A couple from Ripon who created an Alice in Wonderland themed holiday retreat in their riverside garden feature in a TV show this week talking about the town’s links to the story’s creator, Lewis Carroll.
It is very likely on his journey from the railway station that Carroll walked past Angela and Andy Johnson’s house on the banks of the Ure daily when he was staying with his father, who was a residentiary canon of Ripon Cathedral for 16 years.
The famous writer’s connections with the area inspired Angela and Andy to create The Rabbit Hole, a quirky log cabin set in gardens where hidden sculptures and secret pathways recreate Alice’s imaginative journey through Wonderland.
TV producers at Channel 5 spent weeks filming Angela and Andy’s journey to create their fairytale getaway and their story is featured this week on To B&B The Best, a daytime show that aims to give both the homeowners filmed and the programme’s viewers some helpful tips and guidance on setting up a Bed and Breakfast.
Anyone walking around Ripon can spot tiny yet very significant signs that Lewis Carroll’s writing was influenced by his time in the city.
He is thought to have written some of Through the Looking Glass when he was visiting his father between 1852 and 1868 and his daily route would have taken him right past our home, which was built in 1849.
The choir stalls in the cathedral feature a range of fantastical carvings of animals including one of a griffon chasing a rabbit and another hiding in a hole.
The Cathedral, the Alice memorabilia at Gray Finch and The Unicorn pub and the stunning tree sculpture in Ripon Spa Gardens commemorate Ripon’s links with Carroll and we wanted to create something extra that would give people a chance to feel like they were in Wonderland themselves.
Angela and Andy’s home has its own unusual features including Alpacas that graze on the banks of the river and tame turkeys that enjoy being patted like a dog.
We’ve created a fun family home here in Ripon over the years and now we want to share it with others.
Episode 27 of To B&B The Best will be shown on Channel 5 on Tuesday 19 July at 11.15am.
This episode will be all about Angela and Andy’s Alice and Wonderland themed self-catering lodge The Rabbit Hole in Ripon, North Yorkshire.