Ripon - to See and Do
Discover RiponEngland’s fourth smallest city, Ripon has a population of around seventeen thousand.
Ripon is a stunning cathedral city that dates back to the 7th century and a pleasure to explore, a knot of narrow streets around a large market place with so much to see, clustered within a gentle 15 minute walking distance of Riverside Lodges.
There is also pleasant walking in the Spa gardens and along the river and canal.
The Canal Basin has several shops and cafes
Market PlaceIn the square every Thursday from 9.00 am there is a traditional Yorkshire market selling local food produce, gifts, plants, clothing and so much more. Interesting features in the square include a 90ft obelisk dating from 1781, a quaint little cabmen’s shelter, built in 1911, and now standing next to four red phone boxes.
On most Sundays in the Square many events are organised such as military displays, vintage cars and a farmers market
The HornblowerThe square is the scene of a ceremony that dates back to 866 when Alfred the Great granted a town charter – at 9.00 pm every evening The Wakeman or Ripon Hornblower blows his horn at each corner of the Obelisk and gives a thirty minute talk on Ripon’s history peppered with jokes.
The ceremony marks the setting of the watch, informing the citizens that their safekeeping overnight was the charge of the Wakeman
Courthouse MuseumThe elegant Georgian Courthouse remains virtually unchanged since it was built in 1830.
Following closure of the Magistrates court in 1998 its interiors were redecorated in the original colour scheme that was used when the building opened in 1830.
Today you can see the rooms that housed the jury and justices, the courtroom itself with its two docks, witness box as it almost appeared in the nineteenth century. Suitable for all ages.
Prison and Police MuseumOccupying part of the former Ripon prison 1816 – 78 the museum traces the history of policing and the harsh realities of the Victorian prison.
In the courtyard you can see a pillory, some stocks, a whipping post and a Tardis like police phone box. Inside you can see and sit in the cells, learn about the various punishments meted out to lawbreakers, see a variety of police memorabilia, enjoy lots of interactive displays and watch a short video.
Rated highly by both adults and children
Ripon CathedralIn AD 672 St Wilfred built a church on what now is Ripon Cathedral. The oldest Saxon crypt of that church and any English cathedral can be viewed.
The west front of this splendid church dates back from 1220, the east 1290. Inside there are 500 year old woodcarvings, a 16th century nave and some exceptional stained glass work.
As well as regular services and worships there are many events and music concerts - including Ripon International Festival, the talented Ripon Choral Society and Cathedral Choirs throughout the year too. A visit not to be missed
Further afield - to See and Do
Further afield - to see and doRipon is ideally located within a short distance of a huge variety of beautiful towns and countryside.
Here's just a few of our favourite places to visit.
There is really just too much to see - each time you come back to visit us we guarantee that you will find something different to see and enjoy.
Markenfield HallIs a unique early 14th century moated house set within stunning countryside about 5km from Ripon
A working farm and family home which has remained largely untouched.
A member of the Historic Houses Association.
The house is only open for short periods of time
Brimham RocksDiscover and climb an amazing collection of wonderful giant rock formations.
The rocks, sculptured by 320 million years of movement of entire continents as well as hundreds of years of ice, rain and wind, have taken on weird and wonderful shapes.
Brimham Rocks Adventure FarmA working farm base in the beautiful Nidderdale countryside by Brimham Rocks, this family attraction will keep the whole family entertained.
Climbing frames & toys, large play areas and animal handling areas.
Facilities include a café and shop
Newby Hall and GardensHailed as one of England’s finest houses, Georgian house and gardens on 25 acres of award winning gardens with shop, exhibits and children’s adventure playground
Pateley BridgeGateway to Nidderdale, a scenic drive and pleasant small town to meander, shop , enjoy a café stop and perhaps be tempted to buy a delicious awarding winning pork pie from H Weatherhead & Sons on the High Street
Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal
Just 5 miles from Ripon, recognised as a World Heritage Site because of its unique combination of Medieval abbey, Cistercian water mill and Georgian gardens.
The largest monastic ruins in the country plus a serene awe inspiring 18th century water garden.
Fountains Abbey is a Cistercian monastery established in 1132 when thirteen disaffected monks expelled in York for rioting were granted land in the valley to start their own community.
It grew to be one of the wealthiest and largest monasteries in Europe but was destroyed by Henry VIIIs dissolution in the 1530s for its riches and plundered locally for its masonry.
It now consists of atmospheric ruins.
Studley Royal water garden follows the gentle banks of the River Kell down from the abbey to the garden which has been channelled into canals, cascades and tranquil moon ponds.
This landscaped master piece designed by John and William Aislabie in the 18th century. Originally the monks changed the course of the river up by the abbey and the Aislabie s continued the work crafting the reservoirs and channels to create a scenic landscape garden and incorporating the romantic ruins into the design.
Green lawns stretch down to the riverside, café facilities and perfect spot for a picnic. Riverside paths lead to the deer park. Children’s playground
Ripley Castle and GardensRipley Castle, surrounded by beautiful gardens has been the home of Ingilby for over 700 years.
During a tour of the house you will hear how the family won its boar head crest when a Thomas Ingilby was knighted after he saved King Edward III from an injured boar.
The village was largely built in the 1820s by Sir William Amcotts Ingilby, an affable eccentric who modelled it around as estate village in Alsace Lorraine he had visited - the delightful result, an ‘Hotel de Ville’ rather than town hall, a cobbled market square with its stocks, listed cottages and the 15th century church.
Also quality food, art and gift shops make it a pleasure to visit.
The Boar Head Bar and bistro are well reviewed. Ripley too is world famous for its very popular soft and creamy ice cream; the store is situated on the main road in the village, expect to queue
HelmsleyA market town in the Ryedale district of North Yorkshire. Hemsley is full of history, character and stunning architecture.
Some people describe as the perfect market town.
There is a bustling market square, charming tea rooms and inviting inns all surrounded by mile after mile of the beautiful North York Moors
Forbidden CornerOriginally built as a folly, this family attraction is a unique labyrinth of tunnels, chambers, follies and surprises created within a four acre garden in the heart of the Yorkshire dales.
A day out with a difference which will challenge adults and children of all ages
Lightwater Valley Theme ParkA family day out with over 30 rides and attractions to suit all ages!
KnaresboroughOne of Yorkshires most prettiest and interesting towns perched on an escarpment above a gorge through which the River Nidd flows.
The views from its castle, either its two bridges or its imposing railway viaduct are stunning.
A warren of medieval streets and stone staircases that weave their way up and down the hill.
The main part of the town sits on top of the hill, clustered around the market place and castle.
Wednesday is market day in Knaresborough.
At the base of the cliffs on which the town sits is a delightful walk, the opportunity to hire rowing boats or numerous places for refreshments and absorb the views
Stump Cross CavernsLocated in Nidderdale on the border of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. An ancient natural cave formation, visitors can see fossils, stalactites and stalagmites.
Show caves open to the public via 65 steps. Café, short film, shop, visitor centre and surrounding hilltop walks
YorkThe city is known for its famous historical landmarks including York Minster, the largest medieval church in England and the longest circuit of medieval city walls, nearly three miles long and offering marvellous views of the city, as well as a variety of cultural and sporting activities. York is also the ecclesiastical capital of the Church of England, the Archbishop of York being second only to the Archbishop of Canterbury. One of York’s biggest attractions is The Shambles, a narrow 14th century thoroughfare with its lovely overhanging timber framed buildings. The area is now a mix of shops restaurants, tearooms and boutiques. An experience to enjoy – ‘York Chocolate Story,’ 300 years of chocolate history and chocolate sampling, excellent reviews, booking recommended. Relaxing, andy hop- on, hop off sightseeing bus takes in most major points of interest
WensleydaleThe beautiful valley set in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales with its majestic castles, huge waterfalls, picturesque villages
A visit to Wensleydale Creamery an interesting fun experience - home of Wensleydale cheese, Wallace and Gromits favourite.
A fantastic visitors centre including interactive family experience, cheese making demonstrations, viewing gallery and museum.
The cheese shop is packed with over 20 varieties of handcrafted cheeses with complimentary samplings
Bolton AbbeyNestled in the heart of the Yorkshire estate of the Duke of Devonshire.
It has been carefully managed by the Devonshire family since 1755 offers a fun family day out set amongst 30,000 acres of countryside boasting over 80miles of footpaths to walk and explore, providing something for all ages.
The landscape at Bolton Abbey has inspired artists such as Turner and Ruskin as well as the poet Wordsworth.
Explore the ruins of the Priory, walk along the riverside, woodland and moorland paths.
Enjoy local produce in the excellent tea rooms and cafes or simply relax beside the riverside with a picnic.
Families visiting can enjoy sandcastles on the beach, crossing the stepping stones and paddling with fishing nets.
The perfect family day out in the Yorkshire Dales
HarrogateJust 10 miles from Ripon is the spa town of Harrogate, famous in the past for its mineral springs.
Attractions now include the beautiful recently renovated Victorian Turkish bath, Victorian and Edwardian architecture, its extensive gardens, fashionable boutiques, chain stores and numerous café, bars and restaurants.
Bettys Café is a Yorkshire institution, especially famous for fat rascals.
Bettys tearooms are only in this county and have an unique mix of continental classics and British favourites served in a relaxed quintessentially British setting, booking advised for afternoon tea.
An important feature of Harrogate is its lush greenery especially the wide 200 acres swathes of grasses known as The Stray that sweeps through the town and protected for recreation under an ancient law to.
Close to the town centre are the delightful RHS Harlow Carr 58 acre gardens, woodland walk and another Bettys Cafe
WhitbyPart fishing port, part seaside resort picture postcard Whitby on the East coast is perhaps the most interesting and atmospheric of Yorkshire s coastal towns.
Historically Whitby is important for its 13th century medieval abbey its long fishing, ship building and whaling traditions and its connection to Captain Cook, who came here as a young boy to train as a ships apprentice.
Famously too Whitby is associated with Bram Stokers Count Dracula which has inspired the world famous Goth festival.
You can’t visit without eating fish & chips - The Magpie Cafe, said by Rick stein ‘to be one of the best fish and chips shops in the country’ It has been serving food from its 1750 premises since World War II.
A visit to Trenchers Fish & Chip restaurant another recommendation has recently been voted best independent Fish & Chip Restaurant in the UK.
For kipper lovers, a must visit to Fortune’s - a traditional smokehouse selling genuine and authentic Whitby kippers is one of Whitby’s most famous attractions established when Queen Victoria was still on the throne, wafting oak wood smoke fills the air, almost a certainty one of the best places in Britain to buy kippers
Ripon RacesRipon Racecourse is a thoroughbred horse racing venue, known as Yorkshires Garden Racecourse. It has hosted some of the most prestigious and enjoyable racing in the country for the last 300 years. Ripon stages 17 flat race meetings from April to September. There is something for everyone, great value and family day out