What's on this July

A couple sat near the ruins of Fountains Abbey.

Celebrate the start of summer with a wander through the water gardens this July. Discover blossoming wildflowers at the Banqueting House, apple buds starting to appear in the orchard and birds having a splash on the ponds.

Monastic powerhouse or Romantic folly?

This summer explore different ways of seeing the estate. From the monks who tamed the wild landscape and built the abbey up to be a power house of its time to the Georgian's who crafted the ruins into their water garden, there's more than one way to view the site. Explore how you see it on your visit - we'd love to hear what you think. 

Family fun this summer

Get stuck into monastic inspired activities and family tours one week and Georgian the next. Dress up as Georgian's and play lawn games at the Banqueting House and don monks robes in Porter's Lodge. Experience life in a medieval camp at Get Medieval and have a go at archery in the garden like the Georgians.

A growing garden

We’ve got some treats growing in the garden at Swanley this summer. Similar to the original monks we’ve planted Walking Stick cabbage and Trial Root parsley. Unlike the monks, the carrots we have are bright orange. Before the  17th Century, the carrots growing in the garden would have been white, yellow or purple. The colour orange itself didn’t exist and would have been recognised as a shade of red instead.

Walk on the wild side

Summer see’s Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal blossom with a colourful array of wildflowers. Dotted throughout the grounds we expect to see a variety of flora from the bright yellow hawkbits by the abbey to the bee orchids. Named for the way they attract bees to pollinate, see if you can work out how. It’s worth keeping an eye out for the lime flower, although you might have more luck using your nose.  This sweet smelling flower is known for its calming properties and can be found in herbal teas used before sleep or to reduce stress. Join one of the garden tours and see how many different flowers you can spot.

A Bee Orchid blooms on the estate
A Bee Orchid blooms on the estate
A Bee Orchid blooms on the estate

Silent nights

You might notice the estate seems quieter as we move from spring to summer. As the days get longer, the birds decide to give their singing voices a rest, all except the Yellowhammer. This bright yellow-headed bird is currently on the RSPB’s red list after a recent population decline but we still have them chirping away in the grounds.

The deer at this time of year

The deer in the park are starting to give birth. It's very normal for the mother to leave her young unattended in a nice shady spot. If you spot one, keep your distance. While we know it's really tempting to try and get closer, to get a photograph or to help it, their mothers are very sensitive to smells. They are likely to abandon their young if they smell anything on them so be sure to not go near them and keep dogs on leads.