Visit this January

Girl enjoying the view from the Temple of Fame at Fountains Abbey

Don't let January be the bleak month everyone thinks it is. Step out into the fresh air and fill your lungs with Yorkshire's fresh winter air. Spot frosty spiders webs and glittering moon ponds, see if there are any frozen berries on the trees and sit to watch the birds tucking in at the bird hide.

See the abbey aglow with colour

The abbey will be bright and colourful from Wednesday 26 December to Sunday 6 January, with the exception of Friday 4 January (and Fridays throughout January). Hear recorded music ringing throughout the ruins as you explore.

Soak up the atmosphere at Music and Lights
Soak up the atmosphere at Music and Lights
Soak up the atmosphere at Music and Lights

New year, new look

The restaurant at the visitor centre will be getting a new look. The restaurant will be closed between 7 January until mid February but you’ll be able to get take-away hot drinks and snacks from a pop-up stall in the courtyard. We encourage you to bring your re-usable cups if you fancy a cup of tea!

It will be worth the wait to see the restaurant transformed; lounge in the comfy chairs, soak up the heat from the log burner and tuck into a warming seasonal meal.

You can pop into Studley Royal tea-room for sandwiches, jacket potatoes and soup. Mill Café will be extending its hours so it’s open every day while the restaurant gets its new look. You can pick up hot drinks, sandwiches and cakes from here.  

Wrap hands around warm mugs of tea, coffee or hot chocolate at Studley Royal tearoom
Having tea in Studley Royal tearoom
Wrap hands around warm mugs of tea, coffee or hot chocolate at Studley Royal tearoom

Winter stomping ground

It's time to reset after a season of indulgence. Breathe a breath of fresh air into those lungs of yours and set out on a winter walk. Is there anything more satisfying on a winter’s day as the soft crunch of boots on frosty footpaths? Be sure to wear your most comfy boots as there are miles of winter walks to enjoy. Pick up one of our 12 walking leaflets from admissions and set out to explore.

Stretch your legs with these self guided walks

Come to explore the statues and follies in Studley Royal garden this winter
Come to explore the statues and follies in Studley Royal garden this winter
Come to explore the statues and follies in Studley Royal garden this winter

Family adventures

Who's tweeting this winter

Winter may have taken hold of the estate but the birdlife is still thriving. Here are a few of the different types of bird you may see on your walk around the grounds. There are plenty more about so let us know which birds you spot.

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

Hawfinch

Last year bird watchers were delighted by the arrival of Hawfinches around Fountains Hall. They've been spotted in December too so keep your eyes peeled for them through January! 

A Hawfinch sits high on a branch at Fountains Abbey
A Hawfinch sat high on a branch at Fountains Abbey
A Hawfinch sits high on a branch at Fountains Abbey

Before last year, they had not been seen here since 2009. If you see any on your visit, or get any photos, please do let us know.

Redwings (thrush)

The redwing has a cream coloured strip above its eyes with an orange-red patch over its flank. They can often be found across the winter countryside, in fields and hedgerows. These birds are on the RSPBs red list – a colour coded chart reflecting conservation priorities; red being of the highest importance.

Mistle thrush

The mistle thrush’s underside is covered in large black spots, making it a distinctive bird to spot. You’ll also notice white coloured edges to the tail. It stands very tall and can often be found singing ‘flutey’ tunes at the top of a tree.

Blue tit

The blue tit is another easily recognisable bird. It’s small and its colouring is made up of blue, yellow and white. In winter they join up into a family flock to search for food.

Coal tit

As its name suggests it’s not quite as colourful as others in the tit-family. It has a grey back and a black head, with white patches under the eyes. In winter it can be found in flocks in woodlands and gardens searching for food.

Thank you

We couldn't do it without you

Every time a National Trust member shows their card on their way in, it directly generates a payment which contributes to our work here at Fountains Abbey.

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