A cathedral city steeped in history

Ripon, a historic city located in the heart of North Yorkshire, is a must-visit destination for any traveler exploring Yorkhire. The city boasts a rich heritage, with its stunning architecture, fascinating museums, and charming atmosphere attracting visitors from all around the world. If you’re planning a trip to Yorkshire, make sure to add Ripon to your itinerary. Here are just a few reasons why.

Firstly, Ripon Cathedral is a stunning landmark that dominates the city’s skyline. The cathedral is over 1,300 years old and features a unique blend of architectural styles, including Norman, Gothic, and Perpendicular. Visitors can marvel at the cathedral’s intricate carvings, stunning stained glass windows, and peaceful atmosphere. Make sure to climb the cathedral’s tower for panoramic views of the city and surrounding countryside.

Next, head to the charming market square, which is one of the oldest and most picturesque in the country. The square is surrounded by beautiful Georgian and Victorian architecture and is home to an array of independent shops, cafes, and restaurants. Every Thursday, the market takes place, where visitors can sample local produce, browse crafts and antiques, and soak up the lively atmosphere.

For history buffs, a visit to the Ripon Museums is a must. The museums consist of three separate sites, each providing a fascinating insight into Ripon’s past. The Workhouse Museum and Garden explores the harsh realities of life for the city’s poorest residents in the 19th century. The Prison and Police Museum, housed in a former prison, features interactive exhibits that allow visitors to experience life behind bars. Finally, the Courthouse Museum explores the city’s legal history, with a particular focus on the infamous Ripon Hornblower tradition.

Speaking of the Hornblower tradition, visitors to Ripon can witness this unique and ancient ceremony firsthand. Every night at 9 pm, the Wakeman of Ripon sets out on his rounds, blowing his horn at each corner of the market square. The tradition dates back over 1,000 years and is said to have originated from a warning signal given to protect the city from Viking invaders. It’s a unique and memorable tradition.

For those seeking outdoor adventures, Ripon offers plenty of opportunities to explore the surrounding countryside. The city is located on the edge of the stunning Yorkshire Dales National Park, with its rolling hills, limestone cliffs, and picturesque villages. Visitors can take a leisurely stroll along the Ripon Canal or explore the nearby Studley Royal Water Garden, a UNESCO World Heritage site that features stunning landscaped gardens and medieval ruins.

Finally, for foodies, Ripon has plenty to offer, with an array of restaurants and cafes serving up delicious cuisine made from locally-sourced produce. Make sure to try a traditional Yorkshire pudding, a hearty beef and ale pie, or a creamy Yorkshire curd tart. Wash it all down with a pint of locally-brewed ale or a cup of Yorkshire tea.

In conclusion, Ripon is a hidden gem that deserves to be on every traveler’s bucket list. Its rich history, stunning architecture, and charming atmosphere make it a must-visit destination in Yorkshire. Whether you’re a history buff, an outdoor enthusiast, or a foodie, Ripon has something to offer everyone. So what are you waiting for? Start planning your trip to Ripon today.