In this season of Advent, prepare for the festivities ahead with a visit to a Christmas market in a picturesque north Yorkshire market town, writes Lucy Oliver.
Lying in the gorge of the river Nidd, Knaresborough's charmingly cobbled streets were once home to a thriving textile industry. On 5 and 6 December they will welcome visitors to an Edwardian-themed market offering fresh local fare – from bread to game pies – along with stalls selling seasonal gifts and crafts.
Away from the market, take a walk to St Robert’s Cave on the outskirts of town where pilgrims once flocked to seek counsel and healing. Today the home of this medieval hermit, who died in 1218, is a place of peace found carved into a limestone cliff, set apart from the hustle and bustle of the town.
A short distance away in neighbouring Harrogate, meanwhile, the Royal Pump Room is hosting an exhibition entitled ‘Wonderful Women’, featuring costumes worn by actresses portraying some of the nation's most celebrated females from the past five centuries – including one of Cate Blanchett's dresses from the film Elizabeth, Renee Zellweger’s costume as Beatrix Potter in Miss Potter and Nicole Kidman's dress and overcoat when playing Virginia Woolf in The Hours. For more information, call 01423 556188.