Discover the perfect day out for all the family at Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden, a stunning World Heritage Site run by the National Trust. Only 30 minutes drive from our Yorkshire holiday homes, we love to explore the medieval ruins, tranquil water gardens and discover deer in the deer park.

Fountains Abbey is one of the largest and best-preserved monastery ruins in England. It is close to Ripon, a characterful North Yorkshire market town. The dramatic ruins are the largest monastic ruins in the country. The abbey was founded in 1132 by 13 Benedictine monks who escaped from St Mary’s in York to live a devout and simple lifestyle elsewhere.

Whether you’re looking to soak up the history and atmosphere at this National Trust site or to explore the stunning grounds with the family, the abbey ruins will have a special place in your memory.

October is a special time of year to visit, with colour filling the estate and the chilly air giving us an excuse to wrap up warm and get outside and explore the estate. Visit in February and you'll experience one of the top spots for snowdrops in the North of England.

Follow the gentle banks from the abbey into a scenic garden with canals, cascades and tranquil moon ponds. It has been deemed so special that it was awarded World Heritage Site status, one of only 32 in the UK. There are miles of footpaths and trails to explore in this beautiful landscape.

Afterward, reward yourselves with a hot drink and slice of homemade cake from the Studley Royal tea room or the Mill Café looking over the lakes. There is also a restaurant at the visitor centre.

Explore the deer park, home to red, sika and fallow deer. October is an exciting time of year to come and discover the deer in the deer park, as the males start to compete for dominance. You may hear the loud bellowing of the stags ringing through the park or, if you're lucky, see them run at each other with a big clash of antlers.

Don’t miss a visit to the play area for a family friendly holiday activity. You'll find a wooden abbey, a woodland house, scramble nets and posts, swings, fireman's poles, a slide, a roundabout, a gigantic rope bridge and a huge zip wire for the most daring adventurers of all.

Catch a workshop inside Swanley Grange. You can find lots of different types of wool and discover how the monks used it to become rich when they lived at Fountains Abbey all those years ago.

If you have the pooch in tow, dogs are allowed within the abbey but not the buildings. There are outside areas to have a bite to eat with the dog too.

Visitor Information


We have a wide choice of luxury holiday accommodation across North Yorkshire. Find the perfect weekend break or a short break mid-week - we have something for everyone. Look online at our availability here...

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