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Fountains Abbey, Ripon

#1 of 32 in Things to do in Ripon
Must see · World heritage site · Ruin · Historic Site
With its scenic countryside, ruins of a 12th-century abbey, and Victorian church, Fountains Abbey provides numerous important elements of English heritage in a park spreading out over an area of 323 hectares (800 acres). Start your visit in the well-preserved ruins of the Fountains Abbey, a Cistercian monastery dating back to 1132. Move on to the Studley Royal Garden, which John Aislabie developed in the early 18th century. Today, it stands as one of England's finest examples of a Georgian water garden. Next, enter the ornate, Gothic St. Mary's Church. Learn about the site's history of corn milling at the Fountains Mill and about monastic life among the exhibits in the Porter's Lodge. Finish with a stroll through Deer Park, home to 500 red, fallow, and Sika deer. If you'd like to spend the night, reserve an apartment in advance in the stately Fountains Hall mansion. To visit Fountains Abbey and get the most from your holiday in Ripon, create itinerary details personal to you using our Ripon trip planner.
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3,966 reviews
  • This an amazing National Trust place. We visited this while on holiday and it had been suggested by a friend who lives in the area and we weren't disappointed. The staff and volunteers are very...  more »
  • My husband and I tried to obtain a light lunch at Fountains Abbey today. We queued for nearly on hour. There was only one girl serving who was extremely slow in service but clearly stressed by the...  more »
  • Brilliant place to visit, great play area for the kids, plus lots of well taken care of facilities including toilets, free water bottle filling station, cafe, shop and small museum. The Abbey and surrounding lands are absolutely beautiful and there are plenty of walks to do too. We can't wait to come back.
  • Loads of grounds to wander about in freely. Several historic buildings to explore, water gardens, and of course the most spectacular, if ruined, abbey. We spent a couple of hours one day exploring the abbey, mill, and surrounding areas, then went back for a full day to do a long walk, encompassing the deer park and water gardens.

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