Skip to content

Harrogate What’s On in 2023 showing details of Shows, Festivals

Harrogate What’s On in 2023 showing details of Shows, Festivals.

Click Here to see Easter Events

Always check and confirm details as they can change

November 2023

Dick Whittington

  • Date: WED 22 NOV – SUN 14 JAN
  • Description: Join Dick Whittington on a thrilling adventure to seek fame and fortune in the golden streets of London! With his trusty sidekick Tammy the Cat by his side, Dick needs all the help he can get to become the Lord Mayor of London and defeat the evil King Rat. Harrogate Theatre’s magical pantomime is filled with sparkle, silliness, and side-splitting jokes. Don’t miss the greatest adventure of them all!

Billy Billingham MBE: Always A Little Further

  • Date: WED 08 NOV
  • Venue: Royal Hall
  • Description: Billy Billingham MBE QCB, Chief Instructor on Channel 4’s SAS: Who Dares Wins, Paratrooper, and decorated SAS leader, shares his incredible and inspirational story. Join him for an extraordinary evening.

Lost in Music: One Night at the Disco

  • Date: THU 09 NOV
  • Venue: Royal Hall
  • Description: Relive the magical 70s and embark on a musical journey straight to the heart of disco! Enjoy some of the greatest songs of all time from artists like Donna Summer, Gloria Gaynor, Earth, Wind & Fire, Sister Sledge, and Chic.

Show of Hands

  • Date: FRI 10 NOV
  • Venue: Royal Hall
  • Description: After 30 remarkable years on the road, Show of Hands performs their final tour with Miranda Sykes. Full Circle Part I celebrates their much-loved collaboration.

Fledglings: A Scratch Night for New Writers

  • Date: FRI 10 NOV
  • Venue: Wesley Centre
  • Description: Join us at the Wesley Centre to get a glimpse of what local theatre-makers are currently creating. Enjoy extracts of brand-new shows and share feedback over a brew to help shape these work-in-progress productions.

Islands in the Stream

  • Date: SAT 11 NOV
  • Venue: Royal Hall
  • Description: Leave your 9 to 5 worries at the door and celebrate the Queen and King of country music for one night only – Dolly Parton and the late great Kenny Rogers.

Jools Holland and his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra

  • Date: SUN 12 NOV
  • Venue: Harrogate Convention Centre
  • Description: Featuring outstanding vocals and talented musicians, Jools Holland and his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra will take you on a musical journey spanning his entire solo career.

Mutton

  • Date: FRI 24 NOV
  • Venue: West Park UR Church
  • Description: “Mutton” is a new dark comedy that explores the life and times of the Yorkshire Witch, Mary Bateman. Discover how the desperation of ordinary folk in the early 1800s parallels today and why we should challenge patriarchal history.

Humble Boy (Community Production)

  • Date: THU 30 NOV – SAT 02 DEC
  • Venue: Harrogate Studio Theatre
  • Description: Winner of the 2002 Critic’s Circle Theatre Award, “Humble Boy” is a comedy inspired by Hamlet. Follow Felix Humble, a Cambridge astro-physicist, as he returns home after his father’s death and encounters a family drama like no other.

…………………………………………………………………….

Harrogate Convention Centre and Royal Hall

WHAT’S ON

HARROGATE INTERNATIONAL NURSERY TRADE FAIR

EXHIBITION HALLS

October

MOST HAUNTED LIVE – WITH YVETTE FIELDING

ROYAL HALL

October

Salvation Army Officers’ Councils 2023

HARROGATE CONVENTION CENTRE

October

THE ELVIS YEARS 2023

ROYAL HALL

October

A GOLDEN GALA – 50 YEARS IN ASSOCIATION

ROYAL HALL

October

AN EVENING WITH ADRIAN EDMONDSON

MAIN AUDITORIUM

October

Royal Hall Open Day

ROYAL HALL

October

THE WONDER OF STEVIE

ROYAL HALL

October

SWAN LAKE 2023

ROYAL HALL

October

GISELLE 2023

ROYAL HALL

October

NUTCRACKER 2023

ROYAL HALL

October

ROSS NOBLE – JIBBER JABBER JAMBOREE

ROYAL HALL

October

JIMEOIN – THE CRAIC!

ROYAL HALL

October

ULTIMATE BOY BAND PARTY SHOW

ROYAL HALL

October

FASCINATING AÏDA – THE 40TH ANNIVERSARY SHOW!

ROYAL HALL

October

NORTHERN HOMEBUILDING & RENOVATING SHOW

EXHIBITION HALLS

November

THE AUSTRALIAN PINK FLOYD 2023

AUDITORIUM

November

BILLY BILLINGHAM MBE – ALWAYS A LITTLE FURTHER

ROYAL HALL

November

LOST IN MUSIC 2023 – ONE NIGHT AT THE DISCO

ROYAL HALL

November

SHOW OF HANDS – FULL CIRCLE PART 1 2023

ROYAL HALL

November

THOUGHT BUBBLE COMIC CONVENTION

EXHIBITION HALLS

November

ISLANDS IN THE STREAM 2023

ROYAL HALL

November

JOOLS HOLLAND AND HIS RHYTHM AND BLUES ORCHESTRA

MAIN AUDITORIUM

November

THE KNITTING & STITCHING SHOW

EXHIBITION HALLS

November

SIMON REEVE – TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH

ROYAL HALL

November

HSO WINTER CONCERT 2023

ROYAL HALL

November

COUNTRY LIVING CHRISTMAS FAIR

EXHIBITION HALLS

Nov – Dec

THE HARROGATE CHRISTMAS CONCERT 2023

AUDITORIUM

December

NEW DATE – WHITNEY QUEEN OF THE NIGHT 2023

ROYAL HALL

December

THE ROCKET MAN 2023 – A TRIBUTE TO ELTON JOHN

ROYAL HALL

December

THE BOOTLEG BEATLES 2023

ROYAL HALL

December

HANDEL MESSIAH – HARROGATE CHORAL SOCIETY

ROYAL HALL

December

THE CARPENTERS EXPERIENCE

ROYAL HALL

December

UKULELE ORCHESTRA OF GREAT BRITAIN

ROYAL HALL

December

SWING INTO CHRISTMAS

ROYAL HALL

December

FANFARE FOR CHRISTMAS, BRIGHOUSE & RASTRICK WITH HARROGATE G&S

ROYAL HALL

December

HARROGATE CHRISTMAS & GIFT TRADE FAIR 2024

EXHIBITION HALLS

January

BIGGA TURF MANAGEMENT EXHIBITION (BTME) TRADE SHOW

EXHIBITION HALLS

January

TOMMY EMMANUEL PLUS SPECIAL GUEST MOLLY TUTTLE

ROYAL HALL

January

AN AUDIENCE WITH LUCY WORSLEY ON AGATHA CHRISTIE

ROYAL HALL

February

LA BOHEME 2024 – PERFORMED BY UKRANIAN NATIONAL OPERA

ROYAL HALL

February

SIR RANULPH FIENNES: MAD BAD AND DANGEROUS 2024

ROYAL HALL

February

CARMEN 2024 – PERFORMED BY UKRAINIAN NATIONAL OPERA

ROYAL HALL

February

FRANKIE BOYLE – LAP OF SHAME 2024

ROYAL HALL

February

ED BYRNE: TRAGEDY PLUS TIME

ROYAL HALL

March

BANFF 2024 RED FILM PROGRAMME

ROYAL HALL

March

DIVERSITY – SUPERNOVA MATINEE 2024

MAIN AUDITORIUM

March

SOPHIE MCCARTNEY IS TIRED AND TESTED 2024

ROYAL HALL

March

SOME GUYS HAVE ALL THE LUCK 2024

ROYAL HALL

March

BOWIE LIVE 2024

ROYAL HALL

March

GOGREEN YORKSHIRE

EXHIBITION HALLS

May

ED GAMBLE : HOT DIGGITY DOG

ROYAL HALL

June

SARAH MILLICAN – LATE BLOOMER – 2024

ROYAL HALL

July

JIVE TALKIN’ 2024

ROYAL HALL

September

JUST MY IMAGINATION 2024

ROYAL HALL

October

BANFF 2024 BLUE FILM PROGRAMME

ROYAL HALL

October

AL MURRAY – GUV ISLAND – 2024

UK seeks mentor with humor, no time wasters. Pub Landlord returns to tackle life’s questions. Old-school wisdom in a HR-free zone.

ROYAL HALL

October

DICK AND ANGEL: FOREVER HOME (AVEC LE NITTY GRITTY) 2024

Banquet

Royal Hall

 

Events in 2023

The Yorkshire Motorhome and Campervan Show Friday 17 – Sunday 19 March 2023 Click Here for More Details

Harrogate Spring Flower Show START DATE THURSDAY 20TH APR 2023 09:30 AM END DATE SUNDAY 23RD APR 2023 16:30 PM Click Here to Book Tickets

The great Knaresborough Bed Race JUNE 10TH 2023 Click Here for More Details

HARROGATEFAKE FESTIVAL SAT 15 JUL 2023 11.45AM-11.00PM INSIDE OUR GIANT MARQUEE THE STRAY, HARROGATE HG2 8JR Click Here for More Details.

Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival 20 – 23 July 2023 | Old Swan Hotel, Harrogate Click Here for More Details

 

The Great Yorkshire Show Tuesday 11 – Friday 14 July 2023 Click Here for More Details

 

Nidderdale Show Sunday 24th September 2023 Click Here for More Details

Harrogate What’s On in 2023

 

History of Harrogate and Districts

History of Harrogate and Districts

Click Here to Find the History of Knaresborough

The History below is that I have researched on the internet and in libraries and hopefully correct, however, history sometimes differs in the views of different historians. Should you find any errors, anything I might have missed or indeed anything  I can include or research please email info@visitharrogateuk.co.uk

History of Harrogate:

The history of Harrogate and its surrounding districts is a fascinating tale of origins and evolution. The etymology of the town’s name presents intriguing possibilities. It may have roots in Old Norse, where “hrgr” denotes a heap of stones or cairn, and “gata” signifies a street. In this context, the name might have originally meant “the road to the cairn.” Alternatively, some believe it could be linked to “the way to Harlow.” An earlier form, “Harlowgate,” appears in records dating back to 1518 during Edward II’s reign.

Medieval Harrogate found itself straddling the borders of the township of Bilton with Harrogate, within the ancient Parish of Knaresborough, and the parish of Pannal, also known as Beckwith with Rossett. Over time, the part within Bilton evolved into the community of High Harrogate, while the segment within Pannal became Low Harrogate. Both were nestled within the Royal Forest of Knaresborough. In 1372, King Edward III bestowed the Royal Forest upon his son, John, Duke of Lancaster (also known as John of Gaunt), making the Duchy of Lancaster the principal landowner in Harrogate.

The 17th century marked a significant turning point as Harrogate transformed from a quiet hamlet into a burgeoning Spa Town. It was toward the end of the 16th century when a traveller quenched their thirst from a well in Harrogate, noticing that the water tasted remarkably like the renowned spa waters. In those days, people believed that imbibing and bathing in spa water held curative powers, and this discovery led to the slow emergence of Harrogate as a spa town.

The first of these therapeutic wells to be uncovered was Tewitt Well. In 1596, a traveller by the name of Slingsby stumbled upon its waters, which were found on Stray, a common in Harrogate. These waters possessed properties similar to those in the Belgian Spa. Slingsby aptly named the well “Tewit” after a local term for the peewit or lapwing bird, which still frequents the Stray common. However, Tewitt Well saw fewer visitors than its counterparts in Low Harrogate and St John’s Well in High Harrogate, owing to its distance from Victorian hotels and lodging houses. In 1842, the structure enclosing the Royal Pump Room, situated over the Old Sulphur Well, was replaced by a new design by Isaac Shutt for the Improvement Commissioners. The original structure was then relocated to Tewitt Well, and it remains an iconic landmark, even inspiring the name of the local youth brass band, ‘The Tewit Youth Band.’

Harrogate’s expansion continued in the 1600s when Dr. Michael Stanhope unearthed a second well known as St John’s Well. Edmund Deane played a pivotal role in publicizing the medicinal qualities of these waters, and his book, “Spadacrene Anglica, or the English Spa Fountain,” was published in 1626.

As the 17th and 18th centuries unfolded, more chalybeate springs were discovered in High Harrogate, alongside chalybeate and sulphur springs in Low Harrogate. These developments attracted a multitude of visitors. To accommodate them, numerous inns were established in High Harrogate during the 17th century, including the Queen’s Head, the Granby, the Dragon, and the World’s End. In Low Harrogate, the Crown was already serving guests by the mid-18th century, if not earlier.

History of Harrogate and Districts

In the early 1700s, Harrogate was still a growing town, and its history is deeply intertwined with the development of its iconic landmarks and facilities. Initially, people bathed in a sulphur well that had a rather unflattering local nickname – the stinking well. Later in the 18th century, inns were constructed to provide accommodation for visitors. It was in the late 1800s that the Magnesia Well was discovered, and the Royal Baths opened their doors to the public in 1897.

Towards the end of the 1800s, significant changes occurred in Harrogate’s landscape. Initially, much of the public land was enclosed by local residents. However, around 200 acres were later designated as public land. This period saw a substantial population increase, with around 4,000 people living in the town by 1831.

Harrogate’s transformation was facilitated by the Enclosure Act of 1770, which was promoted by the Duchy of Lancaster. This act led to the enclosure of the Royal Forest of Knaresborough. The subsequent enclosure award in 1778 clarified land ownership in the Harrogate area, and it set aside 200 acres of land, including the springs of the time, as a public common called The Stray, which remains a public open space today. This award encouraged development around The Stray.

During the 19th century, the areas of High Harrogate and Low Harrogate, which were once separate communities a mile apart, merged, forming the central area of modern-day Harrogate, situated on high ground overlooking Low Harrogate. To the north of the town, land reserved for the Duchy of Lancaster was developed for residential buildings.

In terms of providing entertainment for the growing number of visitors, the Georgian Theatre was constructed in 1788. Bath Hospital (later known as the Royal Bath Hospital) was built in 1826, and the Royal Pump Room followed in 1842. The Tewit Well site is marked by a dome on The Stray, and other wells can be found in the Valley Gardens and the Royal Pump Room museum.

History of Harrogate and Districts

Harrogate reached several important milestones in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Piped water was introduced in 1846, followed by gas lighting in 1847. In 1848, the town saw the establishment of its Railway Station, significantly increasing the number of visitors. In 1884, Harrogate appointed its first Mayor, and in 1887, a Public Library was established. Electricity was delivered to Harrogate in 1897. Notably, in 1893, Harrogate doctor George Oliver was the first to observe the effect of adrenaline on circulation.

During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Harrogate became a popular destination for the English elite and European nobility. However, its popularity waned after the First World War. In the Second World War, Harrogate’s large hotels accommodated government offices evacuated from London, paving the way for the town to evolve into a commercial, conference, and exhibition centre.

Harrogate’s industrial landscape also saw the presence of significant employers, including the Central Electricity Generating Board (CEGB), the Milk Marketing Board, and ICI, which had offices and laboratories at Hornbeam Park, where the synthetic fabric Crimplene was invented in the 1950s, named after the nearby Crimple Valley and beck.

In 2007, a remarkable archaeological discovery occurred when two metal detectorists found the Harrogate hoard, a 10th-century Viking treasure, near Harrogate. This hoard contains nearly 700 coins and other items from as far away as Afghanistan, making it a significant find.

Harrogate’s cultural scene also thrived during this period. Harrogate Theatre opened its doors in 1900, and a War Memorial was built in 1923. The Sun Pavilion and colonnade were constructed in 1933. The Royal Pump Room was transformed into a museum in 1953, and for a brief period, the NHS sent people to the Royal Baths for treatments.

Today, Harrogate retains its charm and historical significance. Central Harrogate serves as a district centre for retail, housing major chains, and features pedestrianized shopping streets like Cambridge Street and Oxford Street. Designer boutiques and upmarket department stores can be found on Parliament Street, Montpellier, and James Street. The town boasts a variety of entertainment options, from bars and restaurants on Cheltenham Crescent and John Street to the bustling nightlife around the Royal Baths and Parliament Street.

History of Harrogate and Districts

The southern end of central Harrogate is mainly characterized by converted detached houses used for offices. Notable institutions like Harrogate Magistrates’ Court and Harrogate Central Library can be found on Victoria Avenue. In the central southern part of Harrogate, some upmarket boutiques line The Stray.

Beyond the central area, Harrogate encompasses various neighbourhoods, each with its unique character. Woodlands in the southeast is home to Harrogate Town F.C., schools, and supermarkets. Bilton, with its numerous churches, stores, and schools, has a rich history dating back to the Domesday Book in 1086. It is known for its poetic street names and upscale housing.

This is just a glimpse of Harrogate’s rich history and vibrant present, showcasing how it has evolved from a modest spa town to a diverse and thriving community with a global reputation.

Jennyfields: Jennyfields is a modern, expansive neighbourhood located in the northwest of Harrogate. It is home to two schools, Saltergate Infant School and Saltergate Primary School. Additionally, the town’s primary public swimming pool is situated on the outskirts of Jennyfield, providing residents with recreational opportunities.

The Duchy Estate: The Duchy estate is an upscale area in proximity to central Harrogate. The predominant housing consists of spacious detached homes, some of which have been converted into flats. This area is home to several private schools, notably Harrogate Ladies’ College. Residents can also enjoy a golf club and the nearby open countryside, ideal for leisurely walks.

Starbeck: Positioned to the east of Harrogate, Starbeck features a railway station with connections to Harrogate, Leeds, Knaresborough, and York. A frequent bus service links Starbeck to Harrogate and Knaresborough, making it accessible for commuters. The area is well-equipped with schools, churches, and shops.

History of Harrogate and Districts

Pannal: To the south of Harrogate, off the A61 road, lies Pannal. This area retains much of its village charm. Commuters can make use of a nearby station that connects Pannal to Harrogate, York, Knaresborough, and Leeds.

High Harrogate: High Harrogate, an inner section to the east of the town centre, centres around Westmoreland Street and the A59 Skipton Road. This area boasts various shops and cafés. Along the Stray, you’ll find expensive terraced houses, adding a touch of elegance to the neighbourhood.

Low Harrogate: Located to the west of the town centre, Low Harrogate is a hub for tourists in the town. Attractions such as the Royal Pump Room, Mercer Art Gallery, and the Valley Gardens draw visitors to this area. Harlow Hill: Situated to the west of Harrogate, Harlow Hill can be accessed via Otley Road. This district features a mix of new developments and an office park. Notable for RHS Harlow Carr Gardens, it is also home to the Harrogate Spa bottling plant and a water treatment centre.

New Park: New Park, a small area to the north of Harrogate, accommodates a primary school and a mix of terraced houses and light industrial and commercial premises.

Wheatlands: Wheatlands, a affluent district south of the Stray, is predominantly residential. It is home to two schools, St Aidan’s and St John Fisher’s, contributing to its family-friendly atmosphere.

Killinghall: Killinghall is a commuter village located approximately 3 miles north of Harrogate. It stretches south from the bridges on the A61 road over the River Nidd. This village connects Harrogate to Ripon and features a regular bus service between these locations. Killinghall also boasts several amenities, including a primary school, places of worship, a children’s day nursery, a doctor’s office, and a garden centre with a nursery. The village’s proximity to open countryside provides a pleasant rural aspect.

The village’s historical roots extend far back in time, even predating the Norman conquest of England. In fact, there’s compelling evidence that its origins can be traced to Celtic times. This ancient settlement, mentioned in the Domesday Book as Chenihalle or Kennelhall, likely served as a place for housing the hounds owned by the Lord of the Manor.

Notably, a nobleman in Yorkshire held the privilege, granted by one of the Saxon kings, to maintain Mastiff dogs specifically for the purpose of warding off wolves from their territory. Additionally, the village’s name has been associated with Chillingehal, signifying “the place of Cylla’s people” in Old English. Moving forward to the 17th century, early settlers secured land in the Hollins Hall region along Lund Lane. This historical information is credited to Alan Gould and the Bilton Historical Society.

The name “Knox” likely finds its roots in Old English, where “cnocc” or the Scots Gaelic “cnoc” referred to a round-topped hill, hillock, or hump. Thus, Knox Hill, a wooded and quarried summit situated between the A61 Ripon Road and Knox Lane.

Before 1850, Knox boasted little more than a cornmill, a packhorse bridge, and a couple of dwellings. The corn mill, located on Knox Mill Lane, which still preserves its waterwheel, likely dates back to the early 18th century, as indicated by an inscription of the year 1745 on the mill house fireplace. The mill clearly prospered, as John Oliver, the owner towards the end of the 18th century, also owned land at Church Square.

Spruisty Bridge, constructed in the 17th century, served as an essential route for packhorse traffic across Oak Beck. The ford, possibly older than the bridge, might have been used by the Cistercian monks of Fountains Abbey. This path ran from Killinghall through the ford, along Knox Lane, and onwards to the south of Bilton, where the Abbey owned more granges. This route was historically significant, making it plausible that either James I or Charles I crossed the bridge during their respective journeys south. If the bridge was built only in the 17th century, Charles I’s visit in 1646 seems more likely than James I’s in 1603.

History of Harrogate and Districts

By 1850, Knox included the corn mill, a couple of houses on the north side of Knox Mill Lane, small quarries, and the bridge keeper’s residence, which was later demolished around 1900. Knox Lane, originally known as Old Trough Lane, had only one building as you ascended away from the river, eventually reaching Knox House Farm, now the Knox pub. Knox Hill Farm, overlooking the Ripon Road, is the sole surviving farm from that era. Knox Farm and Hill Top (or Red Cat) Farm were demolished in the latter half of the 20th century to make way for housing developments. They were situated at the eastern ends of Knox Grove and Redhill Close, respectively.

The late Victorian period brought further developments, such as the construction of rows of cottages on the northern side of Knox Lane near the river, and William Woods’ bleachworks. Woods found himself in a protracted legal dispute with the Harrogate Improvement Commissioners between 1867 and 1876, seeking damages and compensation due to the adverse impact of sewage-contaminated Oak Beck waters on his bleached linen. Eventually, Woods prevailed in his case, but by that time, he had closed his bleach yard, and Harrogate had improved its sewage treatment facilities. The land between the cottages and the bleach yard later transformed into Pettinger’s market garden.

History of Harrogate and Districts

History of Ripon

History of Ripon

Click Here to Find History of Harrogate

Ripon, pronounced as /ˈrɪpən/, is a charming cathedral city nestled in the picturesque region of North Yorkshire, England. Situated at the convergence of two tributaries, the Laver and Skell, with the River Ure, Ripon holds a special place in history. It was once part of the historic West Riding of Yorkshire and is renowned for its iconic landmark, Ripon Cathedral. This architectural masterpiece is not only significant in design but also a testament to the city’s rich heritage. Ripon also boasts other attractions, including the thrilling Ripon Racecourse and a vibrant market.

The city’s historical roots can be traced back to its original name, “Inhrypum.” According to historical accounts, King Alhfrith of the Southern Northumbrian kingdom of Deira generously granted land in Ripon to Eata of Hexham. Eata embarked on the construction of a monastery, attracting monks, including a young Saint Cuthbert, who served as the guest-master at Ripon Abbey. Both Bede in his “Life of Cuthbert” and Eddius Stephanus in his “Life of Wilfred” document the transfer of authority to Saint Wilfrid after Eata’s departure. Saint Wilfrid replaced the original timber church with a magnificent stone-built church, marking an era of religious prominence in Great Britain during the Anglian kingdom of Northumbria.

Ripon’s history is a tapestry of different rulers and influences. It endured Viking control during a certain period and later faced challenges during the Norman rule. However, it experienced a brief resurgence under the Plantagenets with various building projects. Notably, Ripon gained recognition for its wool and cloth industry. During the 16th and 17th centuries, the city was renowned for its production of spurs, leaving a lasting mark on history. Unlike many other areas, Ripon remained relatively unaffected by the Industrial Revolution, preserving its unique character and historical charm.

Going back even further in history, Ripon’s origins can be traced to the pre-Roman era when it was under the control of the Brigantes, a Brythonic tribe. Just three miles to the north at Hutton Moor, a significant circular earthwork created by the Brigantes can still be seen. Although the Romans did not establish a settlement in Ripon itself, they maintained a military outpost approximately five miles away in North Stainley. The city’s true beginnings are rooted in the 7th century during the reign of the Anglian kingdom of Northumbria. It was during this time that the first structure was built, known as Inhrypum. This early establishment was a Christian church dedicated to St. Peter, and it marked the birth of the settlement in 658. The credit for founding this religious haven goes to a Northumbrian nobleman, Wilfrid, who later ascended to the position of Archbishop of York. King Alhfrith granted him the land, and this act laid the foundation for Ripon’s rich history.

The earliest settlers in Ripon were stonemasons, glaziers, and plasterers, brought over by Wilfrid to assist in the construction of the Ripon monastery. They came from Lyon in Francia and Rome, which was then under Byzantine rule. The years following Wilfrid’s death are shrouded in obscurity in Ripon’s history. Following the invasion of the Great Heathen Army of Norse Vikings in Northumbria, the Danelaw was established, and the Kingdom of Jórvík was founded in the Yorkshire area. In 937, Athelstan, the King of England, granted Ripon the privilege of sanctuary within a mile radius of the church. However, one of his successors, after the Northumbrians rebelled against English rule in 948, had the buildings in Ripon set ablaze.

Prosperity was eventually restored by the end of the 10th century when the body of Saint Cuthbert was temporarily moved to Ripon due to the threat of Danish raids.

History of Ripon

Normans and the Middle Ages brought significant changes to Ripon. After the Norman conquest, much of the north rebelled in 1069, even attempting to reinstate Danish rule. This rebellion led to the tragic Harrying of the North, resulting in the loss of approximately one-third of the North of England’s population. Ripon likely dwindled to a small community centered around the church during this period. The church’s lands were transferred to St Peter’s Church in York as the Liberty of Ripon. It was during this time that a grand Collegiate Church was constructed on the ruins of Wilfrid’s building, eventually developing in the Gothic style. This ambitious project owed much to the efforts of Roger de Pont L’Evêque and Walter de Gray, two Archbishops of York during the Plantagenet era.

In the 12th century, Ripon’s wool trade thrived, attracting Italian trade merchants, particularly Florentines, who purchased and exported significant quantities of wool. Ripon’s proximity to Fountains Abbey, where the Cistercians had a long tradition of sheep farming and owned extensive grazing land, provided a considerable advantage. Furthermore, following a ban on English people wearing foreign cloth in 1326, Ripon established a cloth industry that ranked third in size in Yorkshire, after York and Halifax.

Ripon faced challenges due to conflicts with Scotland, leading to a focus on maintaining law and order in the North during the time of Edward I and Edward II. Ripon had a wakeman to ensure that residents returned home safely by curfew, and it even had to pay 1,000 marks to the Scots on one occasion to prevent the town from being burned down by Scottish invaders.

History of Ripon

Reformation and Tudor Times:

During the Reformation under Tudor King Henry VIII, Ripon faced significant upheaval. The Abbot of Fountains, William Thirske, was expelled by Henry, and he later became a prominent leader in the Pilgrimage of Grace, a popular uprising in Northern England. The people of the region, deeply rooted in traditional beliefs, were unhappy with Henry’s intention to break with Rome, and the Pilgrimage of Grace was an expression of this discontent. Despite their efforts, the revolt ultimately failed, and Henry proceeded with the break from Rome and the Dissolution of the Monasteries, which included Fountains Abbey.

There were ambitious plans to establish Ripon as a center of education, a University of the North, to rival Oxford and Cambridge. Although key advisers like Lord Burghley and Archbishop Sandys supported the idea, it did not come to fruition during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. The concept was briefly revived in 1604, with the support of Sandys’ widow, Cicely, under the patronage of Anne of Denmark and Bess of Hardwick, but it also met with no success.

Civil War and Restoration:

In the 16th century, Ripon transitioned from its old textiles industry to become known for the manufacture of spurs. These spurs were so renowned that they gave rise to the saying “as true steel as Ripon Rowels.” At the time, spurs served not only as functional riding accessories but also as fashionable items. An expensive pair was even crafted for King James I when he visited Ripon in 1617. James granted Ripon a Royal Charter in 1604 and established the office of the first Mayor of Ripon. A treaty was signed at Ripon in 1640, following the Bishops’ Wars in Scotland, to quell the conflict between Charles I and the Scottish Covenanters. Although Ripon was not directly involved in the main fighting during the English Civil War, it remained loyal and royalist.

Studley Royal Park:

In the period of the English Restoration, various strains of non-conformist Christian practices emerged. Although not prevalent in Ripon, where the majority of the population remained Anglican with a Catholic minority, there was a growing presence of non-conformist beliefs. After the 1688 Revolution that deposed James II, Jacobite risings occurred in the British Isles. In February 1746, some residents of Ripon were imprisoned on suspicion of corresponding with Prince Charles Edward Stuart.

The founder of Methodism, John Wesley, preached in Ripon, and a small community of his followers was established in the city. Despite the presence of various guilds, Ripon was one of the cities that were not significantly affected by the Industrial Revolution during the Georgian era. It’s worth noting that John Wesley, although more widely recognized for his activities outside of Ripon, played a role in the city’s religious history.

History of Ripon

Open Air Activities

Open Air Activities in Harrogate

Killer Climb – Trapping Hill, Lofthouse – A category three climb in the heart of Upper Nidderdale – probably the most grueling and relentless in the Dale.

For more information Go to –  https://nidderdaleaonb.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Killer-Climb_Trapping-Hill.pdf

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Gouthwaite Reservoir Nature Reserve –  A compensation reservoir for the River Nidd, which is managed as a nature reserve by Yorkshire Water.

For more information Go to – https://www.hdns.org.uk/wildlife-locations/gouthwaite-reservoir/

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Walking routes in Nidderdale

Our hiking and walking route suggestions below have free, downloadable maps with route information and points of interest along the walk.

For more information and printable maps go to

https://nidderdaleaonb.org.uk/visiting/outdoor-and-active/walking/

 Pateley Bridge, Bewerley and central AONB

       Bewerley Tree Trail

A short walking route for all the family taking in the lovely village of Bewerley through to Fishpond Wood. This walking route is one of our most popular walks for families and the more casual walker.

……………………………………………………..

  • Curlew Trail

This family-friendly trail follows a mix of footpaths and quiet lanes. Starting along the River Nidd it heads up through woodland to heather moorland, taking in the magnificent views and abundant wildlife.

………………………………………………………

  • Pateley Bridge Circular Trail

This route takes in the amazing geological features of Brimham Rocks and passes through woodland and rolling fields, giving fantastic views across the valley.

………………………………………………………..

  • Pateley Bridge Heritage Trails

Discover more about the town’s fascinating history, follow the inner trail as it winds its way through the historic streets.

………………………………………………………….

  • Victorian Gardens of Pateley Bridge Trail

Take a walking tour around Pateley Bridge and see some of the fabulous historic houses and gardens.

………………………………………………………….

  • Yorke’s of Bewerley Trail

This walk takes you around what were once the extensive gardens and grounds surrounding Bewerley Hall which, until it was demolished in the 1920s, was the home of the influential Yorke family. The designed landscape, developed in the 18th to 20th centuries, included parkland, pleasure gardens, woodlands, ponds, walled kitchen gardens and a folly.

…………………………………………………………..

  • Fishpond Wood Trail

Along this route you can take a walk through the historic village of Bewerley and enjoy the serenity of Fishpond Wood.

Nearest village: Bewerley Length: 2 miles (3km) Time (approx): 1-1.5 hours Difficulty: easy / moderate

……………………………………………………………

  • Ladies Riggs and Ashfoldside Trail

Along this route you will walk through the abandoned industrial landscape around Prosperous Smelt Mill, enjoy the secluded beauty of Ashfoldside Beck and take in the atmospheric Ladies Riggs and Bale Bank.

…………………………………………………………..

  • Scot Gate Ash Trail

Along this route you can enjoy spectacular views across Nidderdale, take a short detour to the ruins of the 14th century St Mary’s Church, stroll up Pateley Bridge’s historic High Street and view the atmospheric remains of Scotgate Ash Quarry.

……………………………………………………………….

  • Nought Moor Trail

Along this route you can enjoy a range of different settings, from the quiet serenity of the woods at Middle Tongue Bank to the heather moorland and blanket bog of Nought Moor, and take in spectacular views across Guisecliffe and Yorke’s Folly.

……………………………………………………………….

  • Wath Trail

Along this route you can enjoy a range of different settings, from the wetlands of Nidd Marsh to the tranquillity of Spring Wood Top, take in serene views across Gouthwaite Reservoir nature reserve and see historic buildings such as the nineteenth century Dutch hay barn at Spring Wood Top farm.

………………………………………………………………

Upper Nidderdale

  • Greenhow Geology Trail

Take a journey back in time from the present day, to the Ice Age, then to tropical conditions 300-350 million years ago where you can discover fossils from the tropical seas and forests.

………………………………………………………………

  • Prosperous Lead Mine Trail

A choice of two circular routes exploring the industrial heritage of Prosperous Lead Mine and the surrounding area.

………………………………………………………………..

  • Scar House Reservoir Trail

This route enables you to enjoy the remote beauty of Scar House and Angram reservoirs, appreciate the labours of the men and women who lived and worked here during the reservoir’s construction, and see how innovative approaches to farming are helping vulnerable species and habitats to thrive.

……………………………………………………………….

  • Stean Trail

Along this route you will enjoy the tranquillity and natural beauty of Cliff Woods, see dramatic limestone rocks and cliffs in How Stean Gorge and walk through traditional hay meadows on Low Riggs Farm.

………………………………………………………………….

  • Toft Gate Trail

Along this route you will experience a range of different settings, from the industrial heritage of Toft Gate Lime Kiln to Coldstones Cut, a monumental piece of public art with spectacular views, and hear the calls of upland birds on the high pastures of Toft Gate Farm.

………………………………………………………………….

Open Air Activities For more information and printable maps go to

https://nidderdaleaonb.org.uk/visiting/outdoor-and-active/walking/

………………………………………………………

  • Woodale Trail

This route enables you to enjoy spectacular panoramic views of Scar House Reservoir, Great Whernside and the Upper Nidderdale moorlands, and walk along the Nidd’s unique dry river bed as the watercourse disappears into limestone caverns deep underground before re-surfacing downstream.

…………………………………………………………………

Lower Nidderdale

  • Hartwith Heritage Walk

This walk explores the long history of human activity in this area of Lower Nidderdale and highlights the clues along the way.

………………………………………………………………….

  • Kingfisher Trail

In the heart of Nidderdale AONB, the Kingfisher Trail is a circular walk,  starting and finishing in the beautiful village of Darley, following the River Nidd, through woodlands and meadows, abundant in wildlife.

…………………………………………………………………..

Open Air Activities

  • Packhorse Trail

A circular route taking in Darley and Thornthwaite, through beautiful wild flower meadows and ancient woodland, with some unusual historical features.

……………………………………………………………………

The Washburn Valley and southern AONB

  • Blubberhouses Tree Trail

A riverside walking route full of interest with a variety of tree species, lots of wildlife and glimpses of industrial heritage. This walking trail is hugely popular and gives walkers the opportunity to experience the diverse wildlife that calls Nidderdale home.

…………………………………………………………………

Mashamshire and northern AONB

  • Jervaulx Abbey to Thornton Steward Trail

Starting and finishing at the fascinating ruins of Jervaulx Abbey, this country walk takes you through stunning parkland, over lush pasture fields and through the historic village of Thornton Steward.

………………………………………………………………….

  • WW1 Heritage Trail

This quiet dale to the north east of Nidderdale AONB has been the focus of a three year First World War Centenary project: Nidderdale AONB and the First World War: Leeds Pals, POWs and the Home Front. This heritage trail is a result of the project research and it tells the story of Colsterdale in the First World War.

……………………………………………………………………

Open Air Activities

Ripon and eastern AONB

  • Aislabie Walk

A journey through the picturesque and designed landscapes of Studley Royal, Laver Banks and Hackfall.

…………………………………………………………………..

  • Crackpots Mosaic Trail

An intriguing walking trail around part of Dallowgill, marked with 22 mosaics showing local scenes of flora and fauna.

…………………………………………………………………….

  • Fountains Abbey to Markenfield Hall Trail

A walking route that links two important medieval sites near Ripon in North Yorkshire – Fountains Abbey and Markenfield Hall. In monastic times their lands adjoined.

…………………………………………………………………….

For more information and printable maps go to

https://nidderdaleaonb.org.uk/visiting/outdoor-and-active/walking/

…………………………………………………………

                Ripon Rowel Walk

This route is an elongated long loop around the lower Ure valley, starting and finishing in the ancient city of Ripon, and following recognised public rights of way and permissive paths. The route visits villages, historic sites, wooded valleys, rivers, lakes and streams. Particular highlights are Markenfield Hall, the romantic and magnificent Fountains Abbey, Studley Water Gardens and Park and the beautiful St Mary’s Church. There are visits to the tranquil River Skell’s Valley of the Seven Bridges and to Eavestone Lakes, Dallowgill, Ilton-Cum-Pot, a ‘Druids’ Temple’, and Hackfall Woods.

For more information and printable maps go to

https://www.ldwa.org.uk/ldp/members/show_path.php?path_name=Ripon+Rowel

………………………………………………………………………………………….

                  Ripon City Wetlands

Created from the footprint of a working quarry, Ripon City Wetlands nature reserve is a thriving home for a range of birds and other wildlife. You may see bitterns, avocets, little ringed plovers, kingfishers and otters among the reedbeds and in the water. Wander along the marked trail and settle down to watch the wildlife at one of our two viewing places.

For more information and printable maps go to

https://www.ywt.org.uk/nature-reserves/ripon-city-wetlands

………………………………………………………………………………………….

Caravan Parks

Physiotherapy

Physiotherapy i Harrogate

AVA Physiotherapy – Visit the website here

Location: 4 Darnborough Gate, Ripon HG4 2TF – Phone: 07919 407935
…………………………………………………………………..

Carole Hilton-Stone – Visit the website here

Location: The Garden Treatment Room, Bedale Ln, Ripon HG4 5ER – Phone: 07737 037248
…………………………………………………………………

CB Physio – Visit the website here

Location: 52 Chatsworth Rd, Harrogate HG1 5HS – Phone: 07837 791590
…………………………………………………………………

Clare Scott-Smith – Visit the website here

Location: Daphne Cottage, Dacre Harrogate HG3 4AE – Phone: 01423 780762
……………………………………………………………….

Elizabeth Webster – Visit the website here

Location: The Serenity Centre, 8A Montpellier St, Harrogate HG1 2TQ – Phone: 01423 884162
………………………………………………………………

FitBack Physiotherapy – Visit the website here

Location: Spring House (Admin Offices), Rear of 5 Franklin Mount, Harrogate HG1 5EJ – Phone: 01423 608080
………………………………………………………………
Goldsborough Physiotherapy – Visit the website here

Location: Church St, Goldsborough, Knaresborough HG5 8AP – Phone: 01423 868689
…………………………………………………………….

Harrogate Physiotherapy Practice – Visit the website here

Location: Sports and Fitness Centre, Hookstone Wood Rd, Harrogate HG2 8PN – Phone: 01423 544004
……………………………………………………………..

Motion Rehab – Visit the website here

Location: Spring house, 5 Franklin Mount, Harrogate HG1 5EJ – Phone: 01423 608081

…………………………………………………………….

My Physio – Physiotherapist, Physio Harrogate – Visit the website here

Location: 3 Station Parade, Harrogate HG1 1UF – Phone: 01423 5
……………………………………………………………..+

Physio Action Harrogate – Visit the website here

Location: David Lloyd Leisure Club, Oakdale Pl, Harrogate HG1 2LA – Phone: 0113 268 7578
……………………………………………………………….

Pure Physio – Visit the website here

Location: 1 Grove Park Ct, Grove Park Terrace, Harrogate HG1 4DP – Phone: 01423 525150
………………………………………………………………..

Ripon Chiropractic Clinic – Visit the website here

Location: 49 Allhallowgate, Ripon HG4 1LQ – Phone: 01765 609494
………………………………………………………………..

Ripon Natural Health Centre – Visit the website here

Location: 27 Market Pl W, Ripon HG4 1BN – Phone: 01765 601447
…………………………………………………………………

Room For Movement – Visit the website here

Location: Unit 2, The Heronry, Follifoot, Harrogate HG3 1EQ – Phone: 01423 307242
………………………………………………………………….

Sarah Henshaw Ripon Osteopathy – Visit the website here

Location: 19 North Rd, Ripon HG4 1JY – Phone: 01765 604161
…………………………………………………………………

Victoria Furnell Physiotherapy, Knaresborough – Visit the website here

Location: Ash Tree Road, Knaresborough, Harrogate HG5 0UB – Phone: 07786 033 364

Physiotherapy

Hospitals

Back To Top