Spa Gardens is a beautiful park right in the heart of Ripon. It’s been recognised for its high-quality maintenance and facilities and has been awarded Green Flag status.
In the centre of the park is a splendid Victorian bandstand, where band concerts take place on Sunday afternoons throughout the summer. For birdwatchers, carefully sited nesting boxes have encouraged many varieties to make a home in the gardens. There’s also a cafe serving home cooked food and cakes, and you can enjoy a round of crazy golf or try playing bowls.
The newest addition to Spa Gardens is a series of tree sculptures depicting characters from Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Carroll spent time as choirboy at Ripon Cathedral and is said to have been inspired to create the characters by the cathedral’s animal carvings.
“Chainsaw Mick” was commissioned to create the carvings using the trunks of a cypress tree. As well as a very lifelike Alice, these garden sculptures include the Caterpillar, Mad Hatter and the White Rabbit.
In 2011, the Friends of Spa Gardens worked with us to secure funding for the restoration of the war memorial and the Marquess of Ripon statue.
The war memorial, at the entrance to Spa Gardens, has been named the best war memorial in the town class several times in the Yorkshire in Bloom awards.
Sun Parlour café
band concerts – Sunday afternoons from May to August
statue of the Marquess of Ripon
colourful seasonal bedding displays
toilets with disabled access
nine-hole crazy golf – more information about games in parks
18-hole putting green
flat bowling green
three tennis courts in Spa Park
tree trail and quiz
Green Man trail – more than 30 Green Man plaques are hidden among trees and flowerbeds in the gardens. See how many you can find and record them on the trail sheet