Stepping away from the fringes of Leeds and into the North Yorkshire countryside, Wetherby is the perfect getaway from city life.
Basking along the banks of Yorkshire’s famous River Wharfe, the small market town of Wetherby makes a big impression for those who can make the easy trip from North Leeds, with panoramic country views and beautiful historic architecture greeting visitors old and new.
A healthy choice of hospitality and excellent independent shops has always attracted tourism, but the local area has also tempted those looking to relocate to the sophisticated rural setting within easy reach of Leeds, Harrogate, and York. Emerging riverside apartments and renovated terraced cottages have helped the steady rise in house prices, with Rightmove reporting an overall average of £416,718 in 2021.
With meticulously well-kept parks and flower beds, Wetherby’s status as an award-winning floral town is well-deserved, and visitors will be charmed as they explore the town’s streets lined with hanging baskets, seasonal flowers, and evergreens. Anyone visiting on a Sunday this summer should be quick to grab a seat by the town’s bandstand, built by volunteers in 2000. With brass bands entertaining large crowds throughout the whole afternoon, it’s the perfect excuse to relax by the River Wharf and catch some free live entertainment.
Numerous walks into the idyllic North Yorkshire countryside bordering Wetherby also begin here, with routes starting under the historic Wetherby Bridge and passing the small Georgian Bath House along the riverbank. With a royal charter dating back to 1240, Wetherby has famously honoured its market tradition by combining personal services with reasonable prices. The weekly farmers market, held every Thursday, sells the best of the town’s own local produce, while the artisan market, held every second Sunday of the month, gives local traders the chance to showcase their handmade arts and crafts to the community.
Even if they miss out on market day, shoppers can still enjoy browsing Wetherby’s long list of family-run businesses snuggled within the town’s cobbled snickets and ginnels, and a trip to the famous Wetherby Whaler is always on the cards, now expanded to provide a fully licensed dine-in experience while serving its signature award- winning haddock.
More recently, after making its Nordic mark in Harrogate, Bakeri Baltzersen opened a Wetherby base to provide its traditional bakes sourced from Yorkshire ingredients served with a laid-back touch of Scandinavian hospitality, while ice cream shop Sprinkles is also enjoying a sweet success for families.
Residing as the halfway house between Edinburgh and London, Wetherby is also famous for its legendary pub scene, which in much older times served weary travellers passing through by horse and cart. Bar standouts today include Saint Angelo’s popular tribute show nights and the long-awaited re-opening of Bar Three, now re-furbished and offering the latest on-trend craft beers and cocktails.
By keeping its homely traditions and independent businesses alive, Wetherby continues to capture the best of both worlds, and is well worth the visit this summer.