THE weather has been far from kind as Craven entered the festive season this week.

Skipton's Santa Fun Run at the weekend was a soggy affair and the turning on of Settle's Christmas lights, also at the weekend, was similarly wet and windy.

Organisers of Skipton's Christmas lights ceremony must have counted their blessings that theirs took place earlier in the week, in more clement conditions, and inside the warm and dry of Craven Court.

But despite the weather, a record number of runners, of all ages, and abilities, and including whole families, turned out in greater numbers than ever to race though a wet and windy Skipton to take part in Sunday's Santa Fun Run. And it wasn't just the runners – all those from Skipton Craven Rotary as well, who manned the course, and a team from Skipton Town Council, just to make sure the event went as smoothly as possible.

Meanwhile, over in Settle, organisers of the town's Christmas lights switch-on experienced some of the worst weather anyone could have imagined. But despite it all, it was incredibly well attended by a large and enthusiastic crowd, who turned up to show their support and gratitude for all the hard work put in by a band of volunteers and to the schoolchildren, college students, music groups and dancers, who formed the entertainment.

This weekend sees the start of Skipton Christmas Market and the Dickensian Festival in Grassington. Skipton's festival runs for two Sundays, while Grassington's will be drawing the crowds for three Saturdays. Barnoldswick will be holding its own Santa Fun Run on Sunday to raise money for the cancer charity, Bosom Friends.

Organisers of all events will no doubt have an eye on the weather forecast and be hoping for a quiet – weather-wise – weekend. But, as Craven people have so far shown, even in the worst of weather, they are entering the Christmas spirit with great gusto.