Things to Do, Attractions, Great Outdoors, Gardens
Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal Water Garden - National Trust
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Open 7 days a week. (closed Fridays: 1 Nov-31 January)
Summer admission: 10am-4:30pm. Car Parks close at 6:30pm
- Accessible toilets
- Level access car park and entrance (West Gate)
- Wheelchairs and mobility scooters available
- On-site catering and picnic areas
- Baby changing facilities
- 6 Electric car charging points
- Free Parking
- Dogs welcome
- Gift shop
- National Trust Property
- Guided tours
- Special events and exhibitions
- Children's crafts