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The Outdoor Guide's Accessible Guide to Fountains Abbey, North Yorkshire

Powerchair at Fountains Abbey

Monday, 26th February 2018

Fountains Abbey lies along the valley of the River Skell, about two miles west of Ripon, North Yorkshire.

It is a National Trust property and is open all year round. Almost 350,000 visitors enjoy the peace, solitude and beauty of the Fountains Estate every year.

There is so much to see and do at Fountains Abbey, including the magnificent medieval abbey, the water park, the Victorian Church and deer park. 

Founded in 1132 by 13 Benedictine Monks, Fountains Abbey became one of the largest, richest and the most influential Cistercian abbeys in Britain. 

In 1539, under the rule of Henry VIII the abbey was dissolved. The crown sold off the abbey and its 500 acres of land.

Today visitors can stroll along the many paths around the abbey and wander through the grounds and gardens. Every effort has been made to make this National Trust property wheelchair friendly.

The path from the main entrance to the abbey  is  steep and not ideal for manual wheelchairs, but there is disabled access to the abbey  from the West Gate car park which has designated blue badge parking.  From here it is possible to pre booked an electric scooter.

The café and toilets are both wheelchair accessible.

Deb’s verdict

The ruins of the abbey are accessed via grassed area. There are a few ramps to the main part of the ruins.  Some of these ramps are quite steep. The Whill had no problems passing over the uneven ground.

The grounds of this estate are vast and it is quite easy to spend four or five hours wandering the grounds and gardens. The Whill had plenty of charge left on its battery at the end of the day.

The staff at the information desk advised that the path up to the Surprise view was steep. It was steep idea! But once again the Whill tackled the hill and the views were rewarding.

If in North Yorkshire I advise planning a visit to Fountains Abbey… but make sure you give yourself plenty of time to truly enjoy this magnificent estate.

Photographs are curtesy of The Outdoor Guide

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