Share your favourite view of Selby with us at Selby Stories.

Selby’s Favourite Views – a Selby Stories Project

What are Selby’s Favourite Views and what are the stories these views inspire and generate?

This Summer we engaged with residents on the streets of Selby aided by local actor and storyteller, Chris Cade. We identified and captured some iconic views, exchanged stories, created conversations, and shared the sense of pride people have in their own hometown.

Some of the images, thoughts and stories generated are documented as part of the Selby Stories project, which has already generated so many amazing local stories.

Some of our favourite views are below. We would love you to share your favourite views of Selby and your stories behind them with us on our social media channels.

You’ll find posts about Selby’s Favourite view on Facebook and Twitter

Selby Abbey – from different angles:

  • Jim and Freda, a senior couple from Needham Market, Suffolk, were on a three week stay in the area, and when approached said today was their ‘first ever visit to Selby’. They stood and looked through my ‘Selby’s Favourite Views’ open frame facing the West entrance of the Abbey and said: ‘What a view! A beautiful Abbey!
  • A 93-year-old lady pushing a shopping trolley, which also doubled as a seat, told me her age, but did not want to reveal her name. I asked her favourite view of Selby and she said, ‘I think there’s no choice, that’s it,’ she pointed towards the West end of the Abbey, ‘It has to be the Abbey. It’s on last year’s calendar, a woman with a shopper or was it a pram crossing the Market Place right here. This view.’

Bandstand – from outside looking in & inside looking out:

  • Sitting under the canopy with her back against one of the supports of the bandstand was a young woman who introduced herself as Cat Cocking, she spelled out her name for me, so I got it right, she said. She is an art student at Selby College. She was familiar with Lowry but hadn’t realised he had painted locally until I showed her a copy of his ‘Clifford’s Tower, York’ (1953). She explained her choice of location as her ‘favourite view of Selby’ inside the bandstand, looking out. She said ‘It’s a peaceful place to relax and read and draw. It’s becoming a regular spot for me’.
  • A senior couple, formerly from Knottingley, now living in Selby in retirement. Their favourite view of Selby is the bandstand in the park where ‘there was a jazz band playing and lots of people dancing, the other Sunday. Oh, and the flowers were all out. It was a picture!”

The Park & Market Cross:

  • I approached a young man in a wheelchair and his two young female carers/support workers pushing him along the path through the park. One said, ‘I wondered what the empty frame was for’. She stated, when asked, that her favourite view of Selby is, at this time of year, ‘the geraniums at the front of the park, the Abbey in the distance. It’s my focal point.’ The other said her favourite was ‘the Market Cross on a Monday when it’s all busy and bustling’.

Park & Crescent:

  • Two men in ‘hi-vis’ overalls working in the park, Les and Tony explained they worked for Urbaser Ltd on grounds maintenance. They told me that they’ve been working here since 1999. Tony said, ‘I’m proud of what we do. We try to make it look nice, with full borders of bedding plants, all red, white and blue for the Coronation.’ He showed me his favourite view of Selby on his mobile phone and explained where it was taken from: the old red telephone box on the Crescent on the edge of the park, looking up directly at the South side of the Abbey: ‘It’s all in 3D. You get the full size and depth from there.’ Les said his favourite view was the East end of the Abbey as he approached Selby from Barlby on his journey to work every morning, it was like a welcome, ‘over the top of the Toll Bridge.’
  • Grandparents, Geoff Pickering and Carol Liddle pushing their granddaughter on a swing said, ‘Selby Park is a lovely park, always well maintained and looked after and planted with lots of colour, the borders, the bedding plants.’ Their favourite places to visit are Wistow Road Park and Selby Park with their granddaughter, who lives in Flaxley Road, but their favourite view? ‘It’s got to be the Abbey, coming into town at the Leeds Road end into Gowthorpe with the Abbey coming into sight’.


  • Sarah Topping from Selby said her favourite view in Selby is down the main street, it is a block of shops on the main street (Gowthorpe): ‘Scope and Cancer Research charity shops. I love my dolls,’ she said, ‘but they’re hard to find. There are always teddies but never any dolls. I’ll keep looking!’

Selby’s Favourite View is part of Selby Stories, the cultural programme for the Selby High Street Heritage Action Zone. Running until late 2023, special events will celebrate the town, its history and what makes it unique. The HSHAZ is part of a government-funded initiative led by Historic England. It aims to breathe new life into local high streets, from regenerating historic buildings to engaging local communities through art and cultural projects. Selby is one of more than 60 high streets in the country to receive a share of funding from Historic England, along with funding from North Yorkshire Council.