Ripon
Ripon Cathedral

Ripon, one of the smallest cities in the country, may be small in size but it is big in its possibilities. Eleven miles north of Harrogate, Ripon is a quaint market square with a bustling high street which saw over a 50% rise in footfall in 2023. The city is over 1300 years old and sitting in the centre is the magnificent Ripon Cathedral with a history dating back to its foundation by St Wilfrid in 672AD. The market square sprouts quaint streets and snickets, filled with cafes, pubs and specialist shops. The city’s historic manufacturing trade led to the building of a canal which in turn means that you can now enjoy beautiful riverside and canal walks that reach out into the countryside. Ripon is also home to Ripon Races, an outstanding racecourse nicknamed ‘The Garden Racecourse’ which has been hosting prestigious racing for more than 300 years.

Don’t Miss

Newby Hall - a beautiful Grade 1 listed Georgian House with exquisite gardens that are a joy to visit at any time of the year.
Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal Water Garden - a recognised World Heritage Site four miles away from Ripon with ancient abbey ruins that were founded in 1133 by thirteen dissident Benedictine monks. With over 800 acres of parkland, water gardens, ponds, statues and follies, it really is a tranquil haven.
Himalayan Garden & Sculpture Park – unsurprisingly inspired by the Himalayas, these are a regular winner of the Yorkshire in Bloom Tourist Attraction Award and are home to over 85 Contemporary Sculptures set within 45 acres of breathtaking gardens.

Did you know?
A 20-year mystery surrounding wonky roads in Ripon city centre was recently solved when it was discovered they were made with sand. A £630,000 resurfacing programme is planned for 2024 to get rid of the ‘wonks’!
King Alfred the Great visited Ripon in 886AD and gifted the city a horn to be used to alert the locals to the danger of invaders. A Wakeman (night watchman) patrolled from dusk til dawn sounding the horn at each of the four corners of the marketplace at 9pm every night to let people know he was on duty. The ritual has continued every night at the Obelisk for 1100 years.

West Tanfield near Ripon is the site of Yorkshire’s ‘Stonehenge of the North’. The English Heritage run Thornborough Henges are three giant, circular earthworks, each more than 600 feet in diameter, which date from between 3000 to 2500 BC.

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