The beautiful cathedral city of Ripon is one of the oldest cities in England, and one of the country's smallest. It's strategic rural location makes it the ideal cottage holiday location; close to the famous Yorkshire Dales, stunning Nidderdale and the lovely spa town of Harrogate.
The city is centred around Market Square, around which there's a wide range of speciality shops, cafes, restaurants and traditional pubs. An obelisk, which stands 27m tall, has marked the centre of the square for more than 300 years. Look out for the watchman who blows his horn in the square every evening and the weekly market which is held in the Market Square every Thursday.
Parts of the present cathedral date from 672, although religious worship has taken place on the site since much earlier. The towpath alongside the recently restored marine and canal provides some very pleasant walks and canoes can be hired on the canal during the summer months. The city's museums include the Ripon Courthouse Museum, the Prison and Police Museum and the Ripon Workhouse and Garden Museum.
Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Gardens, located nearby, are also well worth a visit. Ripley, a village and castle located between Ripon and Harrogate and Harrogate itself are all easily accessed from Ripon.
Close by the Dales are known world-wide for their beautiful landscapes of rolling hills, woodlands, moorland and gentle valleys. They provide the perfect opportunity for relaxed walks, hikes, cycle rides and scenic drives, and the many picturesque villages and small towns scattered through the area provide a look into traditional Yorkshire life.
If you would like to stay close to beautiful Ripon and the Yorkshire Dales, check out holiday cottages in Ripon.