Poignant photos show tourist magnet Knaresborough completely deserted

A warm spring day would normally see visitors pile into Knaresborough.

Friday, 27th March 2020, 5:31 pm
Updated Friday, 27th March 2020, 5:32 pm
Knaresborough's waterfront was empty on Friday

But today the town was eerily deserted as lockdown restictions were enforced.

Cafes, shops and pubs have been closed for most of the week and visitor attractions including Mother Shipton's Cave and Knaresborough Castle are now also shut.

The rowing boats available for hire on the River Nidd lay empty at their berths when Yorkshire Post photographer James Hardisty visited the waterfront today.

Empty rowing boats on the Nidd after the hire centre closed

Knaresborough is one of many popular tourist spots in Yorkshire that has fallen silent to prevent the spread of coronavirus - but even those business owners faced with the loss of their livelihoods as the summer season begins welcome the restrictions.

Residents of West Burton in Wensleydale have erected signs begging visitors to stay away from the village to protect its elderly population, while guesthouses, hotels and campsites in the Dales have voluntarily closed and are refusing bookings.

The Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors National Park authorities have both closed car parks, toilets and visitor centres to deter people from travelling to the countryside for exercise. National Trust, English Heritage and Forestry England sites are all closed.

Police are advising against non-essentrial travel and there are roadblocks in place in towns such as Catterick and Leyburn.

Mother Shipton's Cave is closed for the forseeable future
Ducks beside rowing boats that can no longer be hired
Marigold is one of several riverside cafes to have shut
Knaresborough looked beautiful in the spring sunshine - yet the town is in lockdown
The main car park was deserted