Located in the heart of Yorkshire, in the north of England, Yorkshire Dales is one of the fifteen British national parks. It consists of more than 1,700 square miles of mountains and valleys, where villages are scarce and sheep roam free (in fact, there are probably more sheep than people!). The beauty of the place lies not just in the green areas, but also the famous moors, which only appear after a certain altitude and are red and yellow.
Just at tip of the Studley Royal Park, but outside the precincts of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Chair Walk Lake can be accessed for free. In the distance, you can see the Victorian water garden, and here you can see ducks, geese and swans swimming, and throw stale bread for them!
Located in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Studley Royal Park near Ripon, Yorkshire in northern England, the Water Garden is a gift from the Victorians to future generations. In the nineteenth century, the Victorians took over the abandoned abbey and turned it into a romantic place to stroll, with water flowing gently between classical statues. A magical place.
Studley Royal Park covers acres of forest, garden and landscaped channels, and what you see today is quite different from what stood when the area was home just to the Fountains Abbey. In the nineteenth century, the Victorians renovated the ancient ruins, turning the site into a romantic place. They built stone monuments in the classical style, and added tunnels and other features. This is one of the reasons why this site was declared a World Heritage Site!
Located near the Studley Royal Park, St. Mary's Church is still part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, and when we go inside we can see why! This church, which dominates the surrounding grassy valley does not look much from the outside but once you enter, you can't fail to be impressed by the richness of its interior decoration. The walls, ceiling, and gilded dome show important passages from the Bible, and the colored light filtering through the stained glass windows is beautiful. And even more remarkable, it's free to visit!
During their visits to Studley Royal Park, many people limit their exploration to the ruins of Fountains Abbey and do not take the time to explore the rest of this wonderful site that has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. At a minimum, we urge you to enjoy the romantic trail that was developed by the Victorians along the canal ... you will not regret the magnificent views!
Located near the city center of Ripon, the cathedral is a massive, dark building on the site of the first monastery built in Ripon in the seventh century. Visiting is free, and while the interior may at first appear rather austere, when you move to the nave you'll see painted statues and beautiful, richly decorated pews. You can also go down to see the small crypt.
Ripon Market is held every Thursday in the main town square, selling clothing, food and fresh local produce. This is an opportunity to discover a little more about local culture through food and habits of the inhabitants of this famous place. Every night at 9, the Ripon Hornblower plays the horn at the foot of the central obelisk, a traditional dating back to the Middle Ages!
Although modest in size (about 15,000 inhabitants, it is the fourth smallest city in England), Ripon has played a major role in the country's history, including the development of Christianity, thanks to its cathedral. Today it is an appealing town buried in the green hills of Yorkshire, and close to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Fountains Abbey. The market square is the focal point of the city, and every night the "horn blower" blows his trumpet at the obelisk, continuing a tradition that has existed since the Middle Ages!
Located in downtown Ripon, The Arcade is a shopping street that has been designed to accommodate many shops in the red brick buildings located between the Market Square and the adjoining street where you can find Sainsbury's supermarket. This is the place to go to find jeweler's, hairdresser's, record shops, and more!
Did you know that the UK produces more than 700 different cheeses? You will not find them all in one store, but the Deli on the Hill is a small grocery store that has selected some of the best of them, along with many other products! The friendly staff are very welcoming, and will let you sample the products to help you choose - you can opt for a freshly prepared sandwich, or one of the famous pork pies, a specialty of the region!
Located in a city known for its brewing tradition, the Black Sheep brewery was created by Paul Theakston after his family had to sell the old Theakston Brewery to a large group. The one-hour tour provides an interesting look at the traditional brewing method used in Yorkshire.
Studley Royal Park is huge, and it is impossible to see all the hundreds of acres that comprise it. Nevertheless, the place to get a good view is the "lookout" that sits on the hill overlooking the creek. From here you can take great pictures of the park!
A veritable institution in the city of Ripon, Appletons is a deli-caterer which stands opposite the main square of the city in a remarkable historic building, bristling with black beams on white walls. We recommend that you try the local specialty, the pork pies, that you can eat hot or cold.
Right next to the Black Sheep Brewery is the shop! You can find the whole range of beers here (many are exclusive to the shop), as well as other local products including sheep's cheese. A must if you like beer (which you should enjoy in moderation, of course!)