Skipton and Ripon is one of the largest constituencies in Britain. Covering some 900 square miles it stretches across the Pennine dales of North Yorkshire and embraces a large part of the Dales National Park.
On its eastern boundary lies Ripon, one of the most ancient cities in England with its racecourse, its cathedral founded by that determined 7th century apostle of the Roman cause against Celtic influences St Wilfrid, and the Cictercian ruins of Fountains Abbey set in the 18th century water gardens of Studley Royal.
Skipton, once a mill town but now the springboard for tourism into the Dales and a lively market town, is in the south near the Bradford Met boundary. Its ancient symbol is the castle: the modern one the headquarters building of the Skipton Building Society.
To the west the constituency stretches to the Ribblehead Viaduct leading into Cumbria and to the towns of Bentham and Ingleton.
The Dales boast celebrated centres of natural beauty like Malham with its cove and tarn, the ancient market towns of Grassington, Pateley Bridge, Masham and Settle and literally hundreds of villages nestling in the valleys beneath the sweeping landscape of moor and fell.
Bolton Abbey, noted for its abbey ruins set on the valley of the Wharfe and its shooting moors is in the heart of the constituency. Tourism and agriculture – together with service industries like care for the elderly form the economic backbone of the area, together with small manufacturing centres in Skipton, Ripon, Pateley Bridge, and Bentham.
The Skipton and Ripon Constituency includes the following local council wards:
CRAVEN DISTRICT COUNCIL WARDS – Aire Valley with Lothersdale, Barden Fell, Bentham, Cowling, Embsay-with-Eastby, Gargrave and Malhamdale, Glusburn, Grassington, Hellifield and Long Preston, Ingleton and Clapham, Penyghent, Settle and Ribblebanks, Skipton East, Skipton North, Skipton South, Skipton West, Sutton-in-Craven, Upper Wharfedale, West Craven.
HARROGATE BOROUGH COUNCIL WARDS – Ripon Minster, Ripon Moorside, Ripon Spa, Bishop Monkton, Kirkby Malzeard, Lower Nidderdale, Mashamshire, Newby, Nidd Valley, Pateley Bridge, Washburn, Wathvale