OS grid reference:-SE 011 533
The attractive stone built village of Embsay is situated around 2 miles (3 km) to the north-east of the market town of Skipton and lies just outside the boundaries of the Yorkshire Dales National Park.
The village has some amenities including a combined newsagents and post office, a hairdresser and an arts and crafts store. There is also a lively Village Hall on the main street which regularly hosts pantomimes, tombolas, jumble sales and indoor bowls. The Manor House, a characterful grade II listed building, dates back to around 1635.
The village has two public houses, the Elm Tree Inn and the Cavendish Arms, both of which serve meals. The Elm Tree Inn and Elm Tree Square take their names from a tree which stood there for many years. It was replaced in the late twentieth century due to Dutch elm disease.
Embsay railway station was built in 1888 by Midland Railway, and now serves as the terminus of the heritage Embsay and Bolton Abbey Steam Railway. In recent years it has been used as the station for the fictional town of Hotton in the ITV series Emmerdale. Most trains are hauled by magnificiently restored steam tank engines, the oldest one of which dates back to 1908. The Steam Railway is run by the volunteers of the Yorkshire Dales Railway Museum Trust.
The steam train journey passes through picturesque Dales scenery. Bolton Abbey station is the ideal stopping off point for a pleasant one and a half mile walk to the ruins of the twelfth Century priory. Many special events are held each year including visits from Thomas the Tank Engine on the Easter, Spring Bank and August Bank Holiday and Santa at Christmas. A very popular 1940s weekend is also held in September. Refreshments are available in the tearooms. Most services also include a Buffet Car serving a wide variety of local bottled ales, hot drinks and much more.
At the foot of Embsay Crag, a rock formation north of the village, lies Embsay Reservoir. The crag marks the start of Barden Moor, an expanse of open heather moorland which forms a distinctive block of land between Wharfedale and Airedale. The moor is open access land and is a popular location with walkers.
Although the ascent of Embsay Crag is steep, the views from the summit are extensive. There are two reservoirs on the moor: Upper Barden Reservoir and Lower Barden Reservoir. The smaller reservoir is the headquarters of Craven Sailing Club.