Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden

Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden

Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden
4.5
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
About
Explore a great abbey and elegant water garden at this World Heritage Site near Harrogate. Cistercian monks chose this place to establish Fountains Abbey in 1132, and the walls echo with centuries-old stories. Follow the riverside path to Studley Royal, a playful water garden designed by visionaries John and William Aislabie in the 18th century. You can spend a day amongst statues, follies and cascades before venturing beyond the lake to Studley Royal deer park, with ancient lime tree avenues and red, fallow and sika deer. Eat, shop, stay Restaurant serving select range of hot food. Picnics welcome but please leave BBQs at home. Large shop with gardening section. Stay at one of 14 holiday cottages, including a cosy waterside lodge and elegant apartment inside Jacobean Fountains Hall. No drones please. Bikes and scooters welcome for children under 5.
Duration: More than 3 hours
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  • LeboMom
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania9 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Made It At Last
    I’ve wanted to visit Fountains Abbey for almost two decades but couldn’t work it into any of our previous UK trips. I’m so glad we finally got there this year on a family reunion in Harrogate. We met up with my sister and her family from Edinburgh. The site was a hit with everyone, even her teenage kids. We could not have had better weather. I recommend the free tour of the Abbey and Water Gardens.
    Visited May 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 6 June 2023
  • Kim Barks
    Nottingham, United Kingdom93 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Amazing ruins
    Visited here a few weeks ago. Beautiful place and the Abbey is amazing. Never seen abbey ruins so large or intact. There are 3 car parks available at different ends and you can move between them which is ideal for disabled/ elderly. The west gate is mainly disabled parking as it is level access to the Abbey. You can also get a minibus from each of the 3 gates( West Gate, Visitor Centre or Studley Water) if you are struggling. If you require the Visitor Centre/Restaurant it is a very steep incline from the West Gate so I would advise moving the car or getting the minibus. All the staff were were very helpful/friendly. It is about half a mile walk from the disabled car park to the ruins and there are various ramps around the ruins to enable wheelchair access. A very pleasant day out.
    Visited June 2023
    Written 12 June 2023
  • Tony McMahon
    London, United Kingdom380 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Moving and beautiful ruined abbey
    Stunning place to visit. The ruins of an abbey destroyed by Henry VIII. So interesting to walk down the nave open to the sky. To see the 15th century tower that is largely intact. The incredible undercroft that still has its roof. I can't recommend this place enough. Magical and moving.
    Visited June 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 18 June 2023
  • James M
    Scarborough, United Kingdom337 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Wow. Amazing Abbey.
    Myself and family recently stayed in the area and decided to visit Fountains Abbey. The reason for our visit was to take part in the Park Run event on a Saturday morning which goes through and around Fountains Abbey. After Park Run, we had a look around the Abbey which is breathtakingly beautiful. It was my first visit and the first sight you get of the Abbey is the tower as you make your approach. The stonework and scale of the Abbey is impressive and we had a lovely walk around. It is a beautiful ruin – a lot of the buildings are however still intact and you can really get a sense of how the Abbey once was. The walks around the Abbey had some inclines/declines but it was all accessible and there was toilet facilities upon entry. Car parking was easy (and free) and I really enjoyed my visit to Fountains Abbey. Recommended.
    Visited April 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 26 June 2023
  • S E
    Burgess Hill, United Kingdom142 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Stunning place of history
    Absolutely amazing. I was just in awe of the building of the abbey, the manor, the gardens, the water gardens and how easy it was to walk around and appreciate it all. It was dog friendly too. The staff at all point where really helpful and informative. I'd take a picinic if there was a large group of you as although there was a restaurant and the food was good, there wasn't a large selection and not a lot for gluten free/vegetarian/vegan diets. Lots of places for a cup of tea and a rest, which is needed as the space is huge. The deer park was well worth a walk round as well.
    Visited June 2023
    Written 30 June 2023
  • Ian S
    Rugby, United Kingdom818 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Excellent place.....
    ...... but with lots of walking which I could just about manage. The Abbey is so impressive but make sure you go to the Porters Lodge first! We walked on to the Water Gardens which are attractive before having a welcome lunch outside at the Mill House. The dog enjoyed it too! An impressive National Trust property. Best part is the ruins of course. Cafe, shop and easy to park even though it was pretty busy.
    Visited June 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 3 July 2023
  • Scottington
    England, United Kingdom481 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Plenty to see!
    We visited the abbey while staying on our holidays in North Yorkshire and the day kicked off to a great start with the ticket operator giving us a map and explaining the best routes that were wheelchair friendly for one member of our group of seven. We spent the whole day here looking at the amazing abbey and buildings, we also took a long walk round the gardens and various ponds. We stopped off at the cafe for some drinks and cakes before continuing. As we were taking it slow we still didn't manage to get round everything so will definitely pop back when in the area to visit again!
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 7 July 2023
  • AlbertSalichs
    Manresa, Spain20,468 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Wonderful ruins of an Abbey
    Fountains Abbey and Gardens are located on land near a little town called Ripon, in the middle of England. Here you can see the wonderful ruins of this Abbey, which is included in Unesco list. It was built in the 12th Century and it was used as a monastery until the 16th Century, when all monasteries were closed in England. Nowadays, it is possible to visit these ruins, where you can see the bell tower, the main church, the cloister, also some rooms and you can walk around all area. Also, near the main building, there is a little building, where you can read about the history of the monastery. At the end of the monastery, English gardens begin and you can walk and see them. Very nice..also, in the gardens, you can see some waterfalls and a Tearoom (Studley Tearoom), where we had brunch soup of the day and a sandwich, very good idea in a very cold day (we visited the place in winter). Summarizing, wonderful ruins of an abbey with a very nice English gardens.
    Visited December 2022
    Travelled with friends
    Written 12 July 2023
  • Roy V
    Leatherhead, United Kingdom621 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Stunning abbey ruins
    The National Trust estate is huge and we only had time to visit the magnificent abbey ruins on a damp day. They cannot fail to impress, partly because of their sheer size and the lovely setting allowing scope for miles of walks. The signage and information boards in the ruined buildings are poor, but we were still impressed enough to want to visit again on a better day.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 13 July 2023
  • Caroline P
    Haslemere, United Kingdom18 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Stunning abbey and fascinating water garden
    The abbey is awe inspiring, and there is so much else to explore. We joined the free tour part of the way round, and wished we’d been on it from the start. Highly recommend going on a tour if you can, the knowledge and enthusiasm of the volunteer guides brought the Water Garden to life. Bring walking boots, and make sure you have a full day to properly explore as it is very big but well worth taking the time for. Abbey, Water Garden, 7 Bridges walk, Deer park. All worth a visit.
    Visited July 2023
    Written 17 July 2023
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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles4,225 reviews
Excellent
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Val W
Merthyr Tydfil, UK1,196 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Family
This is a wonderful and very varied site and when we last visited the weather was perfect.

The abbey ruins dominate but there is so much more. The water gardens are so scenic and provide a lovely walk. There are places to visit enroute and lots of photo opportunities. There is also the Hall, the Mill the little herb garden and a wonderful small exhibition telling the story of the site.

For those with mobility issues it is worth considering parking at the lower car park and returning to the Visitor Centre after visiting the main site. Some parts of the site are missed but it makes most of it very accessible.

The shop is excellent with a lovely range of plants as well more main-line offerings. We were impressed with the staff on duty.
Written 19 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Annie D H
61 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2023 • Couples
So much to see and do in every direction, we still haven't seen it all and we've been a few times. Easy parking and a great visitor centre. Studly Royal entrance has a nice cafe which overlooks the lake with plenty of outside seating.
Written 17 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Tickleish
Wellington, New Zealand321 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Couples
We have headed away from the city into the Yorkshire Dales for a few days. On the way we stopped at Fountains Abbey.
The abbey was founded in 1132 by 13 Benedictine monks from St Mary’s in York and was closed in 1539 during the Dissolution of the Monasteries ordered by Henry VIII.
The Fountains Mill was built in the 1300s.
And all very breathtaking
We had rain for our entire time but it did not dampen our day as we were in awe of this stunning place.
Written 17 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Gill d
Pewsey, UK223 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Couples
An old Cistercian monastery ransacked by Thomas Cromwell for Henry VIII. There are substantial ruins left and enough buildings to be able to visualise what it was like at its peak. Wonderful to roam round a place that had been prayed over for so many years.

The water gardens are beautiful. The National Trust have done well to guide the visitors around the estate; it doesn't feel overcrowded until you see the numbers of cars in the carparks.....
Written 13 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

CLE68
Scottish Borders, UK383 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Couples
An absolutely stunning National Trust site with so much to see and do. Recognised as a UNESCO world heritage site.
Excellent facilities on site - shop, restaurant etc. Well signposted and good paths to use. The abbey is incredible with a fantastic history. In a beautiful setting. Beautiful walks - would be easy to spend a whole day here. Can’t wait to return.
Written 8 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Karen M
West Yorkshire, UK188 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Couples
This was our second visit here, spent a lovely few hours wandering around the abbey and the water park, and noticed some things that we didn't see last time we visited. Well worth a visit and the water gardens are well worth seeing,if you walk through the deer park hopefully you will see them.
Written 4 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

julesls
UK39 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Family
Unfortunately the weather was poor in the morning when we visited the ruins so I didn't get great photos of the ruins. I didn't like the large information board in front of the ruins because it spoils photos. That's just how I feel about it - it may not bother others, but I have many photos where I felt a sign spoiled it.

We walked from there to Studley Lake, passing the water gardens. The water gardens weren't that exciting but it's a nice place to stop and sit on a bench if weather ok.

I emailed before our visit to ask for the best way to get around the places we wanted to see without wasting time, due to mum being 83 and not wanting to walk too far and finding we had taken the wrong way and also having a bus back at a certain time. The reply was helpful and advised us to ask at the visitor centre for the free mini bus to Westgate entrance, where it was a lot easier and quicker to walk to the Abbey (or first stop). It's a large white van that just turns up regularly, so you have to request it. It arrived within a few minutes (it was 10 am first thing).

The 139 bus from Ripon (only goes Monday, Thursday and Saturdays) dropped us off at the visitor entrance but it also can drop you off at the church entrance.

We stopped at the cafe first but I had to take my coffee back because it was luke warm. After walking on a freezing cold morning I was looking forward to a hot coffee. There were three ladies and a man and they all glared at me without a word when I politely asked if they could hot it up. This was uncomfortable. I was made another and it was perfect. If luke warm coffee is served it has to be drunk immediately, otherwise by the time it's finished you are paying for a cold, unenjoyable drink. Mum's was the same but she can drink it like that and would prefer to rather tan 'make a fuss'. I prefer hot sips and whilst chatting, knowing it will still be drinkable, without having to put a saucer over the top.

The sun then came out then and made the rest of the visit fantastic. The lake was beautiful and looking at the ducklings. Plenty of benches so we ate our sandwich we had brought. We went on the seven trees walk (don't think we completed it but turned back towards the lake and headed back via the church to the visitor centre, where we browsed the lovely gift shop. There is a restaurant there but we didn't go.

Just before we had visited the Studley Lake tea room in front of the lake I asked at the small ticket place for the directions back to the visitor centre via the church. He was helpful and told me to walk through the car park to the left of the cafe and head up to the church, which you could see from the car park, then walk back via the exit to the left of the church (facing). This takes about 10 mins. We didn't have time to go in the church or see the deer (although we could see deer in the distance). It would have been helpful to have signs before this so we knew where to go. A map is provided but we are hopeless at reading maps. We could see the direction but wouldn't have known if we could get via the car park, so much better to have a sign. These were lacking.

There was a sign informing when there were guided tours of the ruins. These were late afternoon so no good to us. Mum would have loved that because she had no knowledge of it. We walked around not knowing anything about it.
Written 1 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Chemyn R
Grapevine, TX314 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Couples
WOW! This was a great place to visit. So many buildings to explore, in addition to the ruins of the abbey, which are stunning. Knowledgeable staff to explain what we were seeing. Beautiful setting, and lovely walks. Great visitor center as well. Highly recommend.
Written 30 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

NKay
North East England, UK812 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Family
We came to fountain abbey and studley royal gardens on Friday. We were pleasantly surprised. We enjoyed looking around the ruins of the abbey, then had a walk around the gardens. We decided to wait until 1pm for the church to open. It was worth the wait. A lovely church!
Again like always when visiting national trust places we weren’t happy with the price of the drinks and snacks. Around £10 for 2 cans of Pepsi and 2 packets of crisps. I must remember to takes snacks and drinks on future national trust visits.
Written 28 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kev & Russ Phillips
Isle of Wight, UK36 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Couples
Goodness me, what a stunning place! 5*+ day out. We loved exploring this amazing place that oozes with amazing history.

The views will blow your mind and set your imagination on fire! It’s amazing to think how life would have been way back in yesteryear.

The grounds here are stunning too, be sure to don your walking shoes as you will clock us some serious steps.

The food in the cafe was pretty good too, well earned after a busy day exploring.

Thanks for a great day out!
Written 27 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden, Ripon

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