Peel back 900 years of history at this UNESCO World Heritage Site of majestic monastic ruins, water gardens and medieval deer park.
This UNESCO-listed site boasts the largest and best-preserved monastic ruins in the country. There is nowhere better to explore the dramatic rise and fall of English monasticism. Ambling under the high arches and vast roofless remains, you can almost hear the whispered prayers and pious chanting of monks that echoed here as long ago as the 12th century.
Fountains Abbey is set in beautiful scenery next to the sparkling River Skell, beside ancient woodland filled with birdsong and an idyllic deer park. Here too are the stunning 18th-century water gardens of Studley Royal, which delight with trickling fountains, statues, romantic follies and mirror-like pools.
The site is also home to a Jacobean Manor House, a Victorian church and Cistercian mill, making for a full day’s expedition. Fountains Abbey is near Harrogate in North Yorkshire, 230 miles (370km) north of London.
The winter is full of highlights as venues in Scarborough, Whitby and Filey host a variety of shows; musicals, comedies, plays and dramas with a real flavour of Christmas with wassailing and traditional pantomimes.
Location: North Yorkshire Coast & North York Moors