Visitor Info

About Ripon

Visit Ripon for family-friendly days out, fabulous food, heritage and history and above all else a friendly Yorkshire welcome!

Set in the glorious North Yorkshire countryside, with excellent transport links to nearby Leeds, Thirsk, York & Harrogate, Ripon is a cathedral city with so much to offer its residents & visitors alike. The magnificent 7th-century cathedral is located a short stroll from the market square which hosts a very popular market every Thursday full of artisan sellers and local produce.

Ripon Marketplace

The Ripon obelisk proudly sits at the centre of the market square and has done since 1702 when it was designed by a certain Nicholas Hawksmoor. A city steeped in such history is also home to ancient traditions such as the Ripon Hornblower. For over a thousand years, at precisely 9pm, a horn has been blown at the four corners of the obelisk in the market square in order to ‘set the watch’. The horn has since become a symbol of the city, a unique talisman representing good governance and of course tradition. To celebrate its rich history, Ripon has not one but three museums. All are centrally located and full of historical treasures and information which help weave the story of our city and its days gone by.

Ripon Cathedral

Our spectacular cathedral has been a centre of inspiration & wonder for 1350 years, ever since its consecration by St Wilfrid in 672AD. Attracting thousands of visitors, a year the cathedral is also a community hub hosting events and celebrations of art, culture and even a beer festival throughout its programme of annual events. A truly awe-inspiring place full of peace and beauty, the Cathedral is open every day and all year round for Ripon residents & visitors alike.

Ripon Museums

Follow the story of the poor and lawless through our three museums in the heart of Ripon. With events, exhibitions and holiday activities for children, it’s the perfect day out for the whole family. All three of our museums are located in the centre of Ripon, in North Yorkshire. It is about five minutes’ walk between museums. If you’re planning to visit all three museums, we suggest starting with the Workhouse Museum on Allhallowgate.

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Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden

A short drive from Ripon lies the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal Water Park. Here you can discover the ancient ruins of Fountains Abbey which sit alongside the spectacular water gardens of Studley Royal (which is often regarded as the finest surviving example of a Georgian water garden in England). Two magnificent attractions set in the most beautiful of landscapes.

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Grantley Hall

If you are looking for luxury then look no further than Grantley Hall. This exceptional 47 bedroom hotel destination nestled in the countryside, is just a short distance from Ripon. Alongside the most luxurious surroundings, Grantley Hall boasts an award-winning spa, five bars and four indulgent restaurants including the Michelin-starred Shaun Rankin at Grantley Hall.

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Newby Hall & Gardens

Another jewel in Ripon’s historical crown is the grade I listed Newby Hall & Gardens. A beautiful manor house which boasts a superb collection of fine furniture, paintings and extensive gardens. There is also a fantastic adventure playground complete with a boating lake and it even has its own miniature railway which runs through the estate and along the banks of the River Ure.

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River Laver & River Skell

The rivers of the Laver & the Skell play an important part in Ripon’s history as both the rivers meet and join together in the east of the city. As they flow together through the city, the river Skell feeds water into the basin for the Ripon Canal. Ripon is in fact home to a beautiful canal and a marina. The waterway in Ripon was planned as far back as 1776 when prominent engineer John Smeaton unveiled a plan for five lock structures on eight miles of the River Ure. Today the waterways are a popular visitor destination and a haven for rare wildlife. A section of the canal even runs alongside a wetland bird sanctuary, the perfect place to relax and recharge. Ripon Marina offers a friendly welcome, safe & secure moorings and has the added bonus of an experienced waterside crew on hand should you need them.

Ripon Races – Yorkshire’s Garden Racecourse

If a wonderful waterways, a medieval cathedral, a World Heritage site and a stately home wasn’t enough, Ripon also boasts an enormously popular racecourse. Often referred to as Yorkshire’s garden racecourse, this beautiful flat racecourse, with a right leaning oval is a premium location for racing in the North of England.

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Lightwater Valley Adventure Park

As a fantastic family-friendly destination, Ripon is home to the fun-filled Lightwater Valley Adventure Park which is a short drive from the centre of Ripon. A magical day out for all the family, with over 35 rides and attractions there really is an adventure waiting around every corner.

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Ripon Food & Drink

If food is your thing then look no further! Ripon has a thriving food scene full of independent restaurants, cafes and food producers. From family-run Italian restaurants to Indian tapas, delicatessen and artisan bakeries – Ripon is a foodie paradise. Take a stroll along our winding cobbled streets and enjoy the best of Yorkshire food & drink.

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People of Ripon

It’s people at the heart of Ripon who really make our wonderful city come alive. From visitors who join us from all over the world, to local business owners offering the warmest welcome and residents who are proud to call Ripon home. Ripon is truly a city of countless treasures and we can’t wait for you to step inside and explore.

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