Selby is a small market town in North Yorkshire. It lies in the Vale of York and is just 9 miles from York, 20 miles from Hull and 23 miles from Leeds. The town has a long and interesting history and was once a Viking settlement; many Viking remains have been discovered during archaeological excavations. There is even a connection to royalty – the history books suggest that King Henry I was born there.
Selby has good transport links and was once a busy port. The town is dissected by the River Ouse and is linked to the Selby Canal, which for many years generated a lot of trade. Selby, like many other towns in Yorkshire, was for several decades dominated by the mining industry. However, although the mining industry has disappeared and local pits have long since closed, the town has not fallen into decline. Instead it has expanded and many areas have been revitalised, particularly along the waterfront. Today Selby is an attractive place with a busy town centre and plenty of local attractions, which make it well worth a visit.
Things to See and Do
Selby has lots to offer visitors. There are many historical sites in the town, including a Cholera burial ground next to the Abbey and the 14th century Market Place. Selby Abbey was founded in 1069. It was closed by Henry VIII in the 1500s, but in 1618, the parts that remained were turned into a parish church. The modern Abbey is one of the largest churches in England and is a popular tourist attraction.
Monday in Selby is market day. The regular Monday market offers a varied selection of goods, but on Bank Holidays, larger numbers of traders come to the town and the marketplace is teeming with people in search of a bargain. Selby has a large number of pubs and eateries, ranging from traditional venues to upmarket bistros. The town centre also has a good selection of shops and boutiques, as well as an out of town retail park just next to the by-pass.
Places to Visit
Selby Leisure Centre was destroyed by a serious fire back in 2012, but it has now reopened and the new facilities include a state of the art gym and two swimming pools. Across the road from the leisure centre, there is a children’s park and play area. There is another park with play equipment to be found on the other side of the town centre, directly adjacent to the bus station. Families with children may also enjoy a trip to the bowling alley, which is located at Three Lakes Retail Park, just off the by-pass.
York Designer Outlet is approximately 9 miles away, straight up the A19. York itself is very close; Leeds and Hull are also very accessible thanks to Selby’s close proximity to the M62. There are plenty of opportunities for a relaxing walk in and around Selby. Skipwith Common Nature Reserve is only a short drive from the town centre. Here you can see rare breeds of sheep, Exmoor ponies, and if you are lucky, roe deer. Brayton Barff, just south of Selby, is another attractive beauty spot popular with local dog walkers and families.