February freshness at Fountains Abbey

The days are starting to get longer and we can look forward to lighter morning and evenings - perfect for a winter walk through the deer park. See the snowdrops popping up around the abbey and take in the water garden covered in sparkling frosts.

New year, new look for the restaurant

The restaurant at the visitor centre has had a brand new look. Sit and relax with a cup of coffee or tea and tuck into a slice of cake.

Tuck into cake at the visitor centre restaurant
Tuck into cake at the visitor centre restaurant at Fountains Abbey visitor centre
Tuck into cake at the visitor centre restaurant

Did you know that every penny you spend in here goes straight back into looking after the estate?

A sprinkling of snowdrops

Snowdrops are popping up by Mill Café as you look over to the abbey or decorating the river banks as you wander down to the water garden. Keep your eyes peeled for the first signs of the early daffodils too, which the gardeners were busy planting last October.

See snowdrops peeping up at Fountains Abbey this winter
See snowdrops peeping up at Fountains Abbey this winter
See snowdrops peeping up at Fountains Abbey this winter

The Dying Gladiator Day

A statue went missing from the water garden over 100 years ago - it's disappearance a mystery to this day. As part of our ambition to restore the garden back to it's 18th century glory we're now hoping to put it back in its original place in the water garden.

See Studley Royal water garden covered in frost this winter
See Studley Royal water garden covered in frost this winter
See Studley Royal water garden covered in frost this winter

To do that we need your help. Join us for a day of family fun, tours and test your skills with gladiator inspired games to help us raise funds while having some fun.

Join us for a free tour of the water garden at 11am and 2pm to learn more about the conservation work that goes into looking after this World Heritage Site garden. See artefacts from the garden and find out how statues are made and why they're important.

Progress so far

Last January and October over 300 of you joined us for a Night Run around the estate, which has raised more than £4000 towards the Dying Gladiator Appeal and you had a great time doing it. If you can't join us for the Dying Gladiator Day you can learn more and donate on the page below, or come along for our next Night Run in October 2019.

Find out more about raising money for the Dying Gladiator here

February half term at Fountains Abbey

Get ready, get set, go! The site is alive with activity for February half term holiday. Whether you let the kids run wild in the play area or take part in all the activities, there's a lot to keep them occupied.

Walk from Ripon

Start your day with a walk to Studley tearoom for breakfast through the deer park. See pink tints to the landscape as the sun rises, hitting St Mary's church and the surrounding tree tops, giving them a warm glow that, coupled with a bacon sandwich or scone and jam, will set you up for the day ahead.

See the morning sun on St Mary's Church
See early morning light in Studley Royal deer park
See the morning sun on St Mary's Church

On your way home take in the view down to Ripon Cathedral, highlighted in the morning light, down the lime avenue. Spot the deer moving through the quiet park, hear the birds singing in the trees and splashing away on the lake - the ducks are busy fishing and squabbling over prize catches.

Stretch your legs with these self guided walks

Who's tweeting this month?

Head to the bird hide to spot winter birds feasting on seeds and nuts. Use the guide in the hide to identify which birds are visiting and let us know by writing it on the white board. Sit there quietly for a while and you'll spot all sorts!

Watch the birds feeding in the bird hide by the visitor centre
Watch the birds feeding in the bird hide
Watch the birds feeding in the bird hide by the visitor centre

Watch out for Mistle Thrushes, Tawny Owls and the Great Spotted Woodpecker. If you capture a great photograph, don't forget to tag us on our Instagram channel @ntfountainsabbey. You can find the link at the bottom of the page.

Great Spotted Woodpecker
Great Spotted Woodpecker
Great Spotted Woodpecker

All three varieties of bird are eagerly setting up their territories at the moment. As they start breeding earlier than other birds, it's highly likely the Mistle Thrushes and Tawny owl will be incubating eggs by the end of March.

Discovering the Temple of Fame on the High Ride path

What you need to know for your visit 

Come and explore Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal for the day. Wander through the 900 year old abbey and Georgian water gardens at this World Heritage Site. Discover how to make the of of your day here...

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