A beautiful cathedral city with a rich history stretching back over 1300 years, set around a large market square that fills with stalls every Thursday. The smallest city in Yorkshire is right on the edge of the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty so magnificent countryside is never far away when you visit Ripon, and landscaped wonders can be found nearby at the World Heritage Site of Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Gardens.
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What’s Best about Ripon?
History is everywhere you look in and around the city. From the gothic 7th Century Cathedral with this Saxon crypt, to the trio of museums which explore the theme of law and order over past centuries, the history of yorkshire is woven into it's streets alongside eclectic shops, cafés and galleries.
Around the town are some dramatic sites from many key points in English history, from an Abbey dissolved by Henry VIII to stately homes both 18th Century and medieval in their origin which retain much of their original grandeur.
Ripon's wealth in historical attractions makes it the idea base for exploring with something different in every direction and you'll find the same perfect range in Ripon accommodation from grand hotels to quite farmhouse holiday cottages and everything in between.
The stunning interior of the Cathedral inspired many of the characters that appeared in Lewis Carroll's Wonderland works, the author having spent hours looking at the carvings within the Cathedral while visiting his father, who was canon of the cathedral in the 1850s.
The Hornblower is a tradition that dates back over a thousand years, and from the role of Wakeman of the city which is similar to a mayor. Every night at 9pm, without fail, the Hornblower sounds the horn at each corner of the obelisk in the market square to set the night watch, visitors are welcome to join current holder of the post, George Pickles, and learn more about the history of the role.
Hidden Gems …
The Spa Gardens are a beautiful park with a selection of wood carvings featuring the characters from Lewis Carol’s Alice in Wonderland as well as delightfully well-kept flower beds.
Nearby the Ripon Walled Garden is a community garden which has become a real treasure, now including a café and a garden shop the gardens also provide inspiration for how you can turn over some space at home to growing your delicious produce.
The Ripon Canal was the northern most tip of Britain’s Canal Network during the industrial revolution, and has been lovingly restored. The peaceful waters stretch from close to the city centre out to the River Ure to walk alongside or even enjoy a pleasant cruise out to Newby Hall.
This busy little city boasts a varied and impressive events calendar with some big events you might expect, and few you won’t. The Ripon International Festival in September show cases artistic excellence from across the cultural world.
The Racecourse has a lively horse racing calendar throughout the season and St Wilfred’s Procession sees a carnival atmosphere take to the streets comprising a range of floats travelling the streets with music and dancing providing fun for both young and old.
In June the annual March of the Tractors signals Tractor Fest, the biggest tractor festival in the North, featuring vintage tractors, cars, lorries, stationary engines and motorcycles as well as fun and games for all the family.
Ripon is just a few miles from the A1. Junction 48 Northbound, Junction 49 Southbound and is connected to Harrogate by the A61.
City Centre Car Parks:
There is also a regular bus service from Harrogate and Leeds – the Number 36 runs every 15 minutes through the day.