While on holiday in Yorkshire earlier this week, we decided to make use of our National Trust membership and visit Fountains Abbey. As you can see in the (few) photos below, it was a glorious day for another National Trust adventure. We are on a bit of a roll with the weather whenever we head out on a National Trust day trip. Long may it continue!
The Cistercian abbey was founded in 1132 and was a working monastery until Henry VIII ordered it to be shut down in 1539—as part of his Dissolution of the Monasteries. It is now ruins, but is apparently the most complete Cistercian abbey remaining in the country. The ruins are incredibly beautiful.
Unfortunately, our camera battery died, so I only got these 3 photos. Luckily, they are pretty great.
We arrived pretty early in the morning, which was great because we got to the abbey before the crowds. Parking is free at the visitor centre, which is always a bonus. Fountains Abbey is a fabulous National Trust site. I’d go as far as saying its the best I’ve been to so far. It’s beautifully maintained and has loads of great facilities. The kids playground is just inside the entrance and it is awesome. Jacob is a little small for it right now, but I’m sure he’d love it in a few years. I wanted to have a go! Unfortunately, there was a sign saying you had to be under 12 to play. Sad times.
As well as the Abbey, the site also includes Studley Royal water gardens and a deer park. We did a 5-mile walk around the estate to see all of this. You can pick up maps from the visitor centre detailing a variety of walks. We initially had a wander down to the abbey and then decided to try a longer walk, so rather than go back to the start, we decided to do one in reverse. I do not recommend doing that! We got pretty lost when trying to reverse all the instructions. I’m sure it would have been much easier to do it properly! Lesson learned.
As always at a National Trust property, the restaurant was brilliant. I had sausages with bubble and squeak followed by a scone and tea (the diet starts on Monday!). My only criticism was that we would have liked to sit outside, but there was no shade at all and I didn’t have a hat for the baby, so didn’t want to risk it.
I highly recommend heading to Fountains Abbey if you are in the area. It’s a great day out with kids.