This is one of Yorkshire’s classic days out – where you can take in a Cistercian Abbey, and elegant Georgian water garden and a medieval deer park.
For centuries people have been drawn to this inspiring place. From the Monks who left St Mary’s Abbey in York around 1132 to live in a beautiful and remote setting to the Georgian’s to see the splendor of the wonderful gardens.
From humble beginnings the magnificent abbey was established by devout monks seeking a simpler existence. The atmospheric ruins that remain are a window into a way of life which shaped the medieval world. We are lucky that after the Dissolution of the Monasteries – the remote location means we have some of the best preserved Abbey remains as less of the stone was looted to build local houses!
When John Aislabie ( a disgraced former Chancellor) inherited Studley Royal, he set about creating an elegant water garden of mirror-like ponds, statues and follies, incorporating the romantic ruins into his design.
The gardens are a real treat and has to be seen to be believed. We will make sure you get to see all the best views!
Green lawns stretch down to the riverside, a perfect spot for a picnic. Riverside paths lead to the deer park, home to Red, Fallow and Sika deer and ancient trees; limes, oaks, and sweet chestnuts.
We will also be able to visit the fully refurbished Fountains Mill used to grind grain for the Abbey – as well as hearing tales of life during Monastic times and how Fountains Abbey became one of the wealthiest Abbeys in England with flocks of over 15,000 sheep.
This special place is now recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its unique mix of history and splendor.
There are plenty of places within he grounds to take refreshments during the day. We can tie in this tour with a drive around Ripon and see its magnificent Cathedral too if time permits.