Your day at Fountains Abbey

Wander through the 900 year old abbey and sprawling Georgian water gardens at this World Heritage Site. With 800 acres to explore, an Elizabethan hall, Cistercian mill and medieval deer park there's a lot to do and you can spend a whole day or more here. Discover how to make the most of your day here...

Just so you know...

This article was created before the coronavirus crisis, and may not reflect the current situation. Please check our homepage for the most up to date information about visiting.

When can I visit?

  • March to October, 10am-6pm
  • November to February, 10am-5pm

Entry points close 1 hour before.

How much is it?

You can see the full price list here. Under 5's, carers, National Trust and English Heritage member go free.

We can't accept any English Heritage corporate agreement that English Heritage has with Royal Mail, Barclays Bank or the Civil Service.

Is there a map?

You can download a pdf of our map here: Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal map (PDF / 1.8251953125MB) download

What can I do here?

You'll ideally need a whole day here to see everything. There's the ruins of Fountains Abbey - the largest and most complete ruins of their kind and in the country.

There's also Studley Royal water garden, which is home to the moon ponds, cascades, statues, follies and wide views. On top of this there's also Fountains Hall, Fountains Mill (the oldest building in the National Trust), the medieval deer park and St Mary's Church (open 12-4pm, March to October).

Find all our activities and events here.

Can I get something to eat?

There are three different places across the site that you can choose from: the restaurant at the visitor centre, Studley Royal tea-room or Mill Café. 

You're more than welcome to bring a picnic along to tuck into but please leave barbeques at home.

It's a really big site, what if I get tired?

There is a minibus service which runs between the three different entrances: visitor centre, Studley Royal and West Gate. Please ask at admission points if you would like to take advantage of this service.

Catch the minibus from one end of Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal to the other
Catch the minibus from one end of Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal to the other
Catch the minibus from one end of Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal to the other

What is there to do for families?

Prepare for a big outdoor family adventure. With the large natural play area just two minutes from the visitor centre, crafts in the medieval farm buildings of Swanley Grange and a whole site to play hide and seek in you can keep the kids entertained for hours.

Exploring safely

  • We want everyone to have a safe and happy day out so please keep children under close supervision.
  • Barbeques are not permitted in the deer park, abbey or water garden. 
  • The abbey is a historical building so please don't climb on it - use our wooden playground instead! There are some gentle and steep slopes around the estate - some of the most challenging gradients are marked on the map. Please be aware of deep running water, uneven ground and height drops on the estate. We recommend wearing sensible shoes when you visit.
  • Bikes and scooters welcome for under 5s, please don’t bring them if you have older children.
  • There's also a ball games field by the play area, near Swanley Grange. Please use this for games rather than by the abbey and in the garden. 

Access to the estate

You can find our access guide here: Fountains Abbey Access Guide (PDF / 3.154296875MB) download

  • There is no wheelchair access from the visitor centre and so we advise using West Gate car park where there is level access to the estate.
  • There are mobility scooters available on a first come first serve basis. Please call ahead to see whether there is one available for the day you plan to visit and we can book one for you. Please give us a call on 01765 608 888.
  • Sighted guides are available to book. Please give us a call on 01765 608 888.
  • There is a minibus service which runs between the visitor centre, Studley Royal and West Gate. Ask at admission points if you would like to take advantage of this service. 
  • There are accessible toilets at the visitor centre, West Gate and Studley Royal tea-room. 
  • There are sensory toy packs available at the visitor centre and Studley Royal admission points. 

Leave the car at home, take the bus

Don't worry about parking by catching the Dales Bus service, the Fountains Flyer 822 directly to the visitor centre on Sundays and bank holidays. You can catch this from York, Boroughbridge and Ripon.

There's a new service to enjoy, too - the Brimham Explorer 825. This means you can enjoy the 7.5 mile walk, In the Footsteps of Monks, from Fountains Abbey to Brimham Rocks and get the bus back. You can get this bus to both Fountains Abbey and Brimham Rocks, directly from Ripon and Harrogate.

Where can I park?

  • At the visitor centre there are two car parks: car park A and car park B. 
  • There are family and disabled priority spaces in the second and third bays of car park A, from which you will be able to access the main visitor centre, shop, play area and bird hide but we recommend using West Gate car park for wheelchair and scooter access to the abbey.
  • West Gate, as a flat entrance into the grounds, is reserved for those with access needs or young families. You can borrow a Batricar (electric scooter) or wheelchair from West Gate on a first come first served basis. Please see below for details. 
  • Studley Royal is a pay and display car park. Parking is free if you are a member of the National Trust. We'd love it if you'd take a minute to scan your membership card though - every time you do we earn a £1 donation towards the conservation work we do here. 
    • Please don't park on the grass in the deer park or in Studley Roger village. 

Can I charge my electric car?

If you have an electric car there are six spaces available for charging your car in car park B at the visitor centre. 

Memories to treasure

Please do snap away around this World Heritage Site. You can share your photos of your visit with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram on @fountainsabbey/@ntfountainsabbey and by using hashtags #fountainsabbey 

While they make very unique photos, we ask that you don't bring your drone. This is to protect our visitors and the estate itself. 

Enjoy a spectacular view of the abbey on your trip around the estate
There's wheelchair access around the abbey
Enjoy a spectacular view of the abbey on your trip around the estate

Big moments this year

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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.