A hidden gem between two national parks
Ripon is England’s smallest cathedral city with a rich a varied history. Close to some of Yorkshire’s finest tourist attractions like World Heritage site Fountains Abbey, Brimham Rocks and its own striking cathedral, Ripon is an ideal base to explore either or even both of the Yorkshire’s two National Parks.
Lying just outside the south-eastern corner of the Dales National Park, Ripon is perfectly placed to explore the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty – a pristine natural playground hidden away in a secret valley which only has a single road in and out.
As well as the many public rights of way throughout Ripon and the surrounding areas, visitors can use the Six Dales Trail which crosses through the Nidderdale area. Another choice is the Nidderdale Way, a 53 mile circular footpath with plenty of cafes and rest stops that is ideal as a four-day walk.
As well as some first rate walking and off-road cycling, Nidderdale is also popular with climbers and ghyll-scramblers exploring the upper reaches of the river from which the dale derives its name at spectacular How Stean Gorge.
Nearby River Ure offers canoeing access through British Canoeing. Paddling from Sleningford to Ripon offers some of the most stunning scenery in Yorkshire.