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        Embsay is a village with its own history, as shown by the attractive village square which was until recently home to a magnificent elm tree which gave its name to the local inn, and by the old textile mill with its mill pond which is now being converted to modern housing.

The village’s major visitor attraction is the Embsay & Bolton Abbey Steam Railway (website opens in new window)., a surviving four mile section of the former Ilkley-Skipton line, which was closed in 1965. Today this section extends to close to Bolton Abbey (website opens in new window) with its magnificently restored railway station and there are hopes that in future years the line will connect back to Skipton and perhaps even onto the currently freight-only Swinden quarry branch.

Steam-hauled trains operate on most weekends and during main holiday periods between Embsay and Bolton Abbey, from where it is about a one mile walk along pleasant footpaths into the village and Bolton Priory. Holywell Halt is the one intermediate stop. There are refreshment rooms at both main stations, along with a museum and excellent transport bookshop at Embsay.

Embsay is a perfect starting point for some fine walks onto the Barden Moor Access Area – past Embsay Reservoir to Embsay Crag, Crookrise, over to Rylstone or Cracoe, or over Hutchen Gill Head to Halton Height and Bolton Abbey, from where you can return by train. Or you can do this walk in reverse taking the train to Bolton Abbey and walking back over the Halton Heights and the “White Doe” bridleway into Rylstone. Please note that parking is limited in Embsay village.

Public Transport Links:

  • Bus: 214 on Mondays to Saturdays from Skipton
  • Buses 784 and 884 on Sundays from Skipton and Ilkley
  • Train: Embsay & Bolton Abbey Steam Railway

Bus times can be checked at the Transport Direct and Dalesbus websites (links open in new windows).

Local services: Toilets, shops, cafes, pubs, accommodation

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