Ripon is one of the smallest and oldest cities in England, situated by the River Ure on the fringe of the Vale of York. The River Skell runs through the heart of the city and has peaceful walkways on its banks to explore the many facets of Ripon including medieval streets and the splendid Cathedral founded by St Wilfred and dating back to the 7th Century.
The compact market square, which still has a busy market each Thursday, is faced by stately Georgian and Tudor buildings overlooking the 300 years old obelisk that rises over 27m high. Every evening at 9.00pm at the obelisk the Wakeman, or Hornblower sounds his horn to ‘set the Watch’, a tradition continued unbroken for over 1100 years and originally done to defend the city against marauding Vikings. Visitors arrive from all over the world to see the Hornblower and receive one of his ‘Lucky Wooden Pennies’.
The city is also famous for its Spa Baths which were opened in 1905 and extended with the present main pool in 1936 and are still there to be enjoyed today. The nearby award winning Spa gardens and its Victorian bandstand holds various concerts on weekend afternoons throughout the summer, beautiful sculpture and crazy golf, putting greens, bowls and tennis to play. There are museums to explore, a very popular and prestigious racecourse to have a flutter on your favorite horse, lots of good pubs, cafes and restaurants to relax and enjoy. Nearby is the World Heritage Site of Studley Royal and Fountains Abbey to enchant all who visit and the not too distant Yorkshire Dales to be awed and captivated by. A small city with a great Yorkshire heart.