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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National Trust Blickling Hall

On the way to our little holiday in Norfolk last week we decided to take the opportunity to stop off at a fabulous National Trust property I have wanted to visit for a while, Blickling Hall.


The Blickling Estate is huge and has so much to do see and do, with a variety of walks and cycle rides you can do. They even have holiday cottages on the estate as there is so much you can do there, much more than you could do in a day!

Because we were just stopping off for a fairly short visit, and because even with my pelvis support I can’t walk as much as I normally would at the moment, we confined our visit to the lovely gardens and grounds surrounding the house. With one of the prime reasons for the stop off being so that Monkey could run around and burn off some energy, we decided not to go into the house.

When we arrived, a lovely lady asked whether Monkey would like to do a scavenger hunt in the gardens, and of course we jumped at the chance. So he was given a lovely little basket and a list of things to find – which included some different seeds, something fuzzy, something round, etc, etc. So we set off to stretch our legs from the car journey, and see what we could find.




The grounds and gardens are so beautiful and there is so many different paths and directions you can go. Daddy loved showing Monkey the different seeds, such as sweet chustnuts and acorns, and Monkey loved collecting things like sticks and stones and popping them in his basket.

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While we hunted for acorns we found a lovely fluffy looking caterpillar on the floor which Monkey was fascinated by!


When it was time for lunch we took the basket back to one of the lovely volunteers and showed her what Monkey had collected, and Monkey got a sticker! We could have get all of our, er…. souvenirs but as we were going to the holiday home we decided to leave them behind 🙂

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After a lovely lunch we had a a bit more of a run around and Monkey was very brave, walking the along a huge fallen tree!

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Soon enough it was time to continue our journey to the holiday cottage. As ever though we had a lovely time at the National Trust house and look forward to visitng Blickling Hall again at some point, hopefully with enough time to see inside the house and see more of the estate!

We're going on an adventure
Super Busy Mum
Super Busy Mum

Days Out Scrapbook – Page 1 – Lyveden New Bield

Do you ever find that weekends come and go in a blur of chores, shopping, visiting family, playtime etc. without feeling like you’ve made the most of the time together as a family? We do. So we have decided to make more of an effort this year to visit places. To do something different.

To add a fun side we have also decided to make this into a scrapbook for Monkey. He’s too young to remember these days out so we thought it would be nice to start a scrapbook with pictures, ticket stubs, interesting things we found or did on our day out, so he can look back on them as he gets older. As he gets older putting the scrapbook together will also be a fun thing for him to enjoy.

This is my blogged version of that scrapbook.

I am very lucky in that my lovely aunty bought me a lifetime membership to the National Trust quite a few years ago that gives me +1 entry to all National Trust sites.  I did initially think that this would be purely for National Trust places but I think it’s nicer to widen the scope and encompass all days out.

So Page 1!

Yesterday we went to Lyveden New Bield. A small National Trust site but as it is only about 30 mins from home we decided it was a good place to start.


It looks like a ruin but it’s actually a house that was never completed as the owner, Sir Thomas Tresham died mid-way through. The building was started in 1595 – if you want more of a history please visit the National Trust page – I’m sure it would be more accurate than me!


On a grey miserable morning it looks very haunting up on a hill in the middle of the Northamptonshire countryside.


Monkey had on his wellies and his (slightly too big so they look a little like MCHammer trousers) waterproof trousers and he had a whale of a time exploring.

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There’s names carved into the stone all over the building and as much as I don’t approve of general graffiti, it is kinda cool seeing graffiti from 1790 all the way up to now.




We had a lovely lunch and some tea in the tea rooms, Monkey enjoyed his lunch and we got some free cress in his lunch platter so will have fun growing that at home 🙂


After a bit of a play with his ball it was time to head home.


Great start to our new Days Out Scrapbook, stay tuned for many more

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall