A Travellerspoint blog

Glasgow - Ripon - Sheffield

Ancient abbeys, water gardens and a lovely dinner!


Leaving Scotland and entering back into England, we make a first stop at Ripon in Yorkshire.

Fountains Abbey

Dating back to 1132 when 13 monks who fled from unrest at St Mary's Abbey in York built their new lives here, the Abbey was once a powerful and wealthy Cistercian monastery. The abbey operated for over 400 years, until 1539, when Henry VIII came along and ordered the Dissolution of the Monasteries.


The ruins of this once great abbey is now a 'listed monument' and a UNESCO Heritage sire.




Having been lucky enough to find a disabled parking space near the entrance in the extremely busy car park, we take my dad in his wheelchair and walk through the grounds of the abbey and onwards.


The grounds are very popular with families who bring their picnics to have on the extended lawns.



The Abbey buildings and over 500 acres of land were sold by the Crown in 1540 to Sir Richard Gresham, who immediately sold off lots of stone, timber and lead from the site.



Fountains Hall was built using stones from the monastery.


By 1767, the abbey and grounds were sold on to William Aisleaby who combined it with the Studley Royal Estate.



Studley Royal Water Gardens

The abbey grounds lead directly into the Studley estate water gardens, with a mile long path taking you right through the grounds.


When John Aisleaby (who has inherited the estate at a young age) was expelled from his political career in parliament, he diverted his energies into creating a water garden at Studley.


He created a romantic atmosphere and built viewing platforms for his visitors to admire the follies across the estate.



The walk is very pleasant, and despite the threatening clouds, we manage to stay dry for the duration.


At the other end is a small coffee shop, where we have some refreshments before making our way back. David, pushing my dad's wheelchair, hurries on back to the car as my dad was feeling the chill from the inclement weather; while I take my time strolling through the grounds.


I get chatting to one of the volunteers, and end up with a personal guide telling me all about the history of the gardens.



At to our hotel this evening, we check out the adjoining restaurant. We walk out again as quickly as we walked in. The restaurant is like a huge shopping mall food court, where you queue up to pay your entrance fee, queue up to get a plate, and then queue up to help yourself to buffet food from a multi-choice selection. The restaurant is noisy, busy, and not our thing at all!

Instead we drive towards the nearest big town – Sheffield. Near the out-of-town shopping centre I spot a Weatherspoon restaurant and we head for that. Oh, the irony: it's in a huge shopping mall food court! Next door is a Harvester restaurant, an even better choice! The service and food is excellent and we go home very satisfied!

Posted by Grete Howard 07:01 Archived in Scotland

Email this entryFacebookStumbleUpon

Table of contents

Be the first to comment on this entry.

Comments on this blog entry are now closed to non-Travellerspoint members. You can still leave a comment if you are a member of Travellerspoint.