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Fountains Abbey & Studley Park from Ripon

Historic Town + Cathedral + Parkland + Ruined Abbey

County/Area - North Yorkshire - Vale of York

Author - Lou Johnson

Length - 9.5 miles / 15.4 km    Ascent - 750 feet / 227 metres

Time - 5 hours 30 minutes    Grade - moderate

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Walk Route Description

Photo from the walk - Fountains Abbey & Studley Park
Click image to see photo description.

Starting from the historic town of Ripon dominated by its magnificent Cathedral this walk explores Fountains Abbey and beautiful Studland Park. The route includes many of the notable features of the parkland including The Lake, and the Chinese Wood. If time permits you can also visit the remains of the abbey. The concluding section of the walk passes through the Hell Wath Nature Reserve which lies beside the River Skell.

The start is the Cathedral car park in Ripon (grid ref. SE314713). After parking make your way to Ripon Cathedral and turn right along Minster Road and bear right into Kirkgate. Turn left down steps into Duck Hill. At the bottom turn right along Water Skellgate to the next junction and turn left into Low Skellgate. Turn right along Bottage Lane and follow the lane around to the right through bollards to reach the B6265. Continue to a mini-roundabout and turn left across the River Laver. Just past the entrance to a caravan park turn left through a kissing gate with adjacent fingerpost (grid ref. SE299708).

Walk ahead and after a kilometre cross Studley Lane to the signed path opposite. The path leads to gates which provide access to Studley Park. Enter the park and bear half left soon reaching a tree lines avenue. Bear right and after 400 metres turn left down a tarmac track to reach the shore of The Lake. Turn right and just past a wooden bench under trees, fork right up to the car park. After a few metres fork half right to follow a grassy path which leads up to St Mary's Church Studley Royal (grid ref. SE2766930). Turn left along the tarmac drive, pass through a gate, and immediately turn left along a path with a wall on your left. The path leads to a roundabout. Go straight across signed to West Gate Entrance. Continue along Abbey Road and fork left along a track where the road bends right (grid ref. SE269683).

Turn left and follow the road across Fountains Bridge and start to climb. At the next junction fork left (signed Markington) and after 300 metres turn left through a gate to join a grassy path. Pass through two gates and bear right to pass through Hill House Farm on the signed route. Continue along a clear track veering left across grass when the track bends right. Pass through a gate into a wood and turn left through an archway to re-enter the Studley Park. The path heads downhill via a gate to reach a path junction a short distance downstream to The Lake (grid ref. SE282693).

Turn right and follow the path through Seen Bridges Valley. Continue through a gate to enter Chinese Wood. Take the next footbridge on the right on a rising path. At the next junction turn sharp left and follow the path up to Whitcliffe Lane. Turn left, pass the farm on your right, and continue along the lane for a kilometre. Reaching the end of the woodland on your left, turn left by a telecoms tower. Follow the path along the field edge to reach Hell Wath Cottage. Turn left along the lane and almost immediately right to enter Hell Wath Nature Reserve. The best plan is to follow the path closest to the River Skell. Keep ahead ignoring the footbridge on the left and exit into Borrage Green Lane which is followed to Harrogate Road. Turn left and at the next junction bear right along Barefoot Lane (no sign but letter box in the wall on the right). Take the next road on the left (Wiilliamson Drive), cross the river, and continue to Water Skellgate. Turn right and retrace your steps back to Ripon Cathedral and the car park.

Other walks nearby

Walk 2403 Ripon Rowel Walk Leg 1 - Ripon to South Stainleyeasy/mod10.0 miles
Walk 3528 Fountains Abbey & Markenfield Hallmoderate8.7 miles
Walk 2405 Ripon Rowel Walk Leg 3 - Sawley to Iltonmoderate11.0 miles
Walk 2407 Ripon Rowel Walk Leg 5 - Grewelthorpe to Riponmoderate12.0 miles
Walk 2404 Ripon Rowel Walk Leg 2 - South Stainley to Sawleyeasy/mod8.5 miles
Walk 1929 River Ure & Nutwith Common from Masham easy/mod6.6 miles
Walk 1358 Ripley & Knox circulareasy5.5 miles
Walk 2406 Ripon Rowel Walk Leg 4 - Ilton to Grewelthorpemoderate10.5 miles
Walk 3726 Brimham Rocks Circular easy4.7 miles
Walk 1095 The Marton-cum-Grafton Eighteasy3.3 miles

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