Said to be England’s second-oldest city and still one of its smallest, Ripon has been the site of a market since the 10th century, and probably before. A basilica was built here in the 7th century, and its chapel remains within the existing building, which is a mostly 12th-century minster. The church was designated a cathedral in the mid-19th century, making Ripon technically a city, despite its population of only
about 16,000. Don’t miss the Hornblower announcing he’s on duty by blowing his horn at 9 pm every evening in the town square, an unbroken tradition that goes back 900 years. Market day, Thursday, is probably the best day to stop by.