Fountains Abbey

Fountains Abbey

Route: Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal

Area: North Yorkshire

Date of walk: 15th October 2022

Walkers: Andrew

Distance:  4.0 miles

Ascent: 200 feet

Weather: Sunny at first, rain setting in

Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden is a World Heritage Site and makes for a wonderful visit, especially when combined with a walk. There are various possible routes, as the estate contains numerous paths both within the grounds and around the perimeter. For longer walks which feature this place visit the Search Walks page and search ‘Fountains Abbey’

After passing through the Visitor Centre entrance (entry to the Abbey and the Water Garden is free to members of the National Trust) I made my way to nearby Fountains Abbey, which has a long and interesting history dating back to 1132. I wandered around the atmospheric ruins for a while and then strolled along the De Grey’s Walk beside the River Skell to the adjacent Studley Royal Water Garden. The garden was laid out in the 18th century by John Aislabie to impress his guests, and contains follies, statues and eye-catching vistas. It’s a stunning garden, and the strength of the design is such that it doesn’t matter that there are no flowers in it

The formal section of the gardens ends at Studley Lake. As I reached this point heavy rain set in. I’d intended to carry on to the adjacent Studley Royal Deer Park, home to over 500 wild Red, Fallow and Sika deer. In view of the poor weather I turned back and returned to Fountains Abby via Huby’s Tower and the path on the other side of the River Skell. It had been another wonderful visit to this special place

Click on the icon below for a location map – on arrival at Fountains Abbey a free and detailed map of the grounds is available, from which you may choose your preferred route

Scroll down – or click on any photo to enlarge it and you can then view as a slideshow

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