Welcome return

Visitors were welcomed back to the Ripon area during the first weekend since the second phase of the government’s Roadmap out of Lockdown.

Wednesday, 21st April 2021, 2:14 pm

Attractions reported a positive response from people and lots of smiley faces.

Justin Scully, General Manager Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal and Brimham Rocks said they were planning ahead.

“As we progress along the roadmap out of lockdown we’ve increased our capacity at Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal so that we’re now able to safely welcome more pre-booked visitors.

“The sunny weather and the Easter holidays have certainly been busy with a number of days at full capacity and even some snow thrown into the mix to complicate things.”

But the return to attractions had much more meaning to many.

Justin added: “It’s been a wonderful place to see the effects of lockdown easing as we’ve had the joy of watching families and friends reunite.

“We’ve seen babies being introduced for the first time, grandparents seeing grandchildren after a year apart and long overdue family photos being snapped.

“Our next milestone will be opening more of our indoor spaces for our visitors to explore and enjoy.”

Colin Bowes, Lightwater Valley’s General Manager said it was good to reopen the North Stainley-based theme park, which has new features.

“It was great to welcome families back last weekend and to get such great feedback on the new rides and attractions which have been installed this year.”

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He added: “Treetop Trails, which is now included in the admission fee, was really popular with children and adults alike.

“Another firm family favourite is the new Savanna Express train, part of the Go Safari area.

“These new developments are part of the wider park changes to appeal to a young family audience.”

Colin added that the opening weekend proved popular.

”We were delighted that tickets sold out during our reopening weekend and we can see that tickets are also selling fast for this weekend too so we recommend families book online early.

“We have also seen a surge in annual pass holders in 2021.”

Newby Hall opened its gardens on April 1 and welcomed pre-booked visitors over the Easter break.

This week it announced the return of old favourites as restrictions relaxed.

“Whilst we are still waiting for the Royal Scot miniature steam train to return, we are delighted to announce that the diesel and electric trains and the river boat will be running again from tomorrow (April 14),” a spokesman announced.

Ripon Museum Trust reopened the Workhouse Museum Gardens from Thursday April 15, with a family-friendly trail to guide visitors around the site.

The Trust’s three museums – the Workhouse Museum, Prison and Police Museum and Courthouse Museum – will reopen fully from Monday May 17.

The Workhouse Museum Gardens will be open to visitors from Thursday to Sunday, 11am-3pm, plus Bank Holiday Monday May 3.

To manage numbers and ensure social distancing, visitors should pre-book timed ticket slots online.