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News Release issued by Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal

Start your '50 things' journey at Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal this May half term

The National Trust have put together a list of great challenges, the ultimate ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’. When was the last time you explored inside a tree, went bird watching, played pooh sticks, or rolled down a really big hill?

The whole family can get together and get outdoors to take up the challenge with a bumper schedule of outdoor fun this May half term at Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal, a National Trust site near Ripon.

Every day in the school holidays (Sat 23 – Sun 31 May, 10am – 4pm) you can hit the trail to help Holy Henry make Brother Mark feel better with plants from the estate. Follow the clues to find herbs on a ‘Herbal Remedies’ trail and master the mysteries of medieval medicine.

The medieval world was a smelly place so the monks used lavender bags to mask peculiar pongs! Head to Swanley Grange any day in the half term holiday (Sat 23 – Sun 31 May, 11am – 4pm) to make your own and banish those whiffy smells for good.

Get your gardening hands grafting with ‘Plant it, grow it, eat it’ (Tuesday 26 May & Thursday 28 May, 11am & 1pm) planting seeds in the herb garden with Brother Robert. Take them home to look after and, with the patience of a medieval monk, watch them grow.

Use some pedal power and enjoy a rare chance to cycle around the Water Garden at Studley Royal and the ruins of Fountains Abbey (Wednesday 27 May, 6pm – 8pm, last entry 7pm). A single circuit is approx. 2.5 miles or for little legs there’s a short cut! Enter at Studley Royal.

Call ahead to borrow a GPS machine to track your way across the estate on a geocaching treasure hunt, make sure to call and reserve a GPS unit in advance as they are available on a first come, first served basis.

Over the bank holiday (Sat 23 – Mon 25 May, 12pm – 4pm) follow your nose to find a pop up BBQ with freshly-cooked succulent sausages, beefy burgers and a tasty vegetarian option too.

And that’s not to mention a whole host of things you can tick off your ’50 things’ list by exploring yourself. Pick up a free 50 Things To Do Before You’re 11¾ scrapbook from
Fountains Abbey or download details from their website

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Aimee Rawson, Communications Officer, Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal, Estate Office, Ripon, North Yorkshire, HG4 3DY.
Tel 01765 643164

About ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’

The National Trust’s 50 Things To Do Before You’re 11¾ initiative is in response to a report commissioned by the NT which highlighted research that fewer than one in ten children regularly play in wild places compared to almost half a generation ago, a third have never climbed a tree and one in ten can’t ride a bike.

The 50 Things To Do Before You’re 11¾ campaign provides a checklist for under-12s (and those who are young at heart) including everything from running around in the rain and bug hunting, to setting up a snail race, damming a stream, flying a kite and the simple pleasure of making a (delicious) mud pie. It’s all about inspiring children to get outdoors and closer to nature. Its brilliant fun and you’ll be learning about the world around you too. Why not dare your family and friends to take on the ‘50 things’ challenge?

Find out more by visiting

About Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal
Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal is a World Heritage Site owned by the National Trust. Discover the magnificent 12th-century abbey ruins and the only surviving Cistercian corn mill. Amble through the beautiful landscaped Georgian water garden of Studley Royal, complete with Neo-classical statues, follies and breath-taking views. There’s also St Mary’s Church, a fine example of Victorian gothic church, Elizabethan Fountains Hall with its hidden herb garden, and medieval deer park – home to over 500 wild deer.

About the National Trust
The National Trust looks after more than 250,000 hectares of countryside, 742 miles of coastline and hundreds of special places across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. For more information and ideas for great value family days out go to: