Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal Water Gardens

Regular readers will know that we were on our hols in Yorkshire a few weeks back. We stayed in a lovely barn conversion just outside Thirsk, which was the perfect base to explore lots of wonderful places.

First of all, we headed west to Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal Water Gardens near Ripon. We have some very good friends who live up in Newcastle and we had arranged to meet up with them while we were staying “up north” and Fountains Abbey seemed like the perfect place. It is a National Trust place which is perfect for us as we have membership and it is huge too which means lots to see and do to keep the kiddies entertained!

We started out at the West Gate which is nearest the Abbey itself. It is not the main entrance but friend is heavily pregnant so I wasn’t sure how far she would want to walk, as it was she was fine but it was still a good place to start.


The Abbey is incredible and ginormous! It is so sad to think that the abbeys are ruined by choice. After being basically bankrupted, monks were forced to leave the abbey, and then the monarchs ordered the roofs to be removed so that they could never return and the abbey fell into ruin.

Fountains Abbey

It was a beautiful sunny day, though pretty freezing at the same time unfortunately. We all had a great time exploring the ruins, then when it was time to feed LM we got out the bubble wands and let the boys run around in the sunshine chasing the bubbles.


We then had a lovely wander, following the stream towards the Studley Royal Water Gardens which was created in the 1700s. They really are magnificent and beautiful and a lovely place to explore.

Studley Royal Water Gardens

After a little picnic we carried on all the way to the lake at the opposite end, where we saw a Swan’s nest!

By this point we were all so cold and very happy to see a nice little tearoom where we could go to get warmed up. It was really lovely and I have to say they had the nicest baby change room I have ever been in. Even after a bit of cake both toddlers were getting a little tired by this point from all of the running around and exploring, so we started the long walk back towards the abbey and our cars.

We had a lovely lovely day exploring both the Abbey and the Water Gardens, but there still bits that we didn’t get to see so we will definitely return one day to see more. It was a great place to go and visit with so much to see, and the perfect spot for us to meet our friends.

Have you been?

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26 thoughts on “Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal Water Gardens

  1. Oh my it really does look stunning there and an inspired idea to bring the bubble wands too, it really does look like a magical day and a great meeting place with your friends. Thank you for sharing with me on Country Kids.

    • It is so gorgeous Fiona it really is and yep we do love taking bubble wands to keep Monkey happy, what kid doesn’t love bubbles eh? xx

    • It really is fantastic, just a lovely place to be and walk around really. Haha oh yes he bubble wands are a regular companion to prevent toddlers getting bored! xx

  2. It’s on my list, is Fountains Abbey, but we live nowhere near, so not very high up. And then we drove past it on our way somewhere else! And i was kicking myself for not realising! And now I am kicking myself again, because it does indeed look fab. Blast.

  3. Looks like a lovely day despite it being so cold. Wow, you saw a swans nest? Ive never seen one before. I know swans with babies are very aggressive, so we stay well clear. Stunning photos. #TriedTested

  4. We’ve not put this on our May half term list. Maybe those little cygnets will be hatched my then! Again, brilliant photos and thanks for linking up with #YorkshireFamily

  5. I went here last December and it was lovely, my friend lives nearby. It was fabulous all lit up and with a choir singing. I’ll be going back in a couple of months to see it in the summer.

  6. Another great place to visit! I’ve been to Fountains Abbey a very long time ago as a teenager and would love to visit again, it looks great for kids to explore too! 🙂 x

  7. We’re kicking ourselves that we didn’t have the time to visit here during our holidays last week too! We’re NT members as well! Gutted. The photos look fantastic – what a great place….maybe next time #YorkshireFamily

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