36) Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal, Nr Ripon, HG4 3DY North Yorshire.
Various routes can be completed, circular, linear, just Fountain Abbey & Water Park, or Fountains Abbey, Water Park and Studley Royal.
My route takes in the abbey, the beautiful water park and Studley - so is around 4 miles. Tho this can be increased or decreased depending on which parts you want to see.
Gradual slopes, some steeper sections, the odd shortish steep bit. Most official paths are hard standing except around the actual abbey, if you go off-piste then many of the tracks are on mown grass and dirt path. A real bonus being the actual ruins are pretty good accessibility wise. No steps, no stiles, a few wide enough gates.
Facilities on site:
The site is operated by the National Trust and so parking and admission is free if you are a member. If not then you have to pay admission. A great visitor centre - excellent cafe and disabled toilets.
Many disabled free blue badge parking.
At the bottom end of the abbey estate is another cafe. Do check what facilities are operating on the day of your visit regarding the pandemic.
Dogs are permitted on leads - or if obedient you can allow them to be off lead.
What will you see?
Fountains Abbey is one of the largest and best preserved ruined Cistercian monasteries in England. It is located approximately 3 miles (5 kilometres) south-west of Ripon in North Yorkshire, near to the village of Aldfield. Founded in 1132, the abbey operated for 407 years becoming one of the wealthiest monasteries in England until its dissolution in 1539 under the order of Henry VIII.
The abbey is a Grade I listed building owned by the National Trust and part of the designated Studley Royal Park including the Ruins of Fountains Abbey UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The gardens, fountains and connecting waterways are stunning.
Wildlife, lots of different trees, shrubs and wildflowers. Many different insects and birds.A number of different raptors and many deer - esp in Studley Royal that has residents herds of captive deer.
A great place to visit during the rutting season (Oct) tho it is suggested you stay a distance as the male deer have one thing on their minds.