Winter adventures and half term fun

Pull on your woollies and welly boots for a sparkling winter walk. See spiders' webs glisten in the frost and hear the birds chattering at the bird hide. Find your own connection with nature and engage your senses through 900 years of history. Plus, see if you can spot the first signs of spring: snowdrops.

Enjoy a walk with extra sparkle

Enjoy a walk through 900 years of history and acres of nature. Stomp through the brutal stonework of the abbey and imagine how the monks would have lived with only light shoes or bare feet! brrrrrrrr. Splash along to the water garden and peek over sculpted hedges and spot the follies that the Georgians built for parties and fun!

Embrace the sparkle and crunch of a winter walk
Wintery Mill Bridge at Fountains Abbey
Embrace the sparkle and crunch of a winter walk

What’s happening this February half-term?

Grab a spring-go activity sheet to take with you on your adventures, spotting signs of spring as you go. Can you find your tree twin? Or maybe you’ll be brave enough to dig through some owl pellets with our ranger? Crafty visitors of any age can join in with making a wool flower or planting a snow drop to take home.

 

We’re celebrating all things snowdrops

“Beautiful Flower!” said the Sunbeams, “how graceful and delicate you are! You are the first, you are the only one! – Hans Christian Anderson 1863

Snowdrops are one of the first signs of new life emerging from the freezing winter earth here at Fountains Abbey. You can spot their nodding bright heads dancing on banks near water and in woodlands throughout the estate.

You’ll be able to plant your own snowdrop to take home from 11am-1pm on 19, 21, and 23 February and the weekend of 26/27 February too. Pop it in your garden or a planter and you’ll be able to see it emerge next winter to welcome a new year once again.

See drifts of delicate snowdrops near the abbey ruins
Snowdrops near the abbey ruins at Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal
See drifts of delicate snowdrops near the abbey ruins

Spring-go!

Nature is waking up all around you. What can you see, hear and smell that let’s you know that a new season is nearly here? Grab a free ‘spring-go’ activity sheet from any admission point and see how many signs of nature waking you can collect on your adventures.

Find your tree twin

The branches of lots of the trees throughout the estate might still be bare, but it means you can see the wonderful twisty shapes and trails they make. Visit the activity stop marked on your map and you’ll find out how you can find your very own tree twin. You might be surprised at how your hands and our leafy friends are connected.

Get closer to nature at Fountains Abbey
Child walking along a fallen tree at Fountains Abbey, north Yorkshire
Get closer to nature at Fountains Abbey

Get crafty in Swanley Grange

19-27 February & 5 & 6 March. 11am-3pm

On your way down to the abbey from the visitor centre be sure to stop by Swanley Grange, the home of all things ‘wooly’ here at Fountains. Wool and textiles were a huge part of the medieval monk’s life here. What better way to connect to the past than to make a flower using just one primitive tool… a fork!

This activity is open to all ages so please do pop in and have a go.

World Wildlife ‘Day’

Thursday 3 March is World Wildlife Day but we’re marking this important event with 3 days of activities to make sure everyone has a chance to get involved.

There are acres to explore in Studley Royal deer park
Girls playing in Studley Royal deer park
There are acres to explore in Studley Royal deer park

Friday 4 March – ‘Wow. I didn’t know that?’ nature walk

Join our wildlife volunteer for a guided walk through the estate and learn about some quirks and curiosities in nature as you hunt for signs of spring.

Walk starts at West Gate at 2pm and will last about an hour. 

Saturday 5 March – Daffodil planting with the garden team

Join our gardeners in the estate and get your hands covered in some good Yorkshire soil planting some daffodils.

11am-2pm. By the infirmary ruins on the East side of the abbey.

Sunday 6 March – Owl-M-G!

This an activity for the curious and brave. Join our ranger and have a go at dissecting some owl pellets to hunt for clues about what an owl might have hunted for. You’ll be surprised at what you find.

10am-11am in Swanley Grange courtyard. 

Barn owl
A barn owl in flight
Barn owl

Visit the play area

Don’t miss a trip to the play area this half-term. The visitor centre restaurant for takeaway, baby change and toilets are just two minutes away - perfect for if little legs can't go very far.

There’s things to wobble along, jump over and climb on...you'll find a wooden abbey, a woodland house, scramble nets and posts, swings, fireman's poles, a slide, a roundabout, a gigantic rope bridge and a huge zip wire for the most daring adventurers of all.

It's the perfect place to play for older kids, too!
Girl on the rope bridge in play area at Fountains Abbey
It's the perfect place to play for older kids, too!

 

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