Last Sunday I visited Fountains Abbey in North Yorkshire with my parents, a day out to celebrate both my birthday and their 45th wedding anniversary. It’s a wonderful place to visit for several different reasons. The ruins of the Cistercian abbey, destroyed with the dissolution of the monasteries under the orders of King Henry VIII, are fascinating for anyone interested in history, whilst the grounds within which they’re set contain both a medieval deer park and a Georgian water garden. It’s a beautiful place to walk around. There are so many different things to look at that it’s practically impossible to see it all in a single visit.
We began our day by walking around the deer park. We saw a few deer, though most were too far away to photograph. Within the area there is also a cottage, a church, an obelisk, a 400 year old sweet chestnut tree and lots of gorgeous views.
As I’m sure you all know by now, I love taking photographs of paths and random countryside scenes – there were lots of these for me to enjoy snapping. I especially loved all the autumnal colours.
The paths led us around to the lake, where we paused for a time at the lakeside tea rooms, and then on to the water gardens.
All around the water gardens are lots of little follies.
We then followed the River Skell away from the ponds of the water garden. Before long the ruins of the abbey could be seen through the trees…
… until finally we reached the abbey itself.
After we’d enjoyed a tasty Sunday dinner in the Abbey restaurant and explored the ruins we walked out past Fountains Hall, where a wedding party was gathered for photographs (which unfortunately meant I couldn’t get a clear shot of the hall). It was nearing time for us to leave by this point so we caught our last few sights before heading back to the car.
I hope you’ve all enjoyed my virtual tour. 🙂 If you’d like to know more about the history of this wonderful place, my mum, Millie Thom, has also written a post, looking at its changing role over the centuries. You can find it here.
Now I need to return to my NaNoWriMo prep – this post took me far longer to put together than I’d intended!
Colette O'Neill... Environmentalist, Author, Publisher, Photographer. Creator of Goddess Permaculture.
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