A family day out at Fountains Abbey

One of our favourite places to visit as a family is Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden near Ripon in Yorkshire. We first visited in 2010 when James was our only child and now it has a firm place in our hearts. The views are breathtaking and the children love exploring, there is always something to see and do.

This year we were given a “marvellously magical folly map” with places to find (picture above). James and Lily absolutely loved looking at the map, working out where we were, and working out which way to go. They loved climbing and exploring the ruins of the Abbey, and the exploring the dark serpentine tunnel that leads to the high ride path. We loved letting them explore in a safe and environment, leaving us free to hold hands while we strolled through the beautiful gardens.


The surprise view from Anne Boleyn’s Seat


The view from the Octagon Tower


Lily at the The Abbey


Lakeside at the water gardens


The large crow was one of the things we had to discover from our treasure map


Amy loved her map, and held it all day.


We always take a picnic for lunch, there are some beautiful picnic spots on the lawn near the lakeside, or at picnic tables near the park.


James cheering Amy up when she fell over.


Ava asleep, she loves our woven wrap.


We are enjoying the view of the water gardens, and its now a family tradition that we take a picture here each year.


We had afternoon tea at the Lakeside Cafe. The scones with jam and clotted cream were absolutely gorgeous, and they disappeared so fast we didn’t even manage a picture.


The staff were all really helpful, and the cafe is family friendly. Its a perfect place to rest before you walk back to the Abbey.


A picture at the Abbey, except Amy is upset as we asked her to come back when she wanted to explore a little too far away!


Another family tradition picture!


Climbing and exploring


Holding hands, I am making the most of this as I think next year may be the year James decides holding hands isnt ‘cool’, but for now he is happy!

At the park

One of the other things we love about National Trust properties is how child friendly they are. There is always so much to learn and explore. The adventure play parks are brilliant too, and have areas for toddlers as well as older children.


An action shot


The inseparable twosome!


Lily loves this horse, she asks for a photo here each year.


James stopped the swing so that Amy could climb on with him and Lily. He asked if Ava could join them for a picture, she had just woken up and doesn’t love impressed!


Lily wanted a picture holding Ava too.


This is my favourite picture of Amy from the day, that smile melts my heart.


Super James


Having a quick break after our park adventure!

We had a beautiful day, celebrating our 7th wedding anniversary. The only thing we didn’t have time to do was to walk on the riverside path to the deer park, so we are hoping to go back and see if we can spot a deer on a “deer rut walk” with one of the park rangers later this year.

If you are visiting North Yorkshire it’s well worth a visit!