This atmospheric 12th-century abbey is one of the most complete Cistercian monasteries in Britain, surrounded by tranquil tree-filled parkland.
The picturesque ruins of Kirkstall Abbey have been both the inspiration for and subject of many famous painters, including JMW Turner, Thomas Girtin and John Sell Cotman. These days the abbey inspires the thousands of visitors a year who come to marvel at the dramatic architecture, relax among the wildlife and greenery and learn about the 12th century monks who lived here.
Let your imagination take you back in time at the interactive visitor centre, which contains a unique catalogue of images of the abbey from the 18th century to the present day. The Abbey House Museum is also well worth a visit. Here you can wander Victorian streets lined with shops and services featuring their original shop fittings.
Kirkstall Abbey is in Kirkstall, 4 miles (6.4km) northwest of Leeds city centre in West Yorkshire. The nearest train stations are Burley Park and Leeds.