The invitation is this quaint cathedral city's slogan and it's easy to see why.

Not only is it blessed with a wealth of historic architecture but it also has all the benefits of contemporary living; a good selection of accommodation and restaurants, fascinating shops and a wealth of cultural entertainment and events.

Ripon's ancient cathedral dates back to the 7th century and its medieval choir stalls are thought to have been an inspiration for Lewis Carroll's classic Alice in Wonderland. The author's father was the canon of Ripon Cathedral and carved figures resembling the Mad Hatter and Alice can be seen on the pews within the holy place.

The historic city is an ideal base over the festive season to enjoy the fantastical new seasonal adventure Alice in Winterland at Lightwater Valley theme park.

Families can delight in the festive lights as they embark on a journey of discovery to meet the Mad Hatter, the Queen of Hearts and, of course, Alice on their magical trip.

Visitors follow a luminous trail of over 100 giant lanterns, some over 5 metres tall, and thousands of fairy lights as they immerse themselves in a glowing garden with massive mushrooms, illuminated tulips and even a flamingo or two as the evening becomes curiouser and curiouser…

Young fun rides, the carousel and skyrider will be open in the evening plus indoor play for some festive fun.  Seasonal food and drink will also be on offer.

Yorkshire's smallest city is also a perfect stepping off point to explore the National Trust's stunning Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal which, due to their unique history, have both been granted World Heritage Site status.

See the Abbey aglow with the colours of the rainbow on winter weekends.

In the heart of the City don't miss Christmas at the Workhouse featuring a family friendly Secret Cinema, or join the annual Boxing Day Pilgrimage from the Cathedral to Fountains Abbey

Ripon is located on the edge of the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty so landscaped winter walks are just on the doorstep.

Visit Harrogate tourism website for details on what's happening over the winter period.