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This article is about the English town of Leyburn. For the Australian town, see Leyburn, Queensland

Coordinates: 54°18′32″N 1°49′44″W / 54.309°N 1.829°W / 54.309; -1.829

Leyburn Market Square
Leyburn is located in North Yorkshire
 Leyburn shown within North Yorkshire
Population 1,844 (2001)
OS grid reference SE114904
Civil parish Leyburn
District Richmondshire
Shire county North Yorkshire
Region Yorkshire and the Humber
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town LEYBURN
Postcode district DL8
Dialling code 01969
Police North Yorkshire
Fire North Yorkshire
Ambulance Yorkshire
EU Parliament Yorkshire and the Humber
UK Parliament Richmond
List of places

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 in 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, organised walks of 12 miles (19 km) and 22 miles (35 km).

Town information and business[edit]

Leyburn had a population of 1,844 at the 2001 census,[1] but this swells in summer with visitors to the Yorkshire Dales national park. Public services, with a primary school, a 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. Shops include Tennant's auction house, a small department store called Milners of Leyburn, Campbell's supermarket, a chocolate shop, a range of oriental takeaways, electrical stores and a hunting and sports shop.

Annually there is a Dales Festival of Food and Drink, held over May Day bank holiday weekend, and a Wensleydale agricultural show at the end of each August; the 99th was held on 24 August 2013.[2]

Although a small town, Leyburn has its own 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 appeared in various television programmes including The Department Store: Milner's, on BBC Four in 2008, and the 1960s-set drama series, Heartbeat.

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.

Leyburn Golf Club (now defunct) was founded in 1895. The club continued until the late 1950s.[3]


The town's secondary school, the Wensleydale School, has just over 500 pupils. It serves the whole of Wensleydale which includes the towns and villages between Leyburn and Hawes. The school 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. In 2006 the School became a Specialist Science College under a programme discontinued in 2010.[4] 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. There was a St Peter and St Paul Roman Catholic Primary School, now closed.[5]

Notable people[edit]

Leyburn is the home town of footballer Michael Dawson and his elder brother, Andy.[6]


  1. ^ "Parish Headcounts: Richmondshire". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 8 February 2012. 
  2. ^ Show, Wensleydale. "The 2013 Show". Wensleydale Agricultural Society. Retrieved 24 May 2013. 
  3. ^ “Leyburn Golf Club”, “Golf’s Missing Links”.
  4. ^ "The Wensleydale School and Sixth Form". The Wensleydale School. Retrieved 8 February 2012. 
  5. ^ "St Peter and St Paul Roman Catholic Primary School, Leyburn". Inspection Reports. Ofsted. Retrieved 8 February 2012. 
  6. ^ "Home Team Is Feeling Happy". The Northern Echo. 22 November 2002. Retrieved 8 February 2012.