Trip Planner:   Europe  /  UK  /  England  /  Yorkshire  /  North Yorkshire  /  Ripon  /  Fountains Abbey

Fountains Abbey, 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.
Improve this listing »
Create an itinerary including Fountains Abbey
© OpenMapTiles © OpenStreetMap contributors

Fountains Abbey reviews

Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 5.0
3,871 reviews
  • A fantastic National Trust property in a stunning location, this place is well worthy of a half day visit and definitely bring your walking shoes as there is a lot to take in and you can see why this....  more »
  • Really enjoyed the Christmas lights at Fountains. It was such a shame that the usual food vendors weren't there as were big queues for the cafes and more vendors would have made it easier and eased...  more »
  • By the time I thought on to book tickets for a Boxing Day treat, there were only slots after 3pm left but I thought it would be nice to see the Abbey at dusk and was hopeful it would be lit up. I...  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.
  • A simply beautiful Abbey complimented by wonderful gardens. Walking around the gardens is so tranquil. The kids play area is really great too not to mention the great restaurant area. I've been twice and will definitely go again.
  • This is ruins you can explore and information to find all around. The Lodge is a source of information and there is a time map layout on the floor that helps you to relate its history to other events. The National Trust has played a big part in making these ruins deplorable in safety with well kept lawns and pathways. Disabled folk are welcome with buggies available at the West Gate and those not so nimble can join them.
  • We used our English Heritage membership to visit this site free of charge- a welcome treat. Beautiful extensive grounds, well kept, peaceful (even though it was a sunny and busy bank holiday). Not just an abbey, there is also a lake and other historical features. Good refreshment facilities and the inevitable shop. Extensive free parking and a seasonal bus service which comes right to the entrance. Really enjoyed our visit.

Plan your trip to Ripon

  • Get a personalized trip
    A complete day by day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it
    Refine your trip. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it
    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it
    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.