Skip to content
Visitors walking along the lime tree avenue in the Deer Park at Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden, Yorkshire
Visitors walking along the lime tree avenue in the Deer Park | © National Trust Images/Chris Lacey
Yorkshire

Fountains Abbey ancient trees walk

On this circular walk you'll learn a little more about the ancient trees in the Deer Park and gain insights into 18th-century landscaping.

Deer park

There are three types of deer in the park: sika, fallow and red. Please keep your distance so you don't disturb them and keep dogs on a short lead.

Total steps: 7

Total steps: 7

Start point

Fountains Abbey visitor centre, grid ref: SE272687

Step 1

Leave the visitor centre and follow signs towards St Mary's Church. Follow the signs for 'Footpath to St Mary's Church, Deer Park and Water Garden'.

Step 2

Follow the well-defined bridlepath that runs parallel to the main drive, until you reach the large gates on your right that give access to St Mary's Church and the Deer Park. Go through the pedestrian gate, and proceed down the roadway. The sweet chestnut (A) will be on your right. Opposite St Mary's Church (a William Burges masterpiece) the impressive sweet chestnut tree is a pre-18th-century pollard. Note the line of five limes opposite Choristers House. Continue down the roadway and notice Lime Avenue (B) framing the view to Ripon Cathedral.

Step 3

Further down the road, take the left turn at a small crossroads. Just before the brow of the hill note the old cherry tree (C) on your right. It was reputed to be the largest in Britain at one point but is now in decline. A little further on note the impressive pre-18th-century oak tree (D), also on your right. Pass the converted stable block on your left and look straight ahead to the oak avenue (E). Look beyond the gate to the estate and see the line of oaks continue north to Low Lindrick, originally part of the estate. Continue for about 55yd (50m) then take the grass track that veers off to the right.

Step 4

Before the beech tree look across to your left to the old sycamore pollards near the small, square pump house (F). Follow the path down a slight slope and cross the stone bridge at the bottom, known as 'Rough Bridge'. The track splits into two – take the right-hand path, going up a slight incline, and follow it as it bends to the left and continues between two lines of oak trees (G). Continue following the path as it dips. As it rises again look to your right at two Atlantic cedars (H): the result of 19th-century planting by Earl De Grey, owner of the estate from 1845 to 1859. The path bends sharply to the right, follow it to the right.

Step 5

Continue towards the lodges at East Gate and at the bottom of Lime Avenue (B) turn right, being careful of the traffic on the road. This is the original 18th-century entrance to the estate. Just before the car park sign turn left and walk across the park to enjoy a magnificent view of the lake. Leave the viewing point and head towards the tea-room on the far side of the lake.

Visitors sit outside the Victorian tea-room at Studley Royal Water, with trees in the background and water in the foreground
Stop by the Studley tea-room for some quick refreshments to take-away | © National Trust Images/John Millar

Step 6

Take the roadway up to the lower car park on your right. Cross the car park, heading for a grassy path at the rear, signposted 'St Mary's Church 500yds, Visitor Centre 1 mile'. The path rises and goes through trees, bending to the right.

Step 7

At the crest of the hill head for the old sweet chestnut (A); take a rest on the bench made from branches of the adjacent sweet chestnut. A little further the path splits into two, take the left hand path heading to the main gates of the deer park. Go through the pedestrian gate and turn sharp left to follow the footpath back to the visitor centre and main car park.

End point

Fountains Abbey visitor centre, grid ref: SE272687

Trail map

Map route for Fountains Abbey ancient trees walk
Map route for Fountains Abbey ancient trees walk | © Crown copyright and database rights 2013 Ordnance Survey

You made it

Share your experience

More near here

Snowdrops carpet the left hand side of the river bank with the ruins of Fountains Abbey in the background
Place
Place

Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden 

Ancient abbey ruins and an awe-inspiring water garden at this World Heritage Site

Ripon, North Yorkshire

Fully open today
Two visitors walk down a long avenue lined with lime trees in leaf, with a pointed church spire behind them
Trail
Trail

Ripon to Fountains Abbey walk 

Walk to Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal from Ripon, taking in cathedral views from the lime avenue through the deer park, then explore the Seven Bridges Valley on your return.

Activities
Walking
DistanceMiles: 8 (km: 12.8)
Couple walking through the grounds of Fountains Abbey, Yorkshire
Trail
Trail

Fountains Abbey Estate Boundary walk 

See all the highlights of Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal on a circular walk, taking in the Abbey ruins, hall, deer park and 18th-century water garden.

Activities
Walking
DistanceMiles: 5 (km: 8)
Two walkers with dogs on a grassy area next to a stone bridge, crossing a broad, shallow river
Trail
Trail

The Seven Bridges Valley walk 

On this circular walk, you'll cross delightful arched bridges as you follow the meandering Skell river.

Activities
Walking
DistanceMiles: 3.8 (km: 6.08)

Get in touch

Fountains, Ripon, North Yorkshire, HG4 3DY

Our partners

Cotswold Outdoor

We’ve partnered with Cotswold Outdoor to help everyone make the most of their time outdoors in the places we care for.

Visit website 

You might also be interested in

A hiker wearing an insulated jacket and a backpack watches the sunset over snowy mountain peaks

Walking 

Explore some of the finest landscapes in our care on coastal paths, accessible trails, woodland walks and everything in between. Find the best places to walk near you.

Visitors walking around the ruins at Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden, Yorkshire

Walking in Yorkshire 

Discover some of the best walks in Yorkshire, from rugged Pennine beauty spots to parkland and meadows perfect for a family stroll.

A group of people in a hiking group are being guided on a hike by rangers at Marsden Moor, West Yorkshire
Article
Article

Cotswold Outdoor: our exclusive walking partner 

Find out more about the National Trust’s ongoing partnership with Cotswold Outdoor as our exclusive walking partner.

An aerial view of an adult and baby walking a dog along a path at Baggy Point, Devon
Article
Article

Staying safe at National Trust places 

The special places in National Trust care sometimes come with a few risks for visitors, be it coastline or countryside. Find out how to keep safe throughout your visits.

A visitor carrying a backpack and walking along a footpath at Divis and the Black Mountain with stone walls either side, the countryside visible in the background.
Article
Article

Follow the Countryside Code 

Help to look after National Trust places by observing a few simple guidelines during your visit and following the Countryside Code.

A close-up of a smiling child enjoying a cut of hot chocolate at Knoll Beach café, Studland Bay
Article
Article

Eating and shopping at Fountains Abbey 

Break up your adventures at Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal with some tasty refreshments. Afterwards, look for the perfect gift or a treat for yourself in the National Trust shop and plant centre.

Dog visiting Fountains Abbey in the summertime
Article
Article

Visiting Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal with your dog 

Fountains Abbey is a three pawprint rated place. Discover why it's such a great place to bring your dog and take a look at our top tips to help you make the most of your visit.

View of the 18th-century water garden at Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal on a sunny day
Article
Article

Things to do at Studley Royal 

The evocative ruins of the abbey are set beside the grounds of Studley Royal, a medieval deer park in Yorkshire. It was declared Yorkshire’s first World Heritage Site in 1986.