Exploring The 36
From city to country, with spa town splendour and a charming little city – discover it all in comfort and style with us on The 36: Riding Redefined
We begin our journey at the revitalised Leeds City Bus Station, right next door to the traditional Kirkgate Markets and the new Victoria Gate mall. Our bus climbs Eastgate and turns right onto Vicar Lane: look on your left for the Victorian Grand Arcade.
Leaving the city centre, we travel through Chapel Allerton, a village-like suburb popular for its family-friendly bookstores and boutiques, cafes and pubs, and Moortown, with busy local shopping and residential streets leading up to the Ring Road.
Beyond it, we soon emerge into open country. Attractive views open up on both sides, on the left towards Eccup Reservoir, and on the right, Leeds Golf Centre and Wike.
Our next stop is the village of Harewood, gateway to the stunning Harewood House, on our left as we arrive. Designed by architects John Carr and Robert Adam, the house was built between 1759 and 1771 and holds one of Britain’s finest art collections. Harewood House stands amid over 100 acres of exquisite gardens created by Lancelot ‘Capability Brown.
Back on our journey, we enter North Yorkshire as we cross the River Wharfe at Harewood Bridge, and pass the village of Pannal on our left, believed to date back to the Bronze Age when it developed in the former Knaresborough Forest. Today, Pannal Woods is a popular spot for families – walk up Church Lane behind the primary school and there’s a gate on the right that gives access to the woods.
Very soon we enter the spa town of Harrogate – look out on both sides of the bus for The Stray, one of the town’s best-known landmarks, covering 200 acres of grass parkland. The Stray was created in 1778 from the former Forest of Knaresborough and is protected by Act of Parliament: in spring it takes on an array of colour as crocuses and daffodils give way to lines of cherry blossom trees and their gorgeous pink blooms.
We now pass some of Harrogate’s finest Victorian buildings: hop off at the War Memorial and explore the Montpellier Quarter’s stylish shops and eateries, while no visit would be complete without taking tea at Betty’s on Parliament Street! We turn right in front of the historic Royal Hall Theatre and behind it, the modern Convention Centre which has hosted everything from party conferences to the 1982 Eurovision Song Contest!
We call at Harrogate Bus Station, opposite the Victoria Shopping Centre opened in 1992 and home to a range of stores and cafes. Leaving the town centre, we pass through the New Park suburb and reach Killinghall, crossing the River Nidd to reach Ripley village cross, where our stop is a short stroll from Ripley Castle. The Grade I listed 14th century house and gardens are open all year. Ripley is also famed for its village store, a must visit for ice cream fans with 15 flavours to choose from.
We then reach South Stainley, with its Grade II listed St Wilfrid’s Church. Look to the right as the view opens up across the Vale of York to the North York Moors beyond, as we approach our final destination - Ripon, a charming little city with much to see and do. Market day is Thursday, there’s the magnificent Ripon Cathedral, river and canal walks and the lovely Spa Gardens, just a short stroll from the centre. Look up from the Market Place at the Grade II listed Ripon Town Hall, with its inscription: “Except Ye Lord Keep Ye Cittie Ye Wakeman Waketh In Vain”: the ‘wakeman’ is the city’s Hornblower who at 9pm each night blows a horn at the four corners of the Obelisk on the Market Place, in a tradition dating back to the Middle Ages.
Many popular attractions offer money off admission fee or your bill with your bus ticket as part of our #TransdevTreats programme. Check here for our up-to-date list of our partners. Ask your driver to print you a Transdev Treats voucher and just show them at the destination to get your discount.