Walk on the wild side

Walking trail

Stroll through the deer park and enjoy the scenic Seven Bridges Valley before venturing out into the local countryside.

a group of deer in studley royal deerpark hiding beneath the trees.


Walk on the wild side at Fountains Abbey


Fountains Abbey Visitor Centre, grid ref: SE272687


Leave the visitor centre and follow the signs for St Mary’s Church, along the bridleway. While it has a dark gothic exterior, inside it’s bursting with colour! It has animals, insects and birds in the carvings and designs. Can you spot the exotic parrots? (Church open March — October 12 – 4pm)


When you reach the church, follow the mown path on the right across the deer park towards the lake.

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St Marys Church in autumn


Walk around the lake away from the tearoom and towards the footbridge.

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Can you muster the courage to walk pass the sphinx? Cross the footbridge if you dare to enter the Seven Bridges Valley. Follow the path, heading for the small stone bridges, but beware of the trolls hiding below...


Pass through a metal gate and follow the path until you reach a narrow footbridge on the right. Cross the bridge and follow the path uphill. At the top of the hill, take the left hand path and continue until you pass through a wooden gate.


Amble across the open fields following the grassy path. The cows or sheep that often graze here seem very content with the glorious views! Exit the field through the wooden gate and turn left, following the lane, passing Whitcliffe Hall, until you reach a small area of woodland. Take this woodland path with the fence on the left (which is a permissible route). Continue along the path until you emerge at an open field looking out across the city of Ripon. Follow the field edge on the left until you reach Hell Wath Cottage.

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Go down the steps, turn left and continue straight on to cross a footbridge. Follow the bridleway until you reach a junction of footpaths. Take the left path which will bring you into Studley Roger village.

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On reaching the road, go straight across following the public footpath taking you into the deer park. Follow the path heading towards St Mary’s Church. When you reach the church, pass through the gate and turn left along the bridleway returning to the visitor centre.


Visitor Centre

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Walk on the wild side


This walk takes you along bridleways, footpaths, roadways and gravel tracks through this delightful estate. The terrain is fairly easy walking though there are a few moderate hills. Sensible shoes are recommended as the ground can be muddy in poor weather.

Dogs are welcome on short leads. 

Walk on the wild side

Contact us

Walk on the wild side

How to get here

Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden, Ripon, HG4 3DY
By train

Nearest main railway station is Harrogate, 12 miles (19.3km) from Fountains Abbey.

By road

4 miles (6.4km) west of Ripon off B6265 to Pateley Bridge, signposted from A1, 12 miles (19.3km) north of Harrogate (A61).

By bus

Harrogate District Community Transport (Ripon Roweller 139) Ripon - Markington (connections with Harrogate and District 36 from Harrogate). Call Traveline for details 0871 200 22 33.

Walk on the wild side

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