Fun for families this summer

There's acres of space where little legs can explore and imaginations can run riot here. You’ll be full of beans but out of puff once you’ve found a cave, a tunnel, spotted a special bird you’ve never seen before and discovered four new follies in the water garden.

Run wild in the play area

Not far from the visitor centre there's a huge play area where inquisitive minds can be let loose to play. Climb high on the wooden abbey, speed along on the zip-wire and spin round and round on the roundabout. Parents can keep a careful eye out from picnic tables dotted around, or come and join in with building a den.

Explore inside the wooden abbey...
Children playing on the mini wooden abbey
Explore inside the wooden abbey...

There's art in the garden!

Can you find all four new art works in the garden? See if you can spot Polly the parrot before she sees you; listen closely for the drips and drops of the long lost bathing house at the Listening Tower; take some wierd and wonderful selfies in the Gazing Ball's mirrored sphere; bust out your best dance moves under the Cloud. 

What do you think of the new follies? How would you design them if you had the chance? Pick up the folly family trail and let that creativity loose!


It's a monk's life at Swanley Grange

Could you make your own clothes? That's what the monks had to do to make their robes, as they couldn't just pop to the shops. It took a long time to make something to wear as they had to spin the wool from the sheep's fleece and then weave it on a loom! Come to Swanley Grange and have a go at these heritage crafts. Don't worry though, we're not expecting you to make yourself a new jumper to wear - it's just for fun.

While you're there don't forget to say 'hi' to the chickens and see what's growing in the medieval garden.

There are eight chickens who live at Swanley Grange.
The chickens at Swanley Grange
There are eight chickens who live at Swanley Grange.

Get crafty together at Swanley Grange

Nature is all around

It buzzes and bustles, rustles and creeps; come and find nature all around you on your visit. See if you can see a new animal, bug and bird. Summer is a great time to spot a newly born fawn or calf* in the deer park, a dipper on the river or if you're really lucky a stoat or an otter.

*did you know that the name of deer young varies according to which variety it is? We have three types of deer in the park and the young of a fallow deer is called a fawn but the young of the red or sika deer is called a calf.

Wildflowers are blooming in the undergrowth. Which ones can you can find and how do they smell? Remember, they like being left where they are to keep growing big and beautiful.

Snack stops

There are also two tea-rooms at each end of the site, Studley Royal tea-room and Mill Café, for you to take a snack stop. Tuck into some home-made scrumptious cake, local ice-cream or some juice to refresh and revive for the journey back.


If little legs get a bit tired from all the exploring, there's a free minibus service that runs between the visitor centre, Studley Royal admission point and West Gate admission point. It will also stop at St Mary's church if you want to have a look in this extravagant Victorian church.

Get stuck in...

Follow us on Twitter

Keep up with the latest news and events from Fountains Abbey on Twitter.

Like us on Facebook

Find out all the latest news, behind the scenes photos and what events are on by giving us a Like on Facebook.

Tag us on Instagram

We love photos - and especially photos of Fountains Abbey. If you snap some great pictures tag us or use #fountainsabbey. Follow us to keep up to date on what's going on around the estate.