What’s not to love about Ripon…with its elegant medieval cathedral (complete with original Saxon crypt), more walks than you’ll be able to tackle during one visit and an historic market square complete with a traditional hornblower it’s quaint quaint quaint.
Let’s go back to the hornblower for a moment because we know you’re still wondering what that’s all about – the hornblower stands in the market square at exactly 9pm every evening and sounds his horn, and the tradition’s said to have been going on for more than a thousand years. Sound quirky? That’s why we love Ripon.
The market square itself has hosted a market for centuries, and you can still go along every Thursday to sample the local produce and stock up on foods and treats. Whether you’re one of those market goers who prefer to just amble around and browse or you’re intent on cooking up a Yorkshire-flavoured storm, you’ll see why Daniel Defoe said the market square was beautiful (in a far more eloquent sentence than that one!).
The buildings that cluster around the square house the kind of shops and boutiques that are perfect for souvenir shopping and browsing, and if you’re happiest watching the world go by from a friendly café you’ll have your pick. Make sure you don’t miss the World Heritage Site that’s Fountains Abbey, as this inspiring abbey ruin draws visitors in their droves to admire its imposing beauty. A photographer’s dream, the abbey has a peaceful atmosphere that makes it perfect for a picnic and a wander.
Speaking of wandering, if you’re walkers you’ll find the Yorkshire Dales less than ten miles from Ripon, so make sure you take your walking gear and plan a few hikes. Now, let’s go back to Ripon Cathedral, with a history that dates back hundreds of years and a warm welcome for all, this is one of Ripon’s most popular attractions. Even if you don’t venture in for a look around you’ll see it stretching up against the skyline as you enjoy the city, and it’s frankly beautiful.