Nidderdale & Washburn Walks
Date: 27th February 2011
Distance: 3.6 miles
Ascent: 425 feet
Time: 3 hours 10 minutes
With: Lisa, Rhiannon, Mum and David
Start Grid Ref: SE273686
A nice family walk around the beautiful grounds of Fountains Abbey, particularly memorable for the large number of snowdrops in flower.
Route Summary: A simple circuit round the grounds of Fountains Abbey.
1. A pheasant who kindly posed for me on top of a fence
2. A close up of some of the many snowdrops we saw
3. The magnificently vaulted Abbey cellarium
4. Mum standing in the north aisle of the Abbey church
5. Rhiannon and Fountains Abbey
6. Fountains Abbey and the River Skell
7. The excellent view from ... Surprise View
8. Rhiannon got very excited about this 'green' tree
9. Mum and David in the Temple of Fame folly
10. Rhiannon in the Temple of Fame
11. Rhiannon on the steps of the Octagon Tower
12. Mum with part of the Studley Royal Water Garden below
13. There used to be stepping stones here before H&S removed them
14. Fountains Abbey
15. The late Elizabethan Fountains Hall
Walk Detail: While not exactly a walk in the Pennines I've included this lovely walk because it is within the boundary of the Nidderdale AONB. There is also a wider connection in that the monks of Fountains Abbey once owned vast tracts of land in the Yorkshire Dales including Fountains Fell.
The combination of the largest monastic ruins in the country with the beautiful Studley Royal Water Garden and attendant Georgian follies make Fountains Abbey one of the most scenic places in northern England and a great place to take young ones for a little walk.
It had been a while since Rhiannon had walked much further than to nursery and considering her age and her penchant for shoulder rides she did really quite well and probably walked / ran over half the distance of the walk. In fact about a third of the walk was one long extended game of hide and seek.
Despite the on and off showers this was a lovely way to spend our Sunday. Although there was not much in the way of sunshine it did appear just at the right time while we had our picnic at Surprise View. An added bonus was the amount of snowdrops on display, I've never seen so many and were a welcome reminder that Spring is on its way.