Things to Do, Attractions, Great Outdoors, Gardens

Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal Water Garden - National Trust

A World Heritage Site in the heart of North Yorkshire
Location: Ripon, North Yorkshire, HG4 3DY
(01765) 608888 Call Us
Daffodils decorate the banks on the West side of the abbey ruins
Discover follies hidden on the higher paths of the water garden
Dogs on leads are very welcome at Fountains Abbey
Families can spend a full day here exploring
Find hidden paths and be rewarded with spectacular views
Fountains Abbey is open year round for adventures in every season
Little legs can run free in the huge adventure playground Just two minutes from the visitor centre
Over 300 wild deer call the parkland at Studley home
Statues and follies pepper the landscape in the water garden
Studley water garden is a World Heritage Site
The Temple of Piety is revealed in the Studley Royal Water Garden
Theres acres of space to run and play in the deer park
Visit Fountains Hall to explore some of the lesser know history of the estate
A bend in the river can transport you from Georgian opulance to ancient powerhouse
Crashing cacades adorn the garden of Studley Royal
Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal is a National Trust Property Members visit free
About Us

Spend a whole day exploring North Yorkshire's World Heritage Site, less than 30 miles from the centre of York.

A place of contrasts and surprises, discover the spirit of a great abbey and the elegance of a Georgian water garden…

Eye catchers and follies decorate the vast landscape. Elegant ponds and cascades entwined with rustic bridges, classical temples and statues enthral today’s visitor just as they would the pleasure-seeking Georgians. There could be no finer eye catcher, however, than the grand ruins of Fountains Abbey. Wander further into the parkland to be rewarded with views to Ripon cathedral, ancient trees and herds of hundreds of deer.

Open year-round, Fountains Abbey is fantastic for walks and each season brings its own unique delights to see. Watch wildlife awaken in the springtime, catch the colourful wildflowers during summer, enjoy autumnal splendour by floodlight and wrap up warm to see the atmospheric ruins sparkle with frost as winter returns.

Visit our website for full details of everything you can do, plus special events at Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal.

New for 2022- Still Time to Wonder - an exhibition of Photographs by Joe Cornish (April - October)

Imagine a stillness which will likely never come to this special place again. Through the lens of Joe Cornish, explore the tactile beauty of Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal over three years and during the silence of the coronavirus lockdown.

Visit Fountains Mill and the follies throughout the water garden where photographs of this special place will be on display. Go on a journey through the seasons and explore the quiet, and sometimes unruly beauty of Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal.

Pick up an exhibition map from admissions and take inspiration from Joe’s work and the way both nature and man has sculpted the design of the landscape here. Have a go at snapping your own photos and visiting areas of the estate you might never have seen before.

There’s a children’s trail too. Often the littlest eyes can see the most amazing things and this trail aims to engage these big imaginations. The trail will encourage the exploration of the whimsical themes in Joe’s work like hunting for hidden faces – they’re everywhere when you take the time to look!


There's a large restaurant serving breakfast, lunch, daily specials. Treat yourself at Mill kiosk by the abbey ruins and Studley tearoom in the water garden too.


A large National Trust shop and plant centre at the visitor centre is packed full of homeware, garden ware, books and artisan products.

Visiting with the kids?

Families can look out for trails and crafts every school holiday. Make sure to pop by the huge adventure play area too! With a wooden abbey to climb all over, swings, roundabout and zipwire little legs can be entertained for hours. It's only a minutes walk from the visitor centre and restaurant so parents can settle down on picnic tables with a cup of tea or coffee or join in with the fun too!

...or with your dog?

With acres of land to explore Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal is a great place to come for some exercise with your dog. There are plenty of places to discover and some nice long walks to enjoy through the water garden, abbey and deer park. There's 'dog parking' at the play ground and the restaurant at the visitor centre welcomes waggy tails too. Dogs are very welcome almost everywhere on the estate but must be kept on a short lead at all times.

Fountains Abbey is a place for everyone to enjoy

We want to make sure everyone can enjoy a visit Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal. If you'd like to discuss any considerations for your visit, please give us a call on (01765) 608888 and we'll do our best to help.

Some things we can offer:

  • Large and Braille print maps and trails
  • Level access to the site, or a quieter place to enter if you'd like to avoid the hustle and bustle at the main visitor centre.
  • Options for special diets
  • Complimentary mobility scooters and wheelchairs if you, or someone you’re visiting with would like to make use of one

With over 600 acres to explore, we know that legs can easily get tired. We offer a complimentary minibus service for our visitors with multiple stops around the site including the main car park at the visitor centre. You can hop on and off this service to help you get around all day.

Getting here

We're less than 30 miles from the centre of York. There's lots of free parking at the visitor centre, including 6 electric charging points. Just follow the brown signs off the A1 or use postcode HG43DY for your satnav.

The closest train station is Harrogate. The closest bus station is Ripon.

There are plenty of bike racks at the visitor centre. While cycling is not permitted in the abbey and water garden, the main avenue through the deer park makes up part of the Way of the Roses coast-to-coast route.

Holiday here

Why not stay longer in one of the holiday apartments? There are 14 different cottages to choose from around the estate and you can even access the abbey and garden after hours!

Good to know

Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal is open year-round and there's no need to book a visit. Free entry for National Trust members and under fives.

Visiting, volunteering and spending supports the charitable work of the National Trust - thank you!

See where else to explore with the National Trust in York and North Yorkshire.

Opening Times

Open 7 days a week. (closed Fridays: 1 Nov-31 January)

Summer admission: 10am-4:30pm. Car Parks close at 6:30pm

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