Things to do with the kids at Fountains Abbey
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 by the abbey, a dark winding tunnel, spotted a special winter bird. There's something to do year round at Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal. Read on to discover what's on for a day out with the kids throughout the year.
Run wild in the play area
Less than two minutes from the visitor centre there's a huge play area where inquisitive little 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 an eye out from picnic tables dotted around, or come and join in with building a den.
Be a water garden explorer
The water garden is full of straight lines and symmetrical curves but there are many corners to discover, too! Climb up to the Banqueting House and dress up like a Georgian, see which wildflowers you can see growing on the lawn and can you spot Octagon Tower in the distance?
Explore woodland on the High Ride path - but you'll need to walk through the dark Serpentine Tunnel to get there! Once you're up, you're up and there are three follies to find. One has an underground kitchen, one is made out wood and one has a wide view down to the abbey. See if you can find them all.
Be an abbey adventurer
Don your adventure cap and set out to discover all the hidden corners of the abbey. See if you can find the last of the white marble and all the ruined alters in the nave. Can you hear an echo in the cellarium and how many staircases can you find throughout the ruins?
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's a large restaurant at the visitor centre as well as 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.
Family favourites this autumn and winter
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