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Route No 22 - 2 December 2001
A Sunday Stroll at Studley Deer Park
and Fountains Abbey - 5 mlies
Ripon . . .

Route map from Ordnance Survey Open Space service.

Map: OS Explorer 298 Nidderdale at 1:25000


The lake at Studley deer parkIt was a lovely crisp sunny winters morning to-day and a friend and I drove to the deer park at Studley Roger near Ripon for a leisurely stroll, a look at the deer, a tour of Fountains Abbey and a spell in the coffee shop. We're just so lucky to live in this part of the world. We parked by the lake in the deer park and already there were people feeding bread to large flocks of ducks, geese, black headed gulls and a few swans. We walked round the lake and down the valley to the seven bridges walk. There was a herd of red deer on the river bank as we left the lake and a view of the impressive facade of Ripon cathedral as we approached Studley Roger. As we re-entered the park there was a large herd of fallow deer by the side of the drive. By the time we had completed this circular route of about 2 miles thatRed deer at Studley deer park took us through woods and farmland round to the village of Studley Roger and back through the deer park to our start we needed a visit to the coffee shop. We emerged after about half an hour suitably refreshed and ready for a walk up the valley to Fountains Abbey. It is an amazing array of buildings beautifully constructed and firm evidence of the power, wealth, organisation and sheer know-how that lies behind the creation of this self suficient small town. After soaking up the atmosphere of the abbey we returned along the hill overlooking the formal water gardens to look at the view with the late afternoon sun over the abbey. One of the '7 bridges'There was just time for another visit to the coffee shop before heading for home. We had walked only about 5 miles but there was so much to see and gaze at we had spent about four and a half hours including coffee shop stops. There was an added bonus too, I thought the site was managed by English Heretage, but it turned out that they just look after the abbey buildings (it's a world heretage site) and the estate as a whole belongs to the National Trust so my membership card got me in free. Unfortunately my friend is not a member and had to pay so I was bullied into paying for the coffee.

Fountains Abbey in the afternoon sunshine

Fountains Abbey in the afternoon sunshine

Fountains Abbey in the afternoon sunshine

Fountains Abbey in the afternoon sunshine

View from Anne Boleyn's seat

View from Anne Boleyn's seat

The refectory with its vaulted roof in tact

Refectory with its vaulted roof in tact

Ivy covered oak near Studley Roger

Ivy covered oak near Studley Roger

The Octagon tower overlooking the water garden

The Octagon tower overlooking the water garden

Fallow deer at Studley park

Above: Fallow deer at Studley park

Right: Mature beech tree.

Mature beech tree.