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Things To Do Around Ripon

Ripon is perfectly placed for easy access to a wealth of attractions and experiences so we can guarantee there’s something to delight everyone!

This city’s rich cultural 1300 year history is a natural draw for many visitors keen to experience the serenity and beauty of Ripon Cathedral – its tiny chapel is the oldest surviving Anglo Saxon crypt in England – and its surrounding narrow atmospheric streets. 

The beautifully preserved and restored Yorkshire Law and Order Museums offer a unique insight into the workings of the Victorian court, prison and workhouse system – allowing a hands on and sobering experience of what life was like for the many families unlucky enough to be touched by it.

For those who like a flutter – or just to experience the thrill of magnificent thoroughbreds competing to outpace each other – Ripon Racecourse (often known as the Garden Racecourse) is hugely popular with committed race-goers and occasional visitors alike. 

For thrill seekers, there is Lightwater Valley Theme Park just a short drive from the city.

Home to Europe’s longest rollercoaster – the Ultimate – as well as 40 other hair-raising rides, Lightwater Valley is guaranteed to delight the young and the young at heart in your family.    

If you fancy a spot of retail therapy – the city offers a delightful range of independent shops a million miles away from the typical high street!

Perfect for browsing for an unusual gift for that special someone – and don’t forget that Lightwater Valley Shopping Village has an unparalleled range of fashion, soft furnishings, home décor, toys, cards, crafts, cookware and foodie treats.

Ripon boasts its own World Heritage Site in Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal – a truly magnificent National Trust site comprising a 12th Century Cistercian Abbey within the extraordinary Georgian Water Garden of Studley Royal and Deer Park – be as stunned by the drama and surprises of the landscape as the first visitors were by John Aislabie’s meticulous 18th century design. 

The landed gentry have always loved the beauty of North Yorkshire and many chose to build homes here, commissioning the finest designers and craftspeople of their day – visit Newby Hall and Gardens and Beningbrough Hall to experience the grandeur and beauty of how the other half lived!

And for those keen to get out and blow away the cobwebs – there is no shortage of stunning walks – from a gentle stroll to something altogether more challenging – pull on your boots and get inspired!

And after all this activity has worked up an appetite for lunch or dinner, we have plenty to tempt your taste buds, whether you fancy afternoon tea with light as air scones in a cosy tearoom or a hearty feast in one of our many wonderful pubs or restaurants.

There are so many great things to do in Ripon we know you will wish you were staying longer.

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Number of items: 29

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  1. Newby Hall & Gardens

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    Newby Hall & Gardens

    Type

    Historic House / Palace

    Ripon

    Newby Hall, the family home of Mr & Mrs Richard Compton, is one of England's finest houses, an exceptional example of 18th century interior decoration.

    Built in the 1690s in the style of Sir Christopher Wren the house was later enlarged and adapted by John Carr and subsequently Robert Adam....

  2. Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal

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    Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal

    Type

    Abbey / Priory

    Ripon

    Set within the beautiful North Yorkshire countryside, this World Heritage Site offers a great day out for all the family.

    Hidden within the Skell valley, you’ll find the magnificent ruins of the once great Fountains Abbey and a Georgian pleasure ground to delight your senses.

    This...

  3. Lightwater Valley Theme Park

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    Lightwater Valley Theme Park

    Type

    Theme Park

    Ripon

    The Ultimate Family Adventure 

    Escape to Lightwater Valley and discover the excitement of a day bursting with mini, mega and ultimate adventures!

    Mini Adventures 

    Mini Adventures are for our youngest guests. Our suggested age range is 1 – 5 years old and there are heaps of them to do!...

  4. Ripon Racecourse

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    Ripon Racecourse

    Type

    Racecourse

    Ripon

    Horse racing in Ripon, North Yorkshire takes place at what is affectionately termed Yorkshire's Garden Racecourse - Ripon Racecourse.

    As you can imagine, Ripon Racecourse is in a beautiful spot, in a diminutive market town whose medieval cathedral makes it one of the oldest cities in England...

  5. Museums

    Add Ripon Workhouse Museum & Gardens to your Itinerary

    Ripon Workhouse Museum & Gardens

    Type

    Museum

    Ripon

    The Ripon Workhouse Museum and Gardens are a truthfully recreated representation of life for the least fortunate of19th century Ripon.

    As well the displays in the museum, housed in the old Gatehouse of the larger workhouse site, the Workhouse Kitchen Gardens have also been carefully recreated...

  6. Fountains Abbey to Markenfield Hall

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    Fountains Abbey to Markenfield Hall

    Type

    Walking Route

    Ripon

    Discover the countryside between two of the most important medieval buildings in the area.  Once, their lands adjoined, but in the disruption after the dissolution of the monastaries both estates saw then end of their hayday and much of their land.

    This 6.5 mile circular walk gives an informative...

  7. Hackfall Woods

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    Hackfall Woods

    Type

    Forest

    Masham

    Hackfall is a stunning woodland site near Masham, with lakes, waterfalls, follies and an intricate network of paths to explore stretching along the banks of the River Ure.

    There is something about the wild splendour of Hackfall Woods that simply inspires creativity.

    Nineteenth century writers...

  8. Ripon Prison and Police Museum

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    Ripon Prison and Police Museum

    Type

    Museum

    Ripon

    At the Ripon Prison & Police Museum, visitors can sit in a prison cell, hear the door slam shut and imagine the harsh conditions of Victorian prison regimes.

    Try on prison and police uniforms, imagine the horror of being set in the pillory, strapped in a restraint chair or hung in chains.

    You can...

  9. Ripon Market

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    Ripon Market

    Type

    Market

    Ripon

    Ripon Market takes place every thursday in the city's beautiful marketplace, with stalls opening from about 9am through to 4pm.

    The market features fruit and vegetable stalls, cheeses, sweets, baking products, fresh fish, pet products, clothing, fresh flowers, plants and much more.

    Ripon...

  10. Ripon Tourist Information Centre

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    Ripon Tourist Information Centre

    Ripon

    Get the inside track on this miniature city by visiting Ripon Tourist Information Centre.  Located in the Georgian splendour of Ripon's impressive town hall building, the office directly overlooks the hustle and bustle of the ancient market place.

    Pick up a copy of Ripon Revealed for a journey of...

  11. Ripon Rowels Walk

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    Ripon Rowels Walk

    Type

    Walking Route

    Ripon

    This route around the City of Ripon roves far and wide, taking in historic monuments and follies, the rolling hills and valleys of Mashamshire and the long gentle banks of the River Ure. Over its impressive 49 miles the Ripon Rowels walk will show you the true beauty of the area around Masham and...

  12. Sawley Circular

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    Sawley Circular

    Type

    Walking Route

    Ripon

    Discover the rolling hills and soft rural landscape of the eastern edge of Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty between the villages of Sawley and the World Heritage Site of Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal.

    Featuring a short and long option, this walk takes in farmland, wooded valleys...

  13. Ripon Cathedral

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    Ripon Cathedral

    Type

    Cathedral / Minister

    Ripon

    Ripon Cathedral has a history stretching back almost fourteen centuries.

    Throughout this time it has offered an unbroken tradition of witness to the Christian faith, both in the City of Ripon and across North Yorkshire as well acting as an iconic centre of the city itself.

    The first stone church...

  14. Boots, gaiters and vistas walk at Fountains Abbey

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    Boots, gaiters and vistas walk at Fountains Abbey

    Type

    Walking Route

    Ripon

    This route will take you around the boundary of the estate with fantastic views of the Abbey to enjoy. After taking in the sights of the deer park, walk through the 18th-century water garden and past the Abbey.

  15. Ripon & Fountains Abbey Walk

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    Ripon & Fountains Abbey Walk

    Type

    Walking Route

    Ripon

    This walk allows visitors to reach Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal Water Garden and Studley Royal Deer Park via footpaths, roadways, bridleways from the centre of historic Ripon. It includes the popular Valleu of the Seven Birdges.

    Allow more time than recommended if you would like to enter the...

  16. A walk through the centuries

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    A walk through the centuries

    Ripon

    You'll experience time travel as you walk through the Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal Estate, exploring the significant stages in the estate's history from 1132 to 1987. This is not a circular walk; to discover all the significant landscape additions you may need to double back on yourself a couple...

  17. Ripon Spa Baths

    Add Ripon Spa Baths to your Itinerary

    Ripon Spa Baths

    Type

    Leisure / Swimming Pool

    Ripon

    Welcome to Ripon Spa Bath.

    The foundation stone at Ripon Spa Baths was first laid on 15 July 1904 and was officially opened by Princess Henry of Battenburg on 24 October 1905 as a Spa.

    The main pool hall was later added in 1936 following demand from the local community.

    To this day the Ripon...

  18. Ripon Spa Gardens

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    Ripon Spa Gardens

    Type

    Garden

    Ripon

    This beautiful floral park in the heart of Ripon offers space for walking, play and taking a few minutes to enjoy the day.  As well as floral beds and borders, the park provides a habitat for a variety of birds and wildlife, pieces of woodcarving commemorating the part Ripon played in Lewis...

  19. Ripon Leisure Centre & Gym

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    Ripon Leisure Centre & Gym

    Type

    Leisure / Swimming Pool

    Ripon

    Ripon Leisure Centre offers a range of activities to the community and visitors to the area, including:


    Ripon International Festival events
    Sports Coaching
    Gymnastics Coaching
    Brimhams Fitness
    Fitness Classes
    General Sports
    Private...

  20. Oliver's Pantry

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    Oliver's Pantry

    Type

    Tea Room/Coffee Shop

    Ripon

    We are a quirky coffee bar that makes you the kind of food you just have to eat……………..!
    Fresh, wholesome, naughty, uplifting sweet and savoury treats you cannot resist. Food that makes you grin and want more.
    You will feel a warm welcome from the moment you walk through our door…. like sitting...

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