Exploring the 22 & 23
Meander through leafy lanes to the thriving country town of Boroughbridge, the historic city of Ripon and the riverside town of Knaresborough
We leave York along the A59 road, passing Kirk Hammerton, with its Saxon church on a hill: a stroll down Mill Lane to the River Nidd rewards explorers with tranquil views.
Soon we turn right and leave the traffic behind as we enter Green Hammerton, a peaceful village full of Yorkshire charm. Hop off at Bernard Lane and drop into the Bay Horse Inn, to your right: a former coaching inn, it’s thought to date back over 200 years.
Our journey continues to Whixley, an ancient village on the old Roman road ‘Rudgate’, once famous for its cherries, grown here by the Friars of Knaresborough Priory. The annual ‘Cherry Feast’ was held on the first Sunday in August: look out for house names such as Cherry Cottage, Cherry Tree Farm and more which recall those times.
Our next stop is the villages of Little and Great Ouseburn, which take their name from the River Ouse which begins here as Ouse Gill Beck, flowing four miles through a network of special wildlife wetlands before joining the River Ure and giving its name to the river which flows on through the heart of York and on to the Humber.
We travel on through the farming villages of Marton and Grafton to Aldborough, once the capital of the Romanised Brigantes, the largest tribe in Britain in their time. Discover 1800 years of history at the village’s Roman Site run by English Heritage, including two Roman mosaics and an outstanding collection of Roman archaeological finds.
Next, we arrive at Boroughbridge. Stroll around its thriving High Street and to the cobbled Hall Square, where you’ll find the Butter Market Museum telling the town’s story. On the western edge of town are the Devil’s Arrows, three ancient standing stones whose name is based on the story that they were flung to earth by an enraged Lucifer!
Back on the bus we reach Skelton-on-Ure: hop off at the Reading Rooms where a short walk takes you to Newby Hall and Gardens, one of Yorkshire’s finest stately homes built in the 1690s by Sir Christopher Wren and later enlarged by Robert Adam. Don’t miss the multi award-winning gardens, restored to their full glory over ten years.
We then arrive in Ripon, a little city with lots to offer. Market day is Thursday, there’s the magnificent Ripon Cathedral, river and canal side walks and the lovely Spa Gardens, 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.
Our bus travels on along leafy lanes, through Littlethorpe to Bishop Monkton, starting point for a series of country walks: pick up a guide from the Lamb and Flag inn or the Masons Arms. We pass through Burton Leonard, with its sloping village green, Copgrove and its larger neighbour Staveley, with its Nature Reserve run by the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, a superb wetland site with regular sightings of otters. Our journey continues to Arkendale and Farnham, and to Scotton, once home to Guy Fawkes in his teenage years, before reaching our final destination, the lovely riverside town of Knaresborough. Famed as the home of England’s oldest visitor attraction, Mother Shipton’s Cave and Petrifying Well, there’s also a ruined castle, a popular Wednesday market and a promenade by the River Nidd with boat hire and ice cream – a perfect end to our journey through the heart of rural North Yorkshire.
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.