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The small Yorkshire city of Ripon serves up more than enough culture, history and heritage to go toe-to-toe with any of the much larger cities that surround it. Nestled comfortably between the Yorkshire Dales and the North York Moors, Ripon has something for everyone - from the hustle bustle of city life to the famous tranquillity of Yorkshire's rolling hills.  One visit to this beautiful city is not enough to take it all in, but you'll never struggle to find an excuse to come back.

To visit by train you'll need to journey to one of these 3 nearest stations, Harrogate (11 miles), Thirsk (11 miles) or York (27 miles). From any of these stations you'll find a frequent bus service to Ripon, alternatively local taxi services are also available from all 3.

Ripon is Yorkshire's historical heartland and home to countless ancient landmarks and monuments, the first of which you should visit is its stunning cathedral. The building that stands on the site today may be markedly different to one that sprung up here in the 7th century, but it is still home to over 800 years of master craftsmanship, evidenced in its mix of wooden and stone architecture.

If you still have a hankering for history, why not make the trip to Ripon's Prison and Police Museum, a labyrinth of yet more stunning architecture, this time from several periods between the 17th and 19th centuries, but with the added benefit of being just a little bit gruesome, with a pillory and whipping post in the yard.

For more modern pursuits, the Lightwater Country Shopping Village is the place to be heading. This is not your ordinary shopping mall by any stretch, its cavernous malls are home to everything from high-fashion and homewares to a green-fingered garden centre and artisan cafe. Once you've shopped up an appetite, it's time to sample one of the town's famous tearooms for a cream tea - the Yorkshire way.

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