KID-FRIENDLY WALK | Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal – North Yorkshire
Why I love it: Well, firstly Fountains Abbey a UNESCO World Heritage Site so expect to be totally in awe of the vistas, which range from beautifully manicured gardens, follies, and water features to ancient ruins and parkland with free-roaming deer. The kids might not fully appreciate the breathtaking beauty of Studley Royal and the history of the 12th-century Cistercian abbey but they’ll love the huge timber play area, nature-spotting, tunnels and follies and climbing all over the abbey ruins. Nowhere is off limits, so the kids can explore to their little hearts’ content. The grounds make for one helluva perfect picnic spot.
Distance: 4.5 miles
Route: Park in the Visitor’s Centre and towards the Abbey. If you take the anti-clockwise route around the grounds, the timber playground is right at the end of your walk.
Head through the Abbey ruins, across the bridge and take the path along the river. It will eventually lead you to Moon Pond and the lake, and there is are a couple of options – the higher path takes you through a wooded area where the follies are located and the views across the gardens are incredible. The lower path navigates the beautiful gardens – both eventually bring you to the huge lake. There’s a great tea shop serving hot and cold food and drinks and ice creams with a fab outdoor area overlooking the lake – the half-way point of the walk. With toilets of course.
The path continues along the big lake and up through Studley Royal Deer park, and then back along a woodland path up to the park area. There is a large restaurant and shop near the park, and toilets too. Finish back at the Visitor Centre Car Park.
Terrain: Winding woodland trails and flat lakeside paths. Manicured gardens perfect for picnics, and rugged parkland.
Pram friendly? Pushchair/wheelchair friendly paths lead all around the Abbey and the Water Garden
What to look out for: Follies, roaming deer, the Abbey Ruins, the adventure playground.
Facilities along the way: A restaurant, a cafe, visitors centre, toilets, parking.
Car parking and cost: There is an entrance cost to get into Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal – It’s £40 for a standard family of 4 ticket. This gives you access to everywhere and includes parking.
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