A Monastic Working Landscape

Walking trail

Be sure to pack a picnic and take a day out to walk this 9 mile loop from the Fountains Abbey visitor centre and enjoy wide views over the estate.

An autumnal view of Jacobean mansion Fountains Hall


A working monastic landscape walking trail at Fountains Abbey near Ripon


Fountains Abbey visitor centre


Follow the bridleway from the visitor centre in the direction of West Gate disabled car park. Turn left and walk along the road, passing the entrance into the Fountains Abbey estate and car park. Continue uphill and look out for a footpath on the left.


Follow the boundary of the monastic precinct wall, through fields and farm buildings. You’ll also pass one of the old monastic fish ponds and look out towards the site of Morker Grange, one of the abbey’s ‘home granges’. Continue to follow the bridleway, along the edge of woodland and passing the Mackershaw Lodges. At the path junction continue straight ahead and follow the path as it bends and rises to a gate and into fields. Walk across the fields until you reach a lane.


Turn right and follow the lane until you reach a cattle grid. Continue straight ahead, following the yellow footpath signs along the field edges. Look out for a footpath on your right through a gap in the park wall. You’ll be able to see Markenfield Hall from here. Head across the field towards Markenfield Hall. Follow the path around the boundary of the hall then turn right and continue through the fields.


At the footpath junction turn left and when you reach a road, turn right then right again to join a no-through-road. Keep following the road which will take you left and then past Ingerthorpe Hall. Keep following the lane as it passes through woodland and into a series of equestrian buildings. Continue straight ahead and through a gate onto a lane which passes Ingerthorpe Grange.


Turn right when you reach a minor road (Westerns Lane) and follow this until you see a public footpath on the left. Take this path over a field and as you join the road, take the path diagonally left crossing over fields before joining a bridleway, following the yellow footpath waymarkers.


Follow the bridleway to reach a farm and cottages. Turn left and follow the path through fields and woodland to cross over an old monastic fish pond. Walk uphill through the woodland and across fields. At the road turn right and follow the road until you see a small single track road on the left. Walk down this lane until you see a bridleway on the right which leads down to the river Skell.


Follow the path along the Skell, crossing over a small bridge. Turn right and continue along until the path moves away from the water and joins a road. Turn left and walk uphill until you see a bridlepath on the right. Take the bridleway which will bring you back to the visitor centre car park.


Fountains Abbey visitor centre

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A Monastic Working Landscape


The deer may look tame but are wild so please keep your distance and keep to the mown paths when you're in the deer park. There are cattle grazing in some areas of the estate in spring and summer too. There are some gentle and steep slopes around the estate. Please be aware of deep running water, uneven ground and height drops on the estate. We recommend wearing sturdy shoes when you visit. 

A Monastic Working Landscape

How to get here

Fountains Abbey visitor centre
By road

4 miles (6.5km) west of Ripon off B6265 to Pateley Bridge, signposted from A1, 12 miles (19.3km) north of Harrogate (A61).

A Monastic Working Landscape

Facilities and access

  • Restaurant, tea-room, shop, plant centre and parking at Fountains Abbey
  • Responsible dog owners welcome, please keep dogs on a short lead