With the glorious weather this weekend we took the opportunity to plan a trip to Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal water garden a world heritage site near Ripon. After a week cooped up with an infection and a training ban I was eager to get back out and do some walking, especially in glorious weather. I’d taken Hubby to Fountains Abbey on one of our early dates in an attempt to sell Yorkshire to him (it worked!) and so was keen to take the kids to explore. My Daughter however was then poorly so Hubby sent me and my son on our own little adventure.
We had planned to do some of the walks we found on the website but we were both excited to see the abbey itself so first headed from the visitor centre down to the abbey. The surroundings are stunning and my 9-year-old even uttered a ‘Cool’ when we got our first glimpse and he practically dragged me down the winding path to get a better look.
After wandering inside the ruins, we walked up the wide lawn and looked back at the abbey getting a fantastic view and from there took the footpath around the Studley Royal Water gardens. There are so many scenic views as you walk around that I could have spent all day just taking photos but we were on a mission to pick up the route of the ‘Seven Bridges Valley’… oh and find deer which were on my Son’s must see list.
We picked up the route at the bottom of Studley lake and followed the path over the rustic bridges using one of the printed walking guides we’d picked up at the visitor centre. It was apt given I’m training for my China trek that these bridges now made of stone were originally timber and made in a Chinese lattice style and we would also walk past what were formerly Chinese gardens. The path then made its way up hill and we could smell the wild garlic and even managed to spot a few bluebells. Despite the full carpark we had the path to ourselves and as we walked through the woods my Son began to doubt my map reading and was convinced we were lost, never to find a deer! However, we soon came to the Mackershaw Lodge and its kissing gates to walk back down through Mackershaw park.
There under a canopy of trees and enjoying the shade were some deer. My Son skulked off in hunter mode with the camera to have a look at what he was convinced were horses! He was miles away from the deer and I assumed all this time he had been taking photos, but no he was just looking at them through the camera so he could zoom in. We only got one fuzzy shot of them but mission accomplished.
From here we walked back to Studley Lake, stopping for ice-cream and walking along another path past the Temple of Piety and moon pond and then eventually reaching the abbey again.
We had a great day, the scenery is so stunning and someone said to me the other day that Fountains Abbey has a magic about it and I can’t agree more.
What did you do this weekend in the glorious weather? Let me know in the comments, we’re always on the lookout for new places to explore. Over on my Facebook page we have more pictures and videos of our adventures.
All views are my own and I’ve received no incentive to write this post.
On the recent Bank Holiday Monday, we decided to have an adventure to Hardcastle Crags which is only about 40 minutes away from us. It’s a National Trust Site with scenic woodland, streams, weirs, stepping stones an old converted Mill, and plenty of footpaths. It sounded just our sort of place!
With it being on Bank holiday Monday and obviously a great place to get families out and about it proved to very popular and the carpark was heaving, with some interesting car parking manoeuvres witnessed we got a spot and headed off into the woods. There are information huts dotted about the car park and we picked up a leaflet with a map and a number of trails and footpaths marked. Hubby had also printed a walk off the internet and the intention was to use this and explore.
We chose the wide track leading into the woodland and followed this to Gibson Mill which has stood for 200 years and now houses a visitor centre and café. We were just going to have a look at what the café had to offer but the glorious looking cakes tempted us and we sat down for cakes and hot chocolate. Very naughty but delicious and there were some fab looking things on the menu should you want to have lunch here. My Daughter now had a chocolate smile and leggings covered in chocolate! Needing to work all the goodies off we headed back on the wide track to the right of the mill and followed it as it climbed high above the woodland. It was quite steep in places and having done our Brimham Rocks walk a few days before my little lady was beginning to complain a bit. Having had a little strop (maybe she was just too full of cake!) we all got to the top and once out of the trees a spectacular view greeted us and we got see for miles. We decided the random walk hubby had found on the internet was a bit vague so abandoned this to make up our own.
Our adventure this time took us to the beautiful Brimham rocks near Pateley Bridge, West Yorkshire. I’ve wanted to go here since I was a kid and have loved the pictures I’ve seen of the rock formations. It’s a National Trust site and we decided to use one of their suggested walks in the area. Being a bank holiday weekend it was very busy and after negotiating some hair raising roads on the way there I was worried we might be turned away at the carpark. Phew, a couple of spaces left and we could begin our adventure.
The instructions were easy to follow and at first we walked away from the rocks and made our way across heather moorland towards the National Trust boundary. The beautiful heather looked like a purple carpet that went on for miles! My little lady had dressed herself again wearing a favourite dress with bare legs, socks and walking boots. We had filled the rucksack with more appropriate clothing and after a few near misses with a thistle and a few nettles we persuaded her to add leggings to the ensemble! She was glad of it later on in our walk.
Away from the crowded car park the moorland and public footpaths here were deserted and we had the place to ourselves, able to see for miles we could see the iconic ‘golf balls’ of Menwith Hill in the distance.
Making our way through some farmland I was busy chatting away when suddenly something huge sprang up from the long grass. I yelped and it ran! The biggest hare I have ever seen was making a run for it. Sadly, the camera wasn’t out but it ran that fast I wouldn’t have got a picture. Apart from the hare the only other creature we saw was a very inquisitive cow and possibly a Buzzard hovering over a field.
Passing farm yards, we came across old machinery and an amusing old porta cabin! Could have done with the loo too but not to worry.
I'm a 'thirty something' Yorkshire Mum of two, recovering from two hip arthroscopies and hoping to get fit for a new challenge. My aim is to also get my kids out into the countryside and get fitter as a family. Follow my blog about hips, trips, training and getting my kids outside!
I'm taking part in a charity China trek. For my story or to sponsor me please follow the Just Giving link.