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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. Museums

    Add Ripon Workhouse Museum & Gardens to your Itinerary

    Ripon Workhouse Museum & Gardens




    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...

  2. Lightwater Valley Theme Park

    Add Lightwater Valley Theme Park to your Itinerary

    Lightwater Valley Theme Park


    Theme Park


    Lightwater Valley is a full day adventure for the whole family; we offer great value for money, with a pay once and ride all day entrance and FREE parking!

    We have an exciting range of family friendly events for 2017 including Andy Day's Prehistoric Raps Show and Mister Maker Live! 


  3. Ripon Racecourse

    Add Ripon Racecourse to your Itinerary

    Ripon Racecourse




    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...

  4. Newby Hall & Gardens

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    Newby Hall & Gardens


    Historic House / Palace


    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....

  5. Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal

    Add Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal to your Itinerary

    Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal


    Abbey / Priory


    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.


  6. Ripon Tourist Information Centre

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    Ripon Tourist Information Centre


    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...

  7. Hackfall Woods

    Add Hackfall Woods to your Itinerary

    Hackfall Woods




    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. Fountains Abbey to Markenfield Hall

    Add Fountains Abbey to Markenfield Hall to your Itinerary

    Fountains Abbey to Markenfield Hall


    Walking Route


    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...

  9. Ripon Prison and Police Museum

    Add Ripon Prison and Police Museum to your Itinerary

    Ripon Prison and Police Museum




    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...

  10. Ripon Market

    Add Ripon Market to your Itinerary

    Ripon Market




    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.


  11. Ripon Spa Gardens

    Add Ripon Spa Gardens to your Itinerary

    Ripon Spa Gardens




    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...

  12. The Aislabie Walk

    Add The Aislabie Walk to your Itinerary

    The Aislabie Walk


    Walking Route


    During the mid 18th century, William Aislabie established a circuit between his estates as Studley Royal and Hackfall with carriageways, bridges and vista forming a private route for his family. The Aislabies created a vast ‘picturesque landscape’ that included Studley Royal, Laver Banks and...

  13. Markenfield Hall

    Add Markenfield Hall to your Itinerary

    Markenfield Hall


    Historic House / Palace


    Markenfield Hall – tucked privately away along a mile-long winding drive, just three miles south of Ripon, has been described as Yorkshire’s best-kept secret. Not visible from the road, a glimpse of the imposing east wall cannot be seen until visitors reach the old Mediaeval road near to the top of...

  14. Ripon Cathedral

    Add Ripon Cathedral to your Itinerary

    Ripon Cathedral


    Cathedral / Minister


    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...

  15. National Trust Long Dales Route

    Add National Trust Long Dales Route to your Itinerary

    National Trust Long Dales Route


    Cycle Route


    This is a challenging route for committed, fit bike riders that takes in some of Yorkshire's most amazing scenery. Starting from the National Trust Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal World Heritage Site (toilets, refreshments) the route heads through the historic deer park and then country lanes...

  16. Oliver's Pantry

    Add Oliver's Pantry to your Itinerary

    Oliver's Pantry


    Tea Room/Coffee Shop


    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...

  17. Ripon City Golf Club

    Add Ripon City Golf Club to your Itinerary

    Ripon City Golf Club


    Golf Course


    Ripon City GC celebrated its centenary in 2008.  Proud of its heritage, it now offers one of the most improved courses in the north of England.

    Members and Visitors always receive a warm welcome at Ripon.

    Located on the northern edge of the ancient Cathedral city, beautiful and peaceful...

  18. Ripon Rowels Walk

    Add Ripon Rowels Walk to your Itinerary

    Ripon Rowels Walk


    Walking Route


    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...

  19. Sawley Circular

    Add Sawley Circular to your Itinerary

    Sawley Circular


    Walking Route


    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...

  20. Ripon Leisure Centre & Gym

    Add Ripon Leisure Centre & Gym to your Itinerary

    Ripon Leisure Centre & Gym


    Leisure / Swimming Pool


    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

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