FOR day trippers and strollers it offers a tranquil retreat.

You could say there are two sides to Otley - the Chevin boasting the aptly named ‘Surprise View’ where visitors can savour the breathtaking panoramic scenery which beckons many walkers to stroll forth and explore.

Otley is the perfect outdoors destination for walkers and cyclists too. Two-wheeled fans are encouraged to get on their bikes around the birthplace of Olympic cyclist, Lizzie Deignan, nee Armistead, and re-trace the tracks of the famous Tour de Yorkshire.

Fans of the prestigious race can take in the sights when it comes to the region from May 3 to 6.

Stage 2 of the race - the 149km route from Barnsley to Ilkley - will pass through Otley and Ilkley on Friday, May 4.

Nestled in the shadow of Otley’s landmark Chevin lies the quirky and cobbled streets strolled by the many visitors who come to this historic market town.

Refreshingly, Otley boasts a range of independent shops and the market stalls pitch up weekly on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays close to the landmark Jubilee Clock, built in 1887 to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria’s reign.

The market is integral to Otley’s history. Its current market place dates back to around 1800 and, as well as the clock, it is also home to the Buttercross, a covered area for farm produce and used for occasional charity events.

It is understood cattle markets began here in 1222 and, according to history, in 1644 the market square hosted Oliver Cromwell’s Parliamentarian army on the eve of the Battle of Marston Moor.

Incidentally our recent visit to the town was prompted by the popular car boot sale held on Sundays from noon in the Wharfedale Farmers Auction Mart in Leeds Road.

Those seeking to bag a bargain will delight in the wide ranging stalls filling this expansive site and offering an extensive range of goods too.

From fashion to confectionary, plants and tools and everything in between, customers were leaving with bags brimming with all sorts of gifts and gadgets.

For those who may not have had the pleasure of visiting Otley, the town’s profile has certainly increased over the years and that is possibly through its association with filming and TV.

Otley Courthouse, an arts and resource centre, was apparently used as the fictional Ashfordly Police Station in the TV police drama Heartbeat set in North Yorkshire.

Si King and Dave Myers visited The Black Bull in Market Square for the BBC 2 TV series The Hairy Bikers the Pubs That Built Britain.

The pair also appeared with chocolatier, Trevor Backhouse, whose mouth-watering creations can be found in the windows of Patisserie Viennoise in Westgate.

And fans of the popular Yorkshire soap, Emmerdale, will already know that Otley is better known as the fictional market town of Hotten where filming regularly takes place.

This year Otley is hosting a series of special events in June to commemorate the 300th anniversary of the birth of its most famous son.

Thomas Chippendale was born in the town in 1718 and is understood to have been christened in All Saints Church, Otley.

The place where he grew up is believed to be a former cottage on the corner of Boroughgate and Wesley Street.

Among the many events, taking place here as part of the Chippendale 300 celebrations throughout the county, are ‘Junk or Jewel’ - What’s in YOUR attic - inviting heirlooms for free valuation by Hartley’s Auctioneers and Valuers, of Ilkley. The event takes place at All Saints Church at 7.30pm on June 14.

‘Old Meets new’ demonstrates the creation of Chippendale furniture on a 3D printer and runs from 2pm until 4pm on June 23 at Otley Courthouse, Courthouse Street.

There will be lectures and talks and visitors can also join The Chippendale Trail on a walking tour of Chippendale locations strolling through his early life to buildings he would have known.

Renowned as the first interior designer, Chippendale’s creations can be found in many stately homes around Yorkshire including Temple Newsam, home to the Chippendale Society Collection.

To find out more