Town life Wharfe where it tumbles over a weir, once the site of a water mill. Leaping salmon are depicted in a lovely sculpture here. Wetherby Racecourse, regarded by many as the finest jump course in the north, is on the edge of town and there’s also bijou picture house, Wetherby Film Theatre. To the west the River Wharfe cuts deep into the landscape providing dramatic views. Not far away is Bramham Park, venue for the famous horse trials and Leeds Festival. Another nearby gem is the village of Spofforth, which unlike Wetherby, retains its castle. It was reputedly on this site that the rebel barons drew up Magna Carta in 1215 to thwart the ambitions of King John. Jo Forster opened her beautifully presented Wetherby flower shop, The Rainflorist, in early 2019. Since then she has gone from strength to strength, supplying a healthy passing trade along with the wedding market. She is a big fan of the town. door. The Little Indian takeaway is also good and for coffee we head to Pomfret’s. Time out It might not be trendy, but we love Touchwood on the High Street, a traditional local hardware store. You can get anything! For clothes Olivia Grace is good for ladies’ clothing and to relax we head for The Lazy Bird on Bank Street. They have a great rooftop terrace and serve cocktails, craft beers and food from their pop-up deli next USP Wetherby has lots of independent shops and there are very few chains in town. That makes a big difference, plus there’s plenty of free parking. Locals really do take pride in their town and the annual flower displays are breathtaking. RETAIL THERAPY Wetherby is packed with independent shops. People clearly support their local businesses. Thursday is market day and is a great place to pick up a bargain. Tarbett’s is an excellent fishmonger with eye-catching displays, whilst the Market Place Deli is superb, with a great selection of home-made savouries, cakes and salads. The Artisan Cheese Company is also a must. In addition, there is a discretely located Morrisons supermarket and a Marks and Spencer Food Hall. For the home, check out Richard Grafton Interiors and Furnish and Fettle. If jewellery and relics of bygone times are your thing try Stafford Hall Antiques near the Town Hall. The Wetherby area is big horse riding country and Fox Saddlers on Northgates has been offering equine essentials for 100 years. CAFE AND COCKTAILS Mango on Bank Street is a familyrun Indian vegetarian restaurant with a growing reputation, whilst the town is home to the Wetherby Whaler chip shop chain with a shop in the centre. Nearby Bar 3 offers pub dishes and cocktails in a convivial setting, with outdoor seating, and for Italian try San Angelo. Further afield the Scots Arms in Sicklinghall is a lovely old-world pub with great food, whilst the town centre also offers plenty of choice for a tipple. Try the Swan and Talbot, an old coaching inn first licensed in 1678, the Black Bull or the New Inn. For coffee and cakes, Pomfret’s on the Shambles is highly regarded and for lovely riverside views try the Cottage Coffee Shop. LOOK OUT FOR Wetherby is home to an excellent arts festival, generally held in October, which has featured the Leeds Symphony Orchestra, literary and comic luminaries, walks and talks and even a festival fringe. N Yorkshire Life: October 2020 63
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