Things to do with your family this Christmas at Fountains Abbey

Are you planning a very Yorkshire Christmas for 2020? Come to Fountains Abbey for a full festive day out with your family. Get stuck into Christmas shopping and have a winter adventure through colourful abbey ruins and discover the water garden. Read on to find out everything you can do.

Please note that we're closed on Fridays throughout November, December and January with the exception of Friday 1 January. We are also closed on 24 and 25 December but open on Boxing Day.

Story time with Father Christmas

Unfortunately, Father Christmas will not be visiting Fountains this year. Our "stories with Father Christmas" event can't run with the social distancing measures we would have to take to keep our visitors and staff safe so the elves have made the decision to cancel the event. .

We are sorry to disappoint anyone, especially our littlest visitors. We have everything crossed that Father Christmas will be able to find his way to us next year.

See the abbey in colour at Music and Lights

Every weekend from 5 December - 3 January and every day 21 December - 1 January

You've finished the Christmas shopping, explored the family trail and been revived by a warming mug of energy giving hot chocolate. Now it's time for Music and Lights. See the abbey aglow with all the colours of the rainbow and hear music fill the cellarium.

Please not that we are unable to safely host live choirs and bands this year. Music will be pre-recorded. 

Carols by Candlelight

This heart-warming service in the abbey cellarium has become a Christmas tradition. Sadly we have taken the decision to cancel this year's services so that we can keep our staff and visitors safe as well as the wonderful volunteers that we depend on to help us run this event. 

Warm up with a hot chocolate

We bet tummies are rumbling after a big adventure through the abbey, a trip to the shop or lots of exploring in the water gardens. Sit down together with a  steaming cup of coffee, a creamy mug of hot chocolate or a pot of tea to warm up after an adventure through the garden.

See the abbey from all angles
Family in front of Fountains Abbey in North Yorkshire
See the abbey from all angles

See the deer

Come along to St. Mary's church and see the wild deer being fed through the colder season. There are three different kinds of deer. Can you spot the difference? It's a great chance to see them up close as through winter they need a bit more food than they can get from the deer park to help keep them healthy.


Get going with all that Christmas shopping!

Christmas decorations are in the shop from November but you can start your gift shopping whenever you like. The shop is accessible without going through the admissions point and car parking is free. Pop up for a relax in the restaurant and do your shopping - we're just under 10 minutes outside Ripon. 

Every penny you spend in the shop goes back into looking after Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal. If you'd like to find out more about the work we do visit our conservation page listed at the bottom of this page.

Walk through a colourfully lit abbey and Music and Lights this Christmas

Festive feelings at Fountains 

Slow down and revel in a moment's break from life's never ending hustle and bustle. Breathe in the fresh Yorkshire air and experience Christmas how it's meant to be; a time to make memories with your loved ones.

Walking in autumn sun at Fountains Abbey

What you need to know for your visit 

Spend a few hours exploring the ruins of Fountains Abbey before following the river down to the sprawling water garden. Don't stop there though! With the medieval deer park and surrounding countryside to discover too, there's enough to fill an entire day. Find out what you need to know for your visit here.

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