The day was quite grey and a little drizzly when Joanne and I set off on the Ancient Trees Walk at Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal near Ripon but in no way did it spoil our enjoyment of this lovely walk. About three and half miles, including to and from the car park to St. Mary’s church, easy going and so interesting.

For us the trees were quite bare being winter and to see just what is underneath all their summer foliage and to really look was quite fascinating. We soon began to recognise each one, the lime was easy with all its ‘fizzy’ bits and what seemed long gangly limbs, but for those limes that had been pollard-ed they looked quite different, more restrained. Gnarled oaks, twisted sweet chestnuts, sycamore with its pinky brown cracked bark, smooth beeches, Atlantic cedars and probably many more.

The walk starts at St. Mary’s Church, a late Victorian memorial church which a spectacular interior, further along we walked past converted stables, now a private residence, which were originally associated with Studley Royal House now sadly gone, destroyed by fire in 1946. There seemed to be deer everywhere, red deer, fallow deer and sika deer, the stags were quite magnificent! Wander along through the park, so peaceful, past the lodges at East Gate and eventually coming to the lake. Tea Room here if you fancy a ‘cuppa’! Up the grassy hill from the lower car park, St. Mary’s soon coming into view and back to the car park where you came in. Do stop to enjoy excellent fare here, all home made and perfectly fresh, there’s also a shop which I defy anyone to come out of empty handed. Plants outside also to peruse.

Follow here for full instructions.

Of course there is so much more at Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal, so think about returning to explore further. Water gardens, the abbey itself, lots of other walks too! We love to take a picnic on a nice day. You’ll find lots more information here and of course on the National Trust website.

We have a lovely cottage to sleep two in Ripon, the Hay Loft, a moment from Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal, and lots of other holiday cottages to choose from nearby. Book online or call me, Nadine, or my daughter Joanne, on 01969 663559 for friendly help and advice and to book over the telephone.