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Oneof the seven bridges at Studley Royal deer park

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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


Herd of red deer as we left the lake at the start of the Seven Bridges walk
Herd of red deer as we left the lake at the start of the Seven Bridges walk

The lake seen from the terrace by the coffee shop
The lake seen from the terrace by the coffee shop

The lane near Plumpton Hall on the way to Studley Roger
The lane near Plumpton Hall on the way to Studley Roger

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 that 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.

It 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.

One of the Seven Bridges near the start of our walk
One of the Seven Bridges near the start of our walk

Fallow deer as we re-entered the deer park
Fallow deer as we re-entered the deer park

The Octagonal Tower overlooking the water gardens
The Octagonal Tower overlooking the water gardens

Fountains Abbey
Fountains Abbey

Fountains Abbey
Fountains Abbey

Another view of the ruins of Fountains Abbey
Another view of the ruins of Fountains Abbey

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.

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. There was just time for another visit to the coffee shop before heading for home.

Tall beech tree at Fountains Abbey
Tall beech tree at Fountains Abbey

The Refectory at Fountains Abbey
The Refectory at Fountains Abbey

The water gardens seen from Anne Boleyn's Seat
The water gardens seen from Anne Boleyn's Seat

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