One of the most beautiful & remarkable historic buildings in the Dales is Settle Folly, a Grade 1 listed building built in 1679. In past years it's been a bakery, warehouse, furniture shop, bank, salvage business and even a fish and chip shop. It's now a "House of Mystery", home to the Museum of North Craven Life, Artisans Gallery, and the Settle Coffee House. The beautiful Main Hall will soon be home to a new Heritage Discovery Centre, telling the story of Settle, and enhanced by town trails.
Around the Market Place there are numerous Grade I and II listed buildings. Look out too for Victoria Hall, the well-loved busy performance space.
Settle Stories gather people together to demonstrate the transformative power of storytelling. They run the Settle Stories Storytelling Festival each spring, and are also keepers of the W.R. Mitchell Archive, the legacy of legendary Dalesman Bill Mitchell. Settle was recently re-born as the fictional Bruncliffe in the new Dales Detective series.
Settle is the starting point for many adventures, whether caving with Yorkshire Dales Guides, running and cycling with Run Bike Fun or taking a trip on the world famous Settle-Carlisle Railway. It's a great place to stay to make the most of Ride2stride Festival - a programme of walks, talks and music around the varied landscape of the Settle-Carlisle railway line.
Additionally, Settle makes a good base at the end of the first day on the Way of the Roses coast to coast cycle route between Morecambe and Bridlington, and of course for tackling Yorkshire's famous Three Peaks.
There are many wonderful independent shops, cafes and pubs. Settle is home to the cafe Ye Olde Naked Man Café, which is now one of England's most photographed cafes.
It's got some quirky events too - have you been to the Settle Flowerpot Festival? At the beginning of July decorated flower pots start to pop up all over Settle. No-one knows where, exactly when or even what the many participating businesses and residents will create, apart from the fact that they'll all be made out of flower pots. Visitors are able to pick up Flower Pot Trail sheets for £2 from local businesses, each with around 50 varied educational and entertaining questions aimed at all ages, relating to the flower pot creations.
Settle has a wealth of creative spaces - small galleries such as Studio Vault and Gavagan Art; Settle Glass Studio & Gallery; and the Lime Gallery too. The Gallery on the Green is one of the world's smallest galleries - in a former telephone kiosk!
Look out for plaques on buildings by the Market Place telling you about Elgar's stay there and another famous resident, Benjamin Waugh who founded the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.
A few minutes walk above the Market Place is Castleberg, a remarkable setting that has attracted visitors for centuries to walk, climb and enjoy the view. Castlebergh Plantation was part of the grounds of Town Head in Settle, owned by a succession of rich families. One owner was so well-off he built a walkway from the house under the High Road so he could enjoy the gardens in complete peace and privacy. Town Head was eventually demolished and the once beautiful grounds became neglected until the woodland was restored some years ago.
However, the years of neglect were good in one way though: they created a haven for wildlife. Nowadays anyone can enjoy parts of what was once Castlebergh Plantation, by following the Tot Lord Trail out of Settle market place up Constitution Hill (you'll see why it's so named once you've puffed up it!), through the woodland and to the top of Castleberg Rock, a limestone knoll with fine views over Settle and beyond.