Leyburn Market Square
Leyburn shown within North Yorkshire
|OS grid reference|
|Shire county||North Yorkshire|
|Region||Yorkshire and the Humber|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||Yorkshire and the Humber|
Leyburn is a market town and civil parish in the district of Richmondshire, North Yorkshire, England sitting above the northern bank of the River Ure in Wensleydale. Historically within the North Riding of Yorkshire, the name was derived from 'Ley' or 'Le' (clearing), and 'burn' (stream), meaning clearing by the stream. The town boasts two markets, several pubs, two banks with cash machines, and many small speciality stores. Market day is Friday. It is served by local buses that connect to Richmond, Hawes and Bedale. The local Rotary Club sponsors the annual Wensleydale Wander in March or April. The Wander is an organised walk with two options; a shorter walk of 12 miles (19 km) and a longer walk of 22 miles (35 km).
Leyburn had a population of 1,844 at the 2001 census, but this swells in summer due to its picturesque position in proximity to the Yorkshire Dales national park. It contains a range of public services, with a primary school, secondary school which serves the whole of Wensleydale, a police station and a medical centre. Several independently owned shops are situated around a market square with a number of pubs and bars. It is home to Tennant's auction house, a small department store called Milner's and others, including: Campbell's supermarket, a chocolate shop, a range of oriental takeaways, electrical stores, and a hunting and sports shop.
Although a small town, Leyburn is home to a railway station on the re-opened Wensleydale Railway which offers tourist rides throughout the dale, mostly on diesel multiple units but occasionally on a steam train. The town of Leyburn has a 6,000-square-foot (560 m2) antiques centre on Harmby Road. The town also has a local market in the town centre every Friday and a farmers' market which specialises in local meats once a month.
Leyburn has two hotels and several bed and breakfasts situated in or close to the town centre. The town is a centre for walking, cycling and general sight-seeing, especially the waterfalls for which Wensleydale is renowned. The town is famous for The Leyburn Shawl, an escarpment of about 1.5 miles in length which provides panoramic views of rolling Wensleydale. According to legend, Mary Queen of Scots, upon fleeing captivity in nearby Bolton Castle, dropped her shawl en route to Leyburn. The Shawl is the start of several circular walks taking in the nearby village of Wensley, from where Wensleydale takes its name.
The town's secondary school, the Wensleydale School, has just over 500 pupils studying there. It serves the whole of Wensleydale which includes the towns and villages between Leyburn and Hawes. The school also has a sixth form with around 80 students enrolled. Past students have gone on to study at some of the country's best universities, including Cambridge. Around 30 years ago the Wensleydale School boasted the longest corridor in England when some of the pupils had lessons at the old Yorebridge Grammar School in Askrigg. In recent years the Wensleydale School became a Specialist Science College. The town's primary school is Leyburn Community Primary School, from where a vast majority of the pupils proceed to the Wensleydale School for secondary education. St Peter and St Paul Roman Catholic Primary School has now closed.
Leyburn is the home town of Tottenham Hotspur and England footballer Michael Dawson and his elder brother Andy Dawson who plays for Hull City and has been a regular first team player throughout the Tigers' climb through the four English football league divisions.
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