Exploring Ripon

Blog post

For those of you that don’t know, I live in the third smallest city in the UK – Ripon. I don’t often venture into the centre, instead opting to go further afield to Harrogate or Leeds, but on Saturday Jody and I decided to go for a rake about (or as he describes it, a tour of the windows that he cleans – He’s a window cleaner).

I usually opt for a Costa when I’m in town but as husband has been raving on about how good Chimes (an independent cafe) is, we decided to go there for some brunch.

It’s in a prime location down Kirkgate, seconds away from the ancient Cathedral and surrounded by boutique shops full of lovely knick knacks. 

We were greeted with a smile (Jody appears to be a v popular window cleaner) and chose a seat in the window so we could people watch (well, dog-watch – A samoyed/cloud inhabits the shop opposite and is often seen roaming around outside). Jody ordered his usual – a gluten free brownie warmed up with ice cream and a Pepsi to drink – and I ordered a deluxe hot chocolate and a ham and cheese toastie. 

The toastie was pretty good – packed with filling and served with a side of crisps and salad, perfect for a filling lunch – but the deluxe hot chocolate with marshmallows, brown sugar and cream was the star of the show. Thick and creamy but not too sickly. Costa hot chocolates are okay but they had nothing on Chimes’ offering.

We both left feeling super fun and the total bill only came to £12. Not too shabby considering how full our tummies were.

After brunch at Chimes we moseyed over to Ripon Cathedral (in a location where some form of church has been standing since 672) as the Great North Art Show is housed there until the 23rd of September. My Nannie has been telling me to go for years but as I’m scatterbrained I always forget to go. Not this time though.

Jody and I felt pretty cultured spending our Saturday morning wandering around the cathedral looking at art and we both really enjoyed the art that was on offer. 

A long time ago art was one of my biggest passions in life (I even studied it a college for a while) but due to life getting in the way, it soon fell to the wayside. It was nice walking around and looking at the work of so many talented artists – It made me miss drawing and painting a lot buuuut I was never actually that good so *shrugs*

The art show was really good and there was something for everyone – Pictured above are just a small selection of my favourites. If I had more in my savings I’d have definitely bought something.

Once we had had our fill at the art show, we went back down Kirkgate to have a look in some of the shops (again, Jody cleans the windows of said shops).

First, we went in ‘The Vault’, a homeware store that sells some real unique things – There were metallic coloured candles moulded into the shape of a hand making a rather rude gesture, cushions that had Yorkshire based slogans and sayings on them AND it was home to the gorgeous Samoyed I mentioned early so I got a big old cuddle from him. I could have walked away with all sorts (including the pooch) but managed to control myself, walking away with this divine smelling Candleberry Co candle in Raspberry Lemonade – Seriously, best smell ever.

Next up was ‘Artichoke’ – Another shop selling cute interior knick knacks. It’s a nice store to have a nosy around but the real selling point is the racks of ‘Bomb Cosmetics’ bath bombs they have on sale at 3 for £10. It’s the only place in the city to buy bath bombs so I’m obviously a big fan. This time I picked up ‘All the glitters’, ‘Glazy for you’ and ‘Bee mine’. Cute aren’t they? I love Lush but I feel like their prices increase every time I log on to the website and I cannot justify the £4 delivery charge either. 

Before heading back to the car we checked out some other stores. “Wrens’ – a super small department store where individual sellers have stalls selling crocheted baby boots, records and more – and ‘The Castle’ – a huge furniture and homeware store that sells some of the most b-e-a-utiful things that I will never ever be able to afford. 

We also nipped into my old workplace, Booths. It’s been almost a decade since I worked there but I get so nostalgic going in there. Unfortunately it’s super expensive so I don’t go in there regularly but it’s good for the occasional treat – We picked up a COOK lasagne (great when you want something yummy but cba to cook anything) and some frozen chocolate croissants (they are the tits – when I worked there I used to eat them daily). 

I always forget how nice Ripon is but isn’t that the case with most people and the place where they live? I complain constantly about the people of this city and their attitudes but forget that I actually live in an alright area. Days like Saturday remind me that maybe it’s not too bad after all.

Tell me: Do you like your hometown? Or would you rather stick needles in your eyes than spend time there? 


  • Natalie

    13/09/2018 at 9:47 pm

    I feel like living in the third smallest city in the UK is such a fun fact! And that hot chocolate looks AMAZING! Natalie x

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