Here are 30 reasons why Ripon is the best city in the UK
There are so many things that make Ripon a special place to live and visit - from its rich history and treasured traditions, to all the amazing community groups and charities.
By Finola Fitzpatrick
Thursday, 24th January 2019, 3:26 pm
Updated Thursday, 24th January 2019, 3:30 pm
Ripon's streets ooze charm and character.
This is by no means an exhaustive list - we could list many, many more - but here are just some of the things that make Ripon the best city in the UK.
Ripon doesn't do things by halves... Our city showed extraordinary community spirit when it came to commemorating the First World War centenary last year.
Who could forget the spectacular Remembrance light show that was projected onto Ripon Cathedral last year? Just wow!
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Not only is Ripon Cathedral breathtakingly beautiful, hundreds of volunteers and members of staff are at its heart - making it a thriving community hub.
Ripon has three museums with a rising national profile. The workhouse, courthouse and prison and police museum have a great team of volunteers and staff who are passionate about the city's history.
2018 was a huge year for Ripon - including taking centre stage as the host city for Yorkshire Day. Ripon welcomed thousands of visitors and dignitaries for the occasion, and showed the world how it's done!
What a treat it is to be able to go up to Fountains Abbey, whatever the time of year!
Ripon City Panthers, Ripon Runners, Ripon Beginners Running Club, Ripon Rugby Union Football Club, Ripon City Ladies, Ripon City Netball Club, and Ripon City AFC, to name just a few... We are very lucky here in Ripon.
The Market Square is a great focal point for Ripon - and it's a centre for historic traditions such as the Ripon hornblower and bellman.
Ripon is renowned for its special traditions, and the annual St Wilfrid's Procession has to be one of the best. Every year, community groups from across the city enter their beautifully decorated floats.
Tourists from across the globe flock to Ripon to witness the setting of the watch, in a special ritual that dates back to 886. Blowing the horn on the Market Square each night is a massive commitment to say the least!...
With so many stunning streets and landscapes, it's no surprise that Ripon's been chosen as the location for TV dramas and films - most recently, the BBC's production of Agatha Christie's The ABC Murders, and Victoria.
Ripon's streets ooze charm and character. For visitors and Riponians alike, walking down Kirkgate and seeing Ripon Cathedral is always a memorable experience.
When there's a big event or community project in Ripon, businesses really get behind them and show their support - whether that's getting into the spirit with bunting, or donating or sponsoring.
Ripon Civic Society plays an important role in this - launching projects that celebrate the city's heritage, and campaigning when something puts it under threat,
A much-loved soundtrack to Ripon life - Ripon City Band are great ambassadors.
The Ripon Charity Pantomime Group pulls off fantastic productions every year, with an extremely talented local cast.
From the Ripon International Festival and hugely talented Ripon Choral Society, to the Ripon City Band, St Cecilia Orchestra, Cathedral choirs, and the Ripon Rolling Tones choir, we're spoilt for choice.
Ultimately it's the people of Ripon who make it such a special place to be. There are lots of residents doing things to help others, including Janet Slater and Alison Scott who are opening a 'pay as you feel' cafe.
Olympic gold medalist Jack Laugher continues to inspire Ripon's young people, and Matt Stevenson, who won the prestigious Senior Manx Grand Prix motorcycle race, is also inspiring the next generation.
There are so many community groups in Ripon that it's impossible to name every single one, but both of our Rotary clubs and the Ripon Lions are among these organisations making a big difference.
The Little Ripon Bookshop is a fabulous independent business in our city, and we have a very successful Ripon Poetry Festival and Ripon Writers Group.
Ripon has so many beauty spots to enjoy, including Quarry Moor, a Site of Special Scientific Interest, Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal, Ripon Spa Gardens, the canal, and Hell Wath - all managed by great Ripon volunteers.
Where would we be without Ripon library? There's a great sense of community ownership at the library, and that's thanks to the lovely volunteers and staff.
We have an extraordinary voluntary sector in Ripon - from Jennyruth Workshops helping adults with learning disabilities to gain confidence and work experience, to Ripon YMCA and the Ripon and Rural Wellbeing Service.
Ripon is proud of its links with First World War poet Wilfred Owen. And exhibitions and themed Alice in Wonderland family days at Ripon racecourse celebrate Lewis Carrolls ties to Ripon.
Ripon Together is an exciting partnership between organisations including Ripon Cathedral and Harrogate and Ripon Centres for Voluntary Service, driving forward positive community projects.
For decades, the Ripon City Morris Dancers have performed and entertained the masses, adding plenty of colour and energy to the city. Who doesn't like a bit of morris dancing?!
Ripon has so many stunning buildings - Ripon Spa Baths, our city's churches, and the Town Hall - to name just a few. But there are also some hidden gems...
The Tour de Yorkshire returns to Ripon this year, and the city will also take centre stage for the UCI Road World Championships.
We've always known that Ripon's full of talented singers, dancers and performers - and last year's Ripon's Got Talent competition highlighted this perfectly.