with a 'Settle Market' and a good range of independent shops, the Visit Settle website features most of them. There are many places to eat and drink. The most well-known café is Ye Olde Naked Man with its carved figure over the door (not actually naked!). Walkers and tourers can order delicious picnics made up in their inhouse bakery. Cyclists like the Settle Down Café as there is lots of bike-parking outside and its full-English breakfast is popular. Tucked away down an alleyway but worth hunting out is Poppies Tea Room, with its extensive gluten-free menu. There are also some popular takeaways including The Fisherman Fish & Chip Shop.
If you fancy a pint, The Talbot Arms is a bit hidden away but worth finding for its cosy, dog-friendly atmosphere and changing selection of real ales. The Lion at Settle offers good food in a relaxing atmosphere as does The Royal Oak. Go to the Visit Settle website for a full list of places to eat and drink in the town.
The great archways of the Settle-Carlisle Railway, Midland Railway's main line to Scotland, dominate the lower part of the town behind Victoria Hall. Most visitors will want to enjoy a trip travelling across the famous Ribblehead Viaduct. Visit the Settle Carlisle Partnership website for timetables.
The entire line is now a linear Conservation Area, but this is also a working railway. The heavy coal trains for power stations use the line as do the diesel rail cars which provide both a lifeline to isolated Dales communities and a superb visitor experience. The ultimate trip is a ride to Carlisle on a steam train. Several companies offer this experience such as Statesman Rail who operate a weekly service with The Fellsman during the summer months. For a full list of steam charters on the line visit the UKsteam website.
The best way for you to visit Settle is by train with regular services from Leeds and Carlisle. There is also a regular bus service from Skipton to Settle and on to Kirkby Lonsdale. Visitors by car will find parking at three main town centre car parks plus the market square on non-market days. Public toilets are available at Whitefriars car park (BD24 9JD) with a Radar key accessible toilet.
Magnificent walks can be enjoyed from all the stations on the line. Many of the finest are to the Three Peaks of Pen-y-ghent, Ingleborough and Whernside.
The popular Ribble Way footpath runs through Settle, as does the Pennine Bridleway. Quiet networks of lanes in the nearby Wenning and Ribble valleys between Settle and Ingleton also offer exceptional opportunities for cycling away from heavy traffic.