An 18th Century Woodland Wander

Walking trail

This circular walk takes you through the pretty village of Aldfield and into the peaceful woodland along the banks of the river Laver before returning to the Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal estate through the Chinese Wood and Seven Bridges Valley.

John Aislabie’s son, William, added to his father’s vision at Studley Royal by traversing the river in the Seven Bridges Valley with Chinese-style wooden bridges


An 18th century woodland wander walking trail at Fountains Abbey, Ripon


Fountains Abbey visitor centre


Leave the visitor centre and follow the signs for St Mary’s Church, along the bridleway. When you reach the obelisk cross the estate road and take the public footpath through several fields. When you reach the road, turn right and walk along until you see a church. Turn left here and walk through the village of Aldfield.


Look out for a public footpath on your right crossing over several fields. When you reach the road (B6265 – take care) cross over to continue along the public footpath. Shortly after joining an area of woodland you’ll come to a minor road. Turn right and walk along the road. Look out for a permissive path on the left (this isn’t signposted) and follow this through the woodland.


At the path junction turn left following the footpath which takes you to the river Laver. Cross over the river and take the path on the right following the path beside the river until you reach Galphay Mill.


Turn right and follow the road until you see a public bridleway on the right. Follow the long straight lane, passing Low Lindrick Farm, until you reach a road (B6265). Take care crossing the road and go through the small gate in the wall to take you into Studley Royal deer park.


Follow the tarmac drive in the deer park heading towards the large house (the former stable block belonging to Studley Royal House). Turn left here along the mown grass path and cross over ‘Rough Bridge’. Continue through the deer park and along the boundary wall until you reach the entrance lodges into the deer park. Turn left and walk under the arch.


At the end of the lane turn right along the permissive right of way, passing Plumpton Hall. Continue along the lane and follow the path downhill into the Chinese Wood and Seven Bridges Valley.


Follow the path around Studley Lake and mown grass path towards St Mary’s Church. Go through the gate and turn left along the bridleway which will bring you back to the visitor centre.


Fountains Abbey visitor centre

You made it

Following this trail on mobile or tablet? Share your experience.

An 18th Century Woodland Wander


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. 

An 18th Century Woodland Wander

How to get here

Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal 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).

An 18th Century Woodland Wander

Facilities and access

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