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So, you’re planning a trip to rural Yorkshire and looking for places to stay in Ripon?
The ancient city of Ripon in Nidderdale, North Yorkshire is famed for its beautiful cathedral, quirky museums, and incredible UNESCO World Heritage attractions right on the doorstep, including the stunning Yorkshire Dales.
In this post, you’ll get an authentic local perspective on places to stay in Ripon to help you plan your trip to this charming little city. You can also check out some FAQs and recommended activities around Ripon.
As one of the UK’s smallest cities, Ripon, is an enchanting treasure trove for history buffs and lovers of the great outdoors. Here are my recommendations for the best places to stay in Ripon and the local area.
Places to Stay in Ripon: Best Areas & Hotels
I’ve lived and worked in Yorkshire for almost a decade and know Ripon well. It’s a city I love to visit, so I’ve hand-picked this list of the best places to stay in Ripon to help you plan your trip.
Whether you’re looking for where to stay in Ripon, places to stay in Ripon with hot tub rooms, or you want to find the best hotels in the wider Nidderdale area with easy access to the city’s historical attractions; you don’t need to look any further when planning your trip.
Here are my top recommendations for the best places to stay in Ripon.
Ripon City Centre – Places To Stay In Ripon For First-Time Visitors (Sightseeing)
For first time visitors, the compact city centre is the best area to stay in Ripon. Less than a five minute stroll from the central bus station, this neighbourhood is within walking distance of the city’s best attractions, places to shop, restaurants and bars.
Best Things To Do In Ripon City Centre
✔️ Explore the magnificent early English Gothic Ripon Cathedral. As one of the oldest cathedrals in England, it has 1350 years of history to explore!
✔️ Go to the Races – Ripon Racecourse is one of the finest in the area, with 14 days of top flat racing every year.
✔️ Visit Ripon’s three marvellous museums – the Workhouse Museum, the Courthouse Museum, and the Police Museum. You could easily explore all three in one morning, enjoy a good lunch, then wander around the cathedral!
Read my full review on what to do in Ripon here.
Where To Stay In Ripon City Centre
If you’re not sure where to stay in the centre of Ripon, these are great options:
1. The Royal Oak (Mid Budget)
Located right in the heart of Ripon, the Royal Oak is an 18th century coaching inn that has been lovingly restored to create a stylish and comfortable retreat. It’s ideal for a short break and one of the best places to stay in Ripon city centre!
Expect ultra comfy beds, lovely showers, free Wi-Fi and your own Nespresso machine!
“Excellent property and will definitely return. food was especially good including the breakfast!”
❤️ WHY GUESTS LOVE THE ROYAL OAK
You can start your day with a big home cooked English breakfast that will keep you going all day, before exploring the city. The winding streets of Ripon are on your doorstep, while Ripons’ cathedral and Market are mere minutes away.
Dining in is a real treat, with classic no-frills dishes championing the freshest local produce. If you stay on a Saturday night, book a table for Sunday lunch – you won’t be disappointed!
⭐️ ROYAL OAK REVIEWS (8.1/10 stars)
A lovely stay and I hope to return in the New Year. Delicious breakfast with local produce. —Adrian
A great place to stay. Staff were excellent as was the food. Highly recommend the Oak. —William
2. The Unicorn Hotel (Great Value)
Atmosphere comes in spades at this former coaching inn, where parts of the building are 700 years old! Located right in the middle of Ripon, in the market square, the location could not be better for sightseeing.
Top Tip: Ask for an upper floor room if you want complete quiet, as the Unicorn is a popular pub, serving real ales and bar meals.
Nidderdale – Places To Stay In Ripon Area for Outdoor Activities, Rural Escapes & Historical Sites
Nidderdale is a beautiful part of North Yorkshire adjacent to Ripon. Designated as an AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) it’s incredibly scenic. This area draws thousands of visitors every year who want to walk, hike, cycle, kayak, and explore!
Best Things To Do In Nidderdale
✔️ Visit the iconic ruined 12th century Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Gardens.
✔️ Explore the pretty village of Ripley and it’s lovely castle, and Pateley Bridge – the only town in Nidderdale!
Find my full guide on what to do in Nidderdale here
Where To Stay In Nidderdale
The Nidderdale area is popular all year around, with a great selection of quality hotels, cosy B&Bs, plus a whole host of cottages, private houses, luxurious glamping escapes and budget-friendly campsites .
Here are some of the best places to stay in Nidderdale:
1. Grantley Hall (Exceptional Luxury)
Grantley Hall is the ultimate place to escape to if you need some pampering. From the moment you drive through the gates to the second you leave, every last detail is perfection.
The 47 individually designed guest rooms are stunning, spacious and ultra-comfortable, while the bathrooms are really rather fabulous!
“Sumptuous setting, spa, service, food…basically everything. This is luxury with a capital L.”
❤️ WHY GUESTS LOVE GRANTLEY HALL
It’s easy to see why the AA have recognised Grantley Hall as their Hotel of the Year in England for 2022. You can easily spend your entire stay in the hotel, whether you fancy something active like golfing or trying out the gym, or prefer to relax and unwind in the beautiful Three Graces spa,
Afternoon tea is an unhurried and elegant treat, where you can decide which of the hotel’s outstanding restaurants to pick for your evening meal. Top picks include the Michelin-starred Shaun Rankin at Grantley Hall and the exquisite fusion of East and West at Eighty Eight.
⭐️ GRANTLEY HALL REVIEWS (9.6/10 stars)
The room was something else! It was done to a super high standard but also felt really comfortable and homely. The staff were amazing and did everything they could to make us feel special. —Gabriella
The grounds, the hotel, the spa, the restaurants… All absolutely superb. The sunny, frosty winter mornings made it even more stunning. Genuinely one of the best hotels and we now have the best of memories. Can’t wait to go back in the summer! —Jack
2. Swinton Estate (Luxury)
Set in 20,000 acres of rural North Yorkshire, this luxury castle hotel offers elegant guest rooms, beautiful family-friendly cottages, tree lodges, meadow yurts, and its own 19th century Druid’s temple!
There’s also a posh spa, elegant dining, plus opportunities to try falconry, archery, fishing, or cooking at the Swinton cookery school! Highly Recommended!
3. The Masons Arms – B&B (Mid Priced)
This lovely old country pub is located in the prettiest village setting, just nine minutes from the centre of Ripon.
If you’re looking for a real slice of Yorkshire village life, click here to book your stay at the Mason’s Arms – but be quick! There are only three rooms and it’s very popular.
Visiting Ripon, Yorkshire, UK: FAQs
I hope I’ve answered your questions about places to stay in Ripon, Yorkshire. In case I’ve missed something, here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about this city.
What’s Ripon most famous for?
Ripon is best known for its Gothic cathedral, the Ripon Racecourse and the Ripon Hornblower. Find more things to do in Ripon here.
Is Ripon worth visiting for a weekend away?
Absolutely! Although it is tiny, there’s plenty in the city and in the local area to keep you busy! Whether you love browsing markets, exploring historical sites or enjoying active outdoor activities, Ripon is perfect for short breaks.
Wrap Up – Places To Stay In Ripon 2023
So there you have it. Whether you plan to visit Ripon for the history, the culture or a romantic trip with your partner, it will deliver more than you expect.
After living so close to Ripon for almost ten years, I believe it is one of the most interesting small British cities. Compact and easy to explore, it’s the perfect short break destination, and there are great options at all budgets for places to stay in Ripon.