Tuesday, 21 May 2013

National Trust Fountains Abbey

Fountains Abbey has been one of our favourite National Trust places since the children were very small, we used to go often despite the nearly two hours drive. North Yorkshire is a really beautiful place and we seriously considered a move there a few years back, not sure what changed our minds in the end but I'm glad we did because we might never have ended up home educating if we'd moved. Still, driving through the beautiful Knaresborough, Ripon and the outskirts of Harrogate was pretty cool, we must have another visit soon.

Fountains Abbey is a Cistercian Abbey, and along with Studley Royal Water Gardens & Deer Park is a World Heritage Site,

What better a place for the first day of their "new cloak" outing? Ruben printed off a map of Middle Earth- from Lord of the Rings-just for those of you who's children are not obsessed with LOTR!

Here are some photos which came out really well with the gloomy weather, making for a very dramatic scene.

The abbey ruins in the distance

The ruins

Having a huge Hobbit adventure amongst the arches and stairs of the abbey ruins

Bailey didn't want to wear a cloak sadly...But he did have a photo with his old mum-see how tall he is now? A whole 5 inches taller than me!!!!

The ruins are simply stunning and photo's do them no justice but I simply love Hubby's beautiful photographs.

Can you believe that this was built in a time before machinery and cranes to lift? Its all so beautifully symmetrical and so HUGE and grand. Its a bit overwhelming to be honest.

Makes you feel very small being stood in here.

Looking at the views..

Exploring the castle...I mean Abbey walls

She looked just like Arwen in the distance!

Look they even found a Hobbit Hole to inhabit!

Studley Royal Water Park

The statue of Neptune in the middle of the pond had to be positioned in place by a helicopter! Wish we could have seen that..

Time for a quick stop for lunch at the cafe, where we spotted some very cheeky Jackdaws

Before we had a walk through the Deer Park, lots of happy memories from when the children were so much smaller, they loved playing on the hills, climbing on the tree trunks and feeding the ducks. There were a few baby chicks today too.

Lots of cool bridges to climb over..

And a lovely time throwing rocks into the water and playing on the stepping stones until Cordelia's foot went in and Ruben went to "save" her and slipped himself and was wet through right up to his thighs... No injury other than pride though thankfully so a bit of a wet walk for him back up to the car via the cafe for an ice cream, that and a Pokemon chat with Bailey distracted him for soggy jeans.

A really wonderful today with four very happy children, Hubby said he thinks the cloaks are the best thing I have ever made and have to agree. Cordelia in particular was so excited and kept jumping off things to make her cloak billow behind her, so nice to see her just enjoying being imaginative and playing without feeling the need to be "grown-up". Some lovely conversations and much needed peace and quiet from all other distractions.

Back home and after tea and baths we all snuggled on the sofa with warm popcorn to watch last Saturday's Dr Who finale. 

The word of the moment seems to be "Drama-Bomb"-want to remember that so writing it down as its so random :-)


  1. I love the cloaks! And there is something special about a good castle ruin... or Abbey lol. great day x

  2. Such a beautiful part of England. Makes me want to re-visit Yorkshire-we have never made it as far as the Abbey ruins. Will be going on 'that to do list'. Fab cloaks by the way !