5 reasons to visit Fountains Abbey this Christmas

26 December 2019

Looking for things to do near Harrogate ?

It’s a World Heritage Site on your doorstep
You can spend all day with friends and family exploring almost 900 years of history.  Recognised as a ‘feat of human creative genius,’ Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal gained World Heritage Site status in 1986. Far from being ‘just an abbey’ the 800 acre property features a Georgian water garden, Jacobian hall, deer park, classical sculptures, follies, cascades as well as a medieval mill which is actually the oldest standing building in the National Trust!

You’re likely to see the closest thing to Santa’s reindeer in Yorkshire
The Studley Roya Deer Park is home to over 300 wild deer and is perfect for a family festive walk with plenty of wildlife to spot and acres of landscape to explore including the Studley lake and the Seven Bridges Valley. Stop off at the Studley tea room for some home-made mince pies and mulled wine.

The dark days are no problem
Lit up with all the colours of the rainbow on weekends throughout December, the abbey is a sight to see. Walk beneath the cellarium’s vaulted ceilings, under the grand columns of the nave and listen to the choir or band as they fill the ruins with festive music. You can even join in if you know the tune!

There are always new things to discover
Despite being almost 900 years old, the site is always changing with new things to discover with each visit. This year, after mysteriously disappearing over 100 years ago, the Dying Gladiator has returned to Studley Royal Water Garden.  Once part of a collection of statues that feature in the garden, its fate is unknown – did it fall into disrepair, was it taken or simply just fall out of fashion and removed? See if you can find it.

It’s the perfect place to take the kids to burn off some energy
At Christmas, there comes a certain time where little ones can start getting restless and the house can begin to feel very small! As well as an 800 acre estate to explore, less than two minutes from the visitor centre there’s a huge play area where inquisitive little minds can be let loose to play. Climb high on the wooden abbey, speed along on the zip-wire and spin round and round on the roundabout. Parents can keep an eye out from picnic tables dotted around or come and join in with building a den.

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