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This unspoilt cathedral city is a North Yorkshire gem, balancing a rich cultural heritage with exciting contemporary living.
With its imposing cathedral, fascinating museums and a bustling market square, there is plenty to entertain the visitor.
And skip just 10 miles in any direction and you’ll discover a wealth of first class visitor attractions in the surrounding beautiful Dales countryside.
On Studley Road (found on your way to the magnificent Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal) fans of sport will find the beautiful Ripon Cricket Club right next door to the city’s Rugby Union club. Sports fans will also be able to enjoy high quality flat horse racing at the racecourse on the other side of the city. Check out our Ripon weather forecast page.
Where to Stay – Ripon Accommodation
Things to Do in Ripon
Facts About Ripon
- Ripon is a cathedral city located in North Yorkshire, England.
- The city has a population of approximately 16,000 people.
- Ripon is one of the smallest cities in England.
- The city is known for its historic cathedral, which dates back to the 7th century.
- Ripon is also home to the Ripon Racecourse, which hosts several horse racing events throughout the year.
- The city has a rich history, with evidence of human settlement dating back to the Stone Age.
- Ripon was an important religious center during the medieval period, and was home to several monasteries and religious orders.
- The city is located near several other popular tourist destinations, including the Yorkshire Dales and the city of Harrogate.
- Ripon is known for its traditional market, which has been held in the city since the 13th century.
- The city is also home to several annual events, including the Ripon International Festival and the Ripon Hornblower Ceremony.
Ripon image gallery
More About Ripon
Ripon is a cathedral city in the Borough of Harrogate, North Yorkshire, England, UK. The city is located where two tributaries of the River Ure, the Laver and Skell, join together.
It is one of the smallest cities in the country.
Ripon is mentioned in the fictional television show, Downton Abbey, and is referred to as being “9 miles away” in the series; this makes it a very popular destination for international visitors.
Historically part of the West Riding of Yorkshire, the city is noted for Ripon Cathedral, which is architecturally significant, as well as Ripon Racecourse and other features such as its market.
The city was originally known as Inhrypum. Bede records that Alhfrith, king of the Southern Northumbrian kingdom of Deira, gave land at Ripon to Eata of Hexham to build a monastery and the abbot transferred some of his monks there, including a young Saint Cuthbert who was guest-master at Ripon abbey.
Both Bede in his Life of Cuthbert and Eddius Stephanus in his Life of Wilfred state that when Eata was subsequently driven out by Alhfrith, the abbey was given to Saint Wilfrid who replaced the timber church with a stone built church.
This was during the time of the Anglian kingdom of Northumbria, a period during which it enjoyed prominence in religious importance in Great Britain.
It was for a period under Viking control, and later suffered under the Normans.
After a brief period of building projects under the Plantagenets, the city emerged with a prominent wool and cloth industry.
Ripon became well known for its production of spurs during the 16th and 17th centuries, but would later remain largely unaffected by the Industrial Revolution.
Ripon is the third-smallest city in England and the smallest in Yorkshire, by population.
According to the 2011 United Kingdom Census it had a population of close to 17,000.
As well as its racecourse and cathedral, Ripon is a tourist destination because of its proximity to the UNESCO World Heritage Site which consists of the Studley Royal Park and Fountains Abbey.
Ripon on the Map
FAQs about Ripon
What is Ripon known for?
Ripon is known for its stunning cathedral, which dates back to the 7th century. It is also known for its beautiful Georgian architecture and its charming market square.
What are some popular things to do in Ripon?
Visitors to Ripon can explore the cathedral, take a stroll through the picturesque market square, or visit the nearby Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden. The city also has a number of museums and galleries, as well as plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities like hiking and cycling.
Is Ripon a good place to visit with kids?
Yes, Ripon is a great place to visit with kids. In addition to the many outdoor activities available, there are also several family-friendly attractions in the area, including Lightwater Valley Theme Park and the Ripon Museums.
What is the best time of year to visit Ripon?
The best time to visit Ripon depends on your preferences. The city is beautiful year-round, but many visitors prefer to come in the summer months when the weather is warm and there are plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy.
Are there any good restaurants in Ripon?
Yes, Ripon has a number of excellent restaurants serving a variety of cuisines. Some popular options include The Royal Oak, The Old Deanery, and Lockwoods. There are also plenty of cafes and pubs serving traditional British fare.
Where Next After Ripon
After visiting Ripon, North Yorkshire, there are several nearby destinations worth exploring. Just a short drive away is the historic city of York, with its stunning Gothic architecture, charming cobbled streets, and world-renowned attractions such as York Minster and the Jorvik Viking Centre. Another option is to head to the Yorkshire Dales National Park, where you can hike through breathtaking landscapes, visit quaint villages, and enjoy some of the best local cuisine in the region.
If you’re staying in Ripon, there are plenty of local attractions to keep you busy as well. The city itself is home to several historic landmarks, including the stunning Ripon Cathedral and the ancient Fountains Abbey, which dates back to the 12th century. You can also explore the nearby Studley Royal Water Garden, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that features beautiful landscaped gardens, ornamental lakes, and a stunning 18th-century mansion. And for those who love the outdoors, there are plenty of opportunities for hiking, cycling, and horseriding in the surrounding countryside.