26 May | 10:27 AM

A World Class Welcome: Wetherby

A World Class Welcome: Wetherby

Equidistant from London and Edinburgh, this floral town nestled on the bank of the River Wharfe has long been a staging post for countless travellers. Fast forward to present day and Wetherby has fully established itself as a thriving market town; and an award-winning one at that - still hosting its Thursday Market that was first granted by the Royal Charter way back in 1240. 

Once a town that offered respite, Wetherby has evolved into a place that could command visitors to stay for longer periods of time and experience its offerings very easily. Not only is it the perfect base to head out and explore tourist hot spots such as Leeds, York and Harrogate, but it also has many of its own treasures to discover including panoramic scenery and historic architecture.

With a host of historic buildings all around the town, there is a historical trail that allows visitors to truly delve into Wetherby's fascinating past. It's easy to follow with trail leaflets available in local shops and the library; and all buildings marked by blue plaques along the route.

Talking Wetherby's fascinating past, it was near to the town where 'The King of Hollywood', Clark Gable was stationed during the Second World War. Gable, known for his starring role in films such as Gone With the Wind, It Happened One Night and Mutiny on the Bounty, was a Captain with the USAAF ground staff at RAF Marston Moor.

Modern day Wetherby still plays host to quite a few star attractions and one of the most famous is the refurbished cinema.

Originally 'Raby Picture House', the cinema was opened in April 1915 to entertain troops billeted in Wetherby and named after the Town's Perpetual Curate. Nowadays, visitors can still visit and see the latest releases whilst being engulfed by the history within the walls of this historic building.

Wetherby is also home to a place where magic is made and adventures begin, Stockeld Park. Tucked away in serene woodlands, the park, known for its magnificent adventures really comes alive offering amazing experiences for every visitor.

One cannot mention, or even visit Wetherby, without taking alook at the racecourse. The north bank of the River Wharfe has long been a place where horses have raced and it is here that the story of the famed Wetherby racecourse begins. 

It is said that the area was a key spot for Romans racing their Arab horses and just a few miles, and a few hundred years away, Viking settlers used to stable and train their horses; with yet more horse racing taking place in the 17th century at nearby Clifford and Bramham Moor.

This year will see racing of a different kind, as para athletes from around the world descend on the town as part of the Yorkshire 2019 Para-Cycling International.

The Yorkshire 2019 Para-Cycling International has three start locations and takes place on a point-to-point route between Beverley and Harrogate on Saturday 21st September 2019.

The Wetherby start will play host to two distances. C1-3 Women, H1-2 Men and H1-4 Women will all take in 41.2km, with T1-2 Men and T1-2 Women taking in 28km.  

3 months ago
Written by Danny Roberts

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