If you love the outdoors, your first stop should be Brimham Rocks in Summerbridge, Harrogate. These giant moorland rock formations were sculpted 320 million years ago by the movement of ice, wind and continents, leading to their unique shape today. This family-friendly site makes for a great morning out spotting iconic rocks and even a bit of climbing.
After a morning of walking and climbing, you can unwind with afternoon tea at Ripley Castle (make sure to book ahead of time).
They offer a quintessential afternoon tea experience in the stunning location on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. After you refuel, you can take in the history of the 700-year-old building which is surrounded by a lake, walled gardens, hothouses, a kitchen garden and a deer park.
If you’re a fan of the races, Ripon Races should definitely be your next destination. It has hosted some of the most exciting, prestigious and enjoyable racing in the country for more than 300 years. It never fails to impress each year with its outstanding backdrop and exciting atmosphere. Ripon itself is in one of the country’s most beautiful and historic cities and boasts a market that stretches back centuries, which makes it a great place to visit while you’re there.
After betting on the horses, you should make some time to visit the Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden in Ripon. The abbey ruins and its awe-inspiring water garden makes it a must see and it’s now a recognised World Heritage Site. From humble beginnings, the magnificent abbey was established by devout monks seeking a simpler existence. The atmospheric ruins that remain are a window into a way of life which shaped the medieval world. Green lawns stretch down to the riverside, which makes for a perfect picnic spot.
After a full day out, you should unwind with some gin and canapes at The Spirit of Harrogate.
Here you can learn about the history of gin and how it’s made, along with a gin tasting (make sure to book in advance). The house mixologists demonstrate some signature serves and then allow you to try making some yourself! It’s the perfect end to the day and your time in the area.