Grassington is the main residential and tourist centre in Upper Wharfedale. It is centred around a cobbled square, and once had the status of a market town, with a market continuing until about 1860. It grew important owing to lead mining on the moors above the town, and once a railway was built to nearby Threshfield, it opened up the area to visitors. Now there are shops, hotels and cafés, catering for tourists and walkers. It's usually very busy and maddeningly (for a photographer!) full of cars. It holds a number of themed events and festivals during the year, including a Dickensian Christmas Festival, which pulls in the crowds.