If you are looking to take a short holiday break in the U.K. Ripon in North Yorkshire
might be of interest, a small market town and a cathedral city
. Ripon makes a good base for exploring many other places of interest in the surrounding area including nearby Fountains Abbey.
The cathedral is fairly small and though the exterior is fairly plain the interior is a mix of architectural styles. Previously a Minster it became a cathedral in 1836. The font which dates from Tudor times is still in use, you can admire the carvings on the misericords and the Anglo-Saxon Crypt. It is a beautiful place and well worth visiting. Kirkgate is a fairly narrow street leading to the cathedral; there are several small shops to browse around as well as a variety of cafes, restaurants and tea rooms for refreshments.
You will find the Tourist Office on Minster Road just opposite the cathedral, where you can get details on accommodation, attractions, and local events also information on the history of the city. You may like to visit the Prison & Police Museum which is situated behind the cathedral on St. Marygate. The small Courthouse Museum is on Minster Road. On Allhallowgate you will find the Ripon Workhouse where the poor were confined.
Ripon has a weekly market which is held on a Thursday on the Market Square one old custom still carried out on market day is the ringing of a hand bell at 11am to declare the market open. Another ancient custom is the sounding of the horn at 9pm every evening on the market square, now it is sounded at each corner of the obelisk and then in front of the mayors house. This custom has been carried out for many centuries.
You can visit the Spa Baths on Park Street, originally opened in 1905 the swimming baths were put in 1936 and are a popular venue for the local population as well as visitors to the city, the pool does get busy in the public sessions and the main holiday season. Next to the swimming baths are the lovely Spa Gardens where there are some beautiful flower beds, well cared for lawns and a bowling green. It is a lovely place
to sit and relax you can get refreshments from the cafe. The last time I visited children were enjoying the crazy golf facility in the gardens also.
Two ancient inns have survived The Unicorn and the Black Bull and are still in use today. They were the stopping off points for coaches, while the horses were been changed the passengers could have some refreshments. In the 19th century the Royal Mail coach from Glasgow used the Unicorn.
If you enjoy walking there are some very pleasant and popular local river walks, you can get more information on walks in the surrounding area from the Tourist Office. The Ripon Canal is attracting many more visitors; you can hire pedalos, kayaks and take to the water, weather permitting of course.
Ripon has a variety of shops some are independents others include Dorothy Perkins, Boots M&S Food etc. you can spend some time exploring the streets and shops.
Visitors to Ripon will find plenty to interest them in the city and the many nearby attractions which include Newby Hall & Gardens, Lightwater Valley Theme Park and Fountains Abbey/Studley Royal, a lovely location to spend some time