Ripon Yorkshire Cover

Ripon Yorkshire: The Ultimate Guide On Things To Do In England’s Hidden Gem

The English city of Ripon, in Yorkshire, is full of history and charm. Ripon England might look like a picture, but it has a lot of different things to do. Traditions from the past and modern life coexist, and the beauty of nature is only a short walk away. It is a bit like the town of Edinburgh because it is so cultured and fun. From the Hornblower at night to a calm walk along the canal, Ripon is a peaceful and time-traveling place. We’ll show you around Ripon and why it’s called England’s secret gem.

Ripon Yorkshire

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Exploring Ripon: Yorkshire’s Hidden Treasure

The area of North Yorkshire, of which Ripon is a part, includes rural countryside and ancient towns, among other settings.

The charming mix of modernism and old-world charm makes Ripon, a secret Yorkshire town, fun to explore. Walk through its streets, where history resonates everywhere. The cathedral and museums with precious exhibits are virtual time capsules. Ripon’s Market Square makes it a contemporary community despite its past.

It’s also a place with great history and beauty that welcomes the changes of today’s world. This includes using AI technology to improve visitor experiences and protect old places.

Ripon is famous for its beautiful natural scenery, like the peaceful Ripon Canal and the nearby Yorkshire Dales, which have rolling hills and lush countryside.

Ripon Canal

Ripon will delight sports aficionados. Ripon Racecourse, where heart races, cricket, and rugby showcase the city’s community. Imagine the thrill of the horses galloping down the course—a must-see for sports fans.

Ripon is lovely because it mixes small-town charm with big-city comforts. Ripon offers history, culture, and excitement. Yorkshire has a hidden gem you should visit.

Ripon Cathedral England, a small cathedral city in North Yorkshire, England, is a hidden gem that offers a wealth of history, culture, and natural beauty. Ripon Cathedral, Yorkshire, is magnificent. With its stunning architecture, charming streets, and picturesque countryside, Ripon is an ideal destination for anyone looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life and immerse themselves in a slower pace of living.

One of the main attractions of Ripon is its beautiful cathedral, which dates back to the 7th century and is one of the oldest in England. The cathedral is a masterpiece of Gothic architecture, with its towering spires, intricate carvings, and stunning stained-glass windows. Visitors can take a guided tour of the cathedral, learn about its fascinating history, wander around the peaceful grounds, and soak up the serene atmosphere.

Ripon Cathedral

Aside from the cathedral, Ripon has plenty of other sights and attractions. Visitors can explore the city’s quaint streets, discover charming shops, cafes, and restaurants, or stroll along the picturesque River Ure. The surrounding countryside is also home to several beautiful parks, gardens, and nature reserves, making it a perfect destination for nature lovers.

Things To Do In Ripon Yorkshire, England

Tourism is excellent in Ripon. Historical sites, vibrant community life, natural beauty, sporting activities, and cultural festivals make it a diverse and pleasant vacation place. Visitors like Ripon, in Yorkshire, for its unique blend of history, culture, and outdoor activities, whether seeking a peaceful escape or a deep dive into history. The city’s legacy is shown in its splendid cathedral and museums. History, architecture, and culture enthusiasts visit these historic locations. The landmark cathedral and museum transport tourists back in time, making Ripon a fascinating visit.

Market Square is Ripon’s center. Shop for unique items and consume local cuisine to discover local culture. The lively atmosphere reflects Ripon’s modernity, making trips entertaining.

Outdoor enthusiasts love Ripon’s proximity to the Yorkshire Dales. Hikers and cyclists may enjoy the area’s magnificent surroundings. The Dales’ rolling hills and stunning beauty make outdoor activities memorable for nature lovers.

North Yorkshire England

Also, garden rentals in Yorkshire are perfect for outdoor cooking. An attractive feature is an easy-to-use charcoal grill.

Ripon Racecourse hosts cricket, rugby, and horse racing. These athletic events provide a unique environment for sports and non-sports fans.

Fountains Abbey and UNESCO World Heritage Site Studley Royal are a short drive from the city core. People interested in medieval remains in stunning natural surroundings should visit this site.

Festivals and events in Ripon exhibit the city’s culture and community. These activities help you meet people, explore local culture, and develop memories.

Ripon Cathedral, also known as the Cathedral Church of St. Peter and St. Wilfrid, is a must-see attraction in Ripon, Yorkshire, England. It is one of the country’s oldest and most beautiful cathedrals, with a rich history and stunning architecture.

Places To Go in Ripon Yorkshire, England

In 1132, Cistercian monks established Fountains Abbey, a historical landmark. This massive ruin, one of England’s most significant, celebrates perseverance and majesty. We have experienced 400 years of history inside these old walls, from affluence to the 1194 famine and the Black Death. Each stone tells a story, notably of its flourishing under abbots like Richard and William of Newminster. Henry VIII’s Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1539 ended its ecclesiastical era.

Then, marvel at the 18th-century Studley Royal Water Garden. This garden embodies the English garden style that transformed European landscape architecture. Imagine strolling through magnificent water features, canals, and waterfalls integrated into the environment. The Aislabie family’s dreamlike vision has retained its beauty. Moon Pools and the Temple of Piety are like entering an ethereal sanctuary.

Additionally, St. Mary’s Church and Fountains Hall are estate treasures. 1871 William Burges designed St. Mary’s, a High Victorian Gothic masterpiece. Fountains Hall, with its Elizabethan façade, is a stunning Elizabethan/Jacobean building made from abbey stones. These structures are tales in stone waiting to be discovered.

Visiting Newby Hall and Gardens is like entering a world of stunning architecture. Wren and Robert Adam completed this late-17th-century masterpiece with Sicilian marble floors, mahogany doors, and Corinthian columns. The 25-acre grounds, with water features, woodlands, and rose gardens, are stunning.

Visit Ripon Market Place to experience the city’s energy. Since the thirteenth century, this vibrant district with old buildings and a Palladian Town Hall has hosted Thursday gatherings. Do you enjoy handcrafted crafts or fresh fruit? Stop here. Plus, wow! Watch for the Ripon Hornblower, a traditional nightly ritual.

If you want some quiet, relax at Ripon Canal. Once a busy commerce route, this 2.3-mile path is now a peaceful stroll among bridges, wildflowers, and the cathedral.

Ripon Cathedral

Ripon Yorkshire Cathedral


St. Wilfrid founded The cathedral in the 7th century, and it has been a place of worship for over 1300 years. It has undergone many changes and renovations over the years, including the addition of a central tower in the 13th century and the restoration of the nave in the 19th century.


The cathedral’s architecture combines different styles, including Norman, Early English, Decorated, and Perpendicular. Its most notable features include:

  • The central tower.
  • The west front has intricate carvings.
  • The beautiful stained glass windows.

Visiting Hours

The cathedral is open to visitors every day, and admission is free. Visitors can attend services, take a guided tour, or explore the cathedral independently. The opening hours are as follows:

  • Monday to Saturday: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
  • Sunday: 12:30 pm – 5:00 pm

Overall, Ripon Cathedral is a must-see attraction for anyone visiting Yorkshire. Its rich history, stunning architecture, and peaceful atmosphere make it a truly unforgettable experience.

Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal

Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden are UNESCO World Heritage Sites near Ripon, Yorkshire, England. They are one of the most visited attractions in the area and offer visitors a chance to experience the beauty and history of the region.

Fountains Abbey Ripon

Abbey Ruins

The Fountains Abbey ruins are the highlight of the site. The ruins date back to the 12th century and are a testament to the power and influence of the Cistercian order of monks. Visitors can explore the ruins and learn about the history of the abbey through guided tours or by studying on their own.

Water Garden

The Studley Royal Water Garden is a stunning example of Georgian landscaping. It was created in the 18th century and features a series of lakes, canals, and cascades. The water garden is home to various plant and animal life and is a great place to relax and enjoy the area’s natural beauty.

Deer Park

The Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Deer Park are home to a herd of red and fallow deer. Visitors can watch the deer graze and interact with each other in their natural habitat. The park is also home to other wildlife, including rabbits, hares, and birds.

Overall, Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal are must-visit attractions for anyone interested in history, architecture, and natural beauty. They offer visitors a chance to step back in time and experience the rich history and culture of Yorkshire, England.

Ripon Museums

Ripon is home to various museums that glimpse the town’s rich history. These museums are a must-visit for anyone interested in learning more about Ripon’s past.

Workhouse Museum

The Workhouse Museum, located on Allhallowgate, is a restored Victorian workhouse that offers visitors a fascinating insight into the harsh living conditions of people with low incomes in the 19th century. The museum features exhibits on the workhouse’s history and displays of the tools and equipment used by the residents.

Ripon Workhouse Museum

Prison and Police Museum

The Prison and Police Museum, located on St Marygate, is housed in a former police station and courthouse that was in use until the 1950s. The museum offers visitors a glimpse into the life of a prisoner in the 19th and early 20th centuries, as well as the history of law enforcement in Ripon. Visitors can explore the cells, see the original courtroom, and learn about the punishments handed out to offenders.

Prison and Police Museum

Courthouse Museum

The Courthouse Museum, located on St Marygate, is a Grade II listed building built in 1830. The museum offers visitors a fascinating insight into the justice system’s workings in the 19th century, with exhibits on the history of the courthouse and the cases that were heard there. Visitors can explore the courtroom, see the judge’s chambers, and learn about the punishments handed out to offenders.

Ripon Courthouse Museum

Overall, the Ripon Museums offer a unique and informative experience for visitors learning more about the town’s history.

Markenfield Hall

Markenfield Hall is a stunning medieval manor house in the small village of Markenfield, just a few miles from Ripon. The hall is a Grade I listed building and is one of the country’s finest examples of medieval architecture.

Markenfield Hall

Historic Architecture Of Markenfield Hall

The hall was built in the 14th century and has been beautifully preserved. Visitors can explore the many rooms of the hall, including the Great Hall, the Chapel, and the Solar. The architecture of the building is truly remarkable, with intricate carvings and stunning stained-glass windows.

One of the hall’s most impressive features is the moat surrounding it. Visitors can walk around the moat and admire the stunning views of the hall from every angle.

Public Events At Markenfield Hall

Markenfield Hall is open to the public on select days throughout the year. Visitors can take a guided tour of the hall and learn about its fascinating history. The entrance is also available for private events, including weddings and corporate events.

In addition to its regular public opening days, the hall hosts several special events throughout the year, including Christmas fairs, summer concerts, and other cultural events.

Overall, Markenfield Hall is a must-see attraction for anyone visiting Ripon and the surrounding area. Its stunning architecture, fascinating history, and beautiful surroundings make it a unique and unforgettable experience.

Ripon Market Square

Ripon Market Square is a bustling hub of activity in the heart of Ripon, Yorkshire. It has been a focal point of the city for centuries and continues to be a popular destination for locals and tourists alike.

Ripon Market Square

Image Credit: Visit Harrogate

Weekly Market

One of the main draws of Ripon Market Square is the weekly market that takes place every Thursday. The vibrant and colorful market has stalls selling everything from fresh produce and flowers to clothing and household goods. Visitors can browse the stalls, sample local delicacies, and soak up the lively atmosphere.

Monuments and Statues

In addition to the market, Ripon Market Square is also home to several impressive monuments and statues. One of the most notable is the obelisk, which was erected in 1702 to commemorate the restoration of the monarchy. Other extraordinary statues include those of Queen Victoria and Sir William Harcourt.

Overall, Ripon Market Square is a must-visit destination for anyone visiting Ripon. Its lively atmosphere, weekly market, and impressive monuments make it a unique and memorable experience.

Newby Hall and Gardens

Newby Hall and Gardens is a stunning stately home in Ripon, Yorkshire. Built-in the 1690s, it has been owned by the Compton family ever since. During summer, the house and gardens are open for visitors to explore.

Newby Hall and Gardens

Newby Hall House Tours

The house is filled with beautiful furniture, paintings, and tapestries that date back to the 18th century. Visitors can take a guided tour of the house and learn about the history of the Compton family and their home. The tour takes approximately one hour and includes visiting the drawing room, dining room, and bedrooms.

Newby Hall Gardens and Grounds

The gardens and grounds at Newby Hall are equally impressive. They cover over 25 acres and include various gardens, including a rose garden, a water garden, and a woodland garden. Visitors can take a stroll around the gardens and enjoy the beautiful surroundings.

One of the garden’s highlights is the herbaceous border, one of the longest in the country. It stretches for 172 meters and is filled with stunning flowers and plants. There is also a children’s adventure garden, which includes a sandpit, a maze, and a miniature railway.

Overall, Newby Hall and Gardens is a must-visit destination for anyone visiting Ripon. The house and gardens are beautifully maintained and offer visitors a fascinating insight into the history of the Compton family and their home.

Ripon Canal

Ripon Canal is a beautiful and historic waterway that runs through the heart of Ripon, Yorkshire. It was built in the early 19th century to connect Ripon with the River Ure and the rest of the canal network in the region. Today, the canal is a popular attraction for visitors, offering boat tours and scenic walking paths.

Boat Tours

Boat tours are a great way to see the Ripon Canal and the surrounding countryside. Several companies offer boat tours, ranging from short to longer, more in-depth tours. The boats are typically narrow, traditional canal boats that are long and narrow and can accommodate small groups of people.

Ripon Yorkshire Canal Boat

Visitors can enjoy the beautiful scenery during the boat tour, including the lush green fields and rolling hills surrounding the canal. They can also learn about the history of the canal and the surrounding area from the knowledgeable tour guides.

Walking Paths

The Ripon Canal offers several scenic walking paths for those who prefer to explore on foot. The trails run alongside the canal and provide stunning views of the surrounding countryside. Visitors can enjoy a stroll along the canal, taking in the sights and sounds of the waterway.

Visitors can see several historic buildings and landmarks along the walking paths, including the canal locks and aqueducts. They can also stop at one of the many pubs and cafes that line the canal, offering a chance to rest and refuel.

Overall, the Ripon Canal is a must-see attraction for anyone visiting Ripon, Yorkshire. Whether by boat or on foot, visitors can enjoy the beautiful scenery and learn about the history of this vital waterway.

The Ripon Hornblower

The Ripon Hornblower is a tradition that has been taking place in Ripon, Yorkshire, England, for over 1100 years. It is a unique ceremony every night at 9 pm in the Market Square.

The Ripon Hornblower

Image Credit: Visit Harrogate

Evening Ceremony

The evening ceremony of the Ripon Hornblower involves a hornblower who walks to the four corners of the obelisk in the Market Square and blows his horn. The horn is blown in a specific sequence, passed down from generation to generation. The ceremony lasts around 15 minutes and is an incredible sight.

Historical Significance

The Ripon Hornblower tradition dates back to 886 when Alfred the Great granted the city of Ripon a Royal Charter. The Hornblower was initially appointed to keep watch over the town and sound the horn in case of danger. The tradition has continued ever since and is now a popular tourist attraction.

The Ripon Hornblower is a unique and fascinating tradition worth seeing if you visit Ripon. The ceremony is steeped in history and is a testament to the city’s rich cultural heritage.

Local Cuisine and Dining

Ripon offers various dining options catering to different tastes and budgets. From traditional British pub fare to international cuisine, visitors will find something that suits their palate.

Several restaurants serve dishes made with locally sourced ingredients for those looking to sample local cuisine. The Old Deanery Restaurant in a historic building offers a fine dining experience with a seasonal menu. The Yorkshire pudding, a staple of British cuisine, is a must-try dish.

The food in this area is so good, so if you struggle with food cravings, you might want to reconsider.

For a more casual dining experience, visitors can head to one of the town’s many pubs. The Royal Oak, a traditional English pub, serves classic pub grub such as fish, chips, bangers, and mash. The One-Eyed Rat, a cozy pub with quirky decor, offers a range of craft beers and ciders to accompany their burgers and sandwiches.

Visiting the Little Ripon Cafe is a must for those with a sweet tooth. This charming cafe serves homemade cakes, pastries, light lunches, and breakfast dishes.

Overall, Ripon’s dining scene offers something for everyone, focusing on locally sourced ingredients and traditional British cuisine.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where in Ripon can I stay?

Ripon Canal

When you visit Ripon, you obviously won’t be able to stay in the cathedral, so you have to shop around and find the best deal. Just search up Airbnb Ripon Yorkshire. Keep your search general to find good deals. So don’t search for a specific address like Nine Yorkshire Drive or Fountains Ripon North Yorkshire hg4 3dy. It will be much more complicated that way.

What are the most unique attractions in Ripon?

The Ripon Hornblower

Ripon is home to several unique attractions that visitors should take notice of. One of the most exciting places to visit is the Ripon Hornblower, who has been sounding the horn every night at 9 pm since 886 AD. Another must-see attraction is the Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with stunning ruins and beautiful gardens.

Is Ripon, Yorkshire, a good place to visit when traveling solo?

Ripon Yorkshire Canal Boat

Yes, if you are traveling solo, that is okay. The attractions are still fun, and the locals are amiable if you feel lonely. It is also a very safe place to visit if alone.

What is Grantley Hall Ripon?

Grantley Hall Ripon

Like Swinton Park Ripon, Yorkshire, England, it is a large 5-star hotel. There isn’t much to it, but locals sometimes talk about it because it looks pretty impressive.

Can you list free attractions to visit in Ripon?

Fountains Abbey Ripon

Ripon has several free attractions, making it an affordable destination for budget-conscious travelers. Some of the top free attractions include the Ripon Cathedral, the Workhouse Museum, and the Courthouse Museum. Even the paid attraction in Ripon can be seen from the outside, which is a great way to appreciate the culture on a budget.

What are the best activities to do in Ripon over the weekend?

Markenfield Hall

Ripon is a great weekend place, with plenty of activities to entertain visitors. Some of the best things to do in Ripon over the weekend include exploring the city’s historic sites, walking in the countryside, visiting local markets, and enjoying a pint at one of the city’s many pubs.

Where are the top shopping spots in Ripon?

Ripon Market Square

Ripon has various shopping options, from high street stores to independent shops. Some of the top shopping spots in Ripon include the Arcade, which features a range of independent shops and cafes, and the Market Square, which hosts a weekly market.

What are the recommended places to eat while in Ripon?

Ripon Yorkshire Canal Boat

Ripon has diverse dining options to suit every taste and budget. Some recommended places to eat in Ripon include The Royal Oak, which serves classic pub food, and Lockwoods, which offers a more upscale dining experience.

Which notable figures are interred within Ripon Cathedral?

Ripon Cathedral

Ripon Cathedral is home to the tombs of several notable figures, including Saint Wilfrid, one of the most influential figures in the history of the English church, and Sir Edward Blackett, a prominent local politician and landowner.

Closing Thoughts

In conclusion, Ripon is a lovely place.  Whether you stop by on a road trip or stay for a week, I recommend it to anyone interested in their history and culture. It is a truly unique place that perfectly balances historical beauty and fun. On top of all the beauty and architectural wonders, there are some fantastic places to eat. Next time you plan a trip, consider visiting Ripon in Yorkshire.

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