A well-kept secret of Yorkshire, the cathedral city near Harrogate is a fascinating hidden gem. The beautiful city, which has grown in popularity since the pandemic has a rich cultural heritage as well as a bustling market square and award-winning museums for visitors to enjoy.
It’s hard to believe that it’s a city as idyllic and quaint as it is – never mind the oldest city in Britain. You’ll find what makes Ripon unique is its small streets and snickets that house boutique shops and cafes, which it has become so loved for.
It’s one of the smallest cities in the UK, Ripon was voted one of the most popular with movers looking for greener pastures after lockdown, according to Ogden, “Ripon is riding a popularity wave.”
The tiny city has a population of just 16,589 and is praised for its rich heritage, boutique shops, an abundance of local activities, and nearby landmarks.
Despite its size, it was granted a royal charter, which is a written grant by the sovereign or legislative power of a country, by King Alfred the Great, who was king of the West Saxons, in 886 and was presented with a horn as a symbol of the charter.
At nine o’clock every night, a Wakeman appointed by the people of Ripon to keep watch during the night hours would sound the horn in the Market Square to signify the start of the watch, and although the Wakeman has been replaced by a major in the 17th century the long-observed tradition is still upheld to this day without a break. It’s one of the oldest ceremonies in England.
It is also known as the third-smallest city in England and the smallest in Yorkshire with just a population of just over 16,000. Popular things to do in and around Ripon include Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden, the stunning Ripon Cathedral, and Newby Hall 4 and Gardens, and more.
Ripon is also home to one of the best-voted hotels in the world, Grantley Hall. Set along the River Skell, it has a stately home feel and has 47 rooms in the 1600s mansion – a great way to feel like royalty that’s for sure.
Source: ‘I Never Knew That About Yorkshire’ by Christopher Winn
Feature Image Credit: Flickr