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Where can you use your National Trust card near Harrogate?

By Victoria Turner– 4th January 2021

Having just read Girl About Cheshires post on National Trust membership – is it worth the cost? (you can read it here) I was inspired to see what National Trust properties and gardens we have in our local area.

Although not a member myself, I can still ‘pay-as-you-go’, although you do need to pre-book a slot on the website.

Firstly, what surprised me is the lack of locations in Harrogate. With so many stately homes and beautiful gardens in the area, I would have expected more to be National Trust. The closest two locations are Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden and Brimham Rocks.

So, here’s some more information on each of the National Trust locations near Harrogate.

Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden

Now recognised as a World Heritage Site the magnificent abbey and its grounds are somewhat spellbinding. Established by monks over 800 years ago it is now a popular visit for families and walkers.

There are a couple of options when visiting Fountains Abbey & Studly Royal. The car park is free which means a walk around the deer park is an affordable family day out with the chance of seeing some deer and ancient native trees such as Oak and Sweet Chestnut. I’d recommend the circular route through Seven Bridges Valley. Plus, there are a few fallen trees to perch on for your picnic lunch. It can get very muddy in the winter months, so I’d advise wearing wellies or walking boots. Dogs are also welcome but please keep them on the lead so as not to scare the deer.

However, I’d recommend a visit to the abbey and water gardens. The cost of a family ticket is £37.50.  Once you’ve entered the Studley Royal and, you can see the abbey up close and explore the elegant water garden of mirror-like ponds, statues, and follies. There’s also a restaurant and cafe (currently providing takeaway only) or you can bring your own picnics to the gardens making it the perfect summer outing.

Brimham Rocks

Brimham Rocks and surrounding moorland are both Sites of Special Scientific Interest and are a magnet for geologists, naturalists, climbers and walkers, as well as families who love the freedom to explore this amazing place. These rocks were formed by an immense river 100 million years before the first dinosaurs walked the earth!

Having only been just the other day for a walk with my parents, who are members, the rocks looked magnificent surrounded by freshly fallen snow. We also spotted a herd of deer and is also a favourite place for bird spotters. The car park is free to members but for non-members, it’s £6 for 4 hours, £9 per day.

This is certainly one for the family as many of the rocks resemble familiar creatures, from the Dancing Bear, the Gorilla, the Eagle, and the Turtle, whilst the more nimble of us folk can crawl through the Smartie Tube and balance on the Rocking Stones.

Some of the most iconic rock formations can be viewed only 10 minutes’ walk from the car park, and there is a main path which makes it accessible for pushchairs and wheelchairs. However, it is very popular and with a small car park, it can get very busy during peak times. Please don’t park on the roadside if the car park is full. This could stop emergency or farm vehicles from accessing the site.

There is a takeaway cafe, toilets and picnic benches for those wanting a picnic. If you are wanting to adventure off the footpaths, I’d advise wearing sturdy footwear.


Have you been to these two National Trust locations? Are you a member? Where do you like to visit? Comment below.


Vix x


This is a Girl About recommendation. This means that it was not gifted in return for a review but paid in full by our writer and the venue had no idea that I was there. We only recommend places we absolutely love, and places that we know you’ll love too!

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