Local Information for Ripon
Ripon is a small cathedral city in Yorkshire, England, situated 11 miles north of Harrogate between the cities of York and Leeds, centred upon its relatively small but vital Cathedral which can date its ancestery back to 672AD. Nearby are the 12th century ruins of Fountains Abbey, among the finest monastic ruins in Europe, which were incorporated into a romantic landscaped garden with a lake, formal water garden, temples, and a deer park.
The Rivers Ure, Skell and Laver flow through Ripon from the beautiful Yorkshire Dales and a canal basin has been developed in the centre of Ripon which is visited by many elaborate and colourful narrow boats that stop off for a few days whilst touring Yorkshires extensive canal system.
Ripon is the 4th smallest city in England and has the characteristics of a vibrant market town. Ripon has many shops situated around the large market square in the centre, with roads called Fishergate, Westgate, North Street and Kirkgate leading off from it. Kirkgate leads to Ripon Cathedral and Minstergate. In the centre of the market place stands an obelisk which is 300 years old. Each night at 9pm an ancient tradition dating back to 11th century is performed by the towns Hornblower. He will ‘set the watch’ by blowing his horn from each corner of the market square around the obelisk which stands 90ft tall and built in 1703. This continues daily and is a great tourist attraction.
There is a thriving market which is held each Thursday on the market place, and there are also other events such as farmers markets and craft fairs which use the pedestrianised city centre as a trading place.
Ripon has a Race Course which was established in 1664, and is known as the Garden Race Course. It has 14 days of flat racing through the months April to August, and is a popular venue for local race goers.
Ripon has a leisure centre, swimming pool, tennis club, 18 hole golf course and driving range, as well as plenty of opportunity to go fishing. The beautiful Spa Gardens with its original bandstand are an excellent venue for relaxing.
Situated on Minster Road opposite the Cathedral, it will show you the many tourist attractions that will cater for all interests in Ripon or a little further afield. Lightwater Valley Theme Park is just 4 miles from Ripon providing a great family day out. Ripon is also very close to Fountains Abbey and Studley Park, Norton Conyers, Newby Hall, Ripley Castle and Brimham Rocks.
Three restored buildings under the banner of the Yorkshire Law and Order Museums are open to the public and include The Prison and Police Museum, The Ripon Workhouse and the Courthouse Museum which show a different side of Ripons heritage. The Prison and Police Museum dates back to the 17th century and it is where the local criminals were held until it was closed during the Prison reform in 1878. The Workhouse Museum shows the lives that people had in the Ripon workhouse in the 18th century showing the hard times and suffering that the poor had to endure. The most recent museum to open is the Courthouse Museum which allows you to stand in the dock, or be the judge watching over the proceedings. www.riponmuseums.co.uk/index.html
The Cathedral building itself is part of the continuing act of worship in Ripon today. Worship has taken place on the site for over 1300 years. There is plenty to please here from the subtle twin towered thirteenth century west front to the choirs misericords and ancient crypt. Many parts of the original building still survive to this day. www.riponcathedral.org.uk