All Ages Indoor & Outdoor Historical Outdoor Fun

Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden

Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden, Fountains, Ripon, North Yorkshire, HG4 3DY
01765 608888
Average time spent - 4 hours
Featured image for Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden

Things to do at Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden review

Fountains Abbey is maintained by the National Trust near Ripon in North Yorkshire. We spent a staggering seven hours there and we still didn’t manage to do everything we had wanted to do. Fountains Abbey is the largest monastic ruin in the UK. It was founded in 1132 by thirteen Benedictine monks which later increased to 200 Cistercian monks.

You can park at the Abbey or at the Royal Water gardens. Parking is free at the abbey but not the water gardens. Make sure you pick up a map as the grounds are vast and there is a lot to find and see. There is an excellent adventure playground with a huge amount of things to climb and play on. It’s mostly wooden and blends nicely into the forest setting.

The Abbey is a ruin but in better condition than most we’ve visited. It is simply breathtaking, especially the tower which still remains. There is plenty to explore and children can have the time of their lives climbing and walking on the ruined walls. There’s also a stream that runs by and underneath the abbey which you can easily paddle in.

Other things to see include an old farm with displays about wool and knitting. Fountains hall with a few rooms you can look around. A very old mill which has a wheel still working today. Potters lodge exhibition where you can dress up as monks.

The Royal water gardens are as beautiful as their setting. There is, even more, to explore with different follies to be found, some beautiful lakes and many bridges. There is also a church in the grounds.

Please note – Most places may still require you to pre-book online in advance. Some venues also still have certain areas closed for safety reasons. Please check their website and/or social media pages before visiting.

FAQ and Further Information Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden

Is there food and drink available?

There is a cafe next to both car parks selling hot and cold food and drinks. You are welcome to picnic in the extensive grounds.

What are the main things to do?

Large adventure playground in the woods, very large ruined abbey with lots to explore and climb on, old buildings to look around including a water mill, beautiful extensive grounds with follies, lakes, bridges, church and more. There are toilets on-site, cafes and shops.

What are the ticket prices?

*Expensive (but well worth it!) or FREE
*Prices are subject to change and/or discounts online. *Expensive – An adult standard ticket without gift aid is £16.00 and £8.00 for a child. Under 5’s are free. If you are a member of the National Trust or English Heritage member it is free for you to visit.

Is there parking?

There is free parking.

When are they open?

Fountains Abbey is open for most of the year and closed on Fridays in winter. For up to date opening times and dates please follow this link.

Dog friendly?

Dogs are allowed within the abbey, but please do not take them inside any buildings such as Fountains Hall.

Are they accessible?

Read our full review of Fountains Abbey

Fountains Abbey
Fountains Abbey
Fountains Abbey
Fountains Abbey and Royal Studley Water Garden
Fountains Abbey and Royal Studley Water Garden
Fountains Abbey and Royal Studley Water Garden

*This post contains affiliate links

Find a family-friendly caravan park or hotel nearby in North Yorkshire

Join in the conversation of find a great day out near you, join us on Facebook and Instagram 

Top attractions in North Yorkshire

  • The Hole In Wand
    Primary Tweens Teens Indoor Indoor Fun

    The Hole In Wand

    The Hole in Wand, 14-16 Coppergate Walk, York, North Yorkshire, YO1 9NT

  • Castle Howard
    All Ages Indoor & Outdoor Historical Outdoor Fun

    Castle Howard

    Castle Howard, York, North Yorkshire, YO60 7DA

  • Web Adventure Park
    Primary Toddlers Tweens Indoor & Outdoor Indoor Fun Outdoor Fun Indoor Play Centres

    Web Adventure Park

    Web Adventure Park, Clifton Gate Business Park, Wigginton Rd, York, North Yorkshire, YO32 2RH

  • Valley Gardens Harrogate
    All Ages Outdoor Great Outdoors Outdoor Fun Free

    Valley Gardens Harrogate

    Valley Gardens, Valley Dr, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, HG1 2SZ

  • Ingleton Waterfalls Trail
    Primary Teens Tweens Outdoor Great Outdoors

    Ingleton Waterfalls Trail

    Ingleton Waterfalls Trail, Broadwood Entrance, Ingleton, Camforth, North Yorkshire, LA6 3ET

  • Dalby Forest
    All Ages Outdoor Great Outdoors Outdoor Fun Free

    Dalby Forest

    Dalby Forest, Dalby Forest Dr, Low Dalby, Pickering, North Yorkshire, YO18 7LT