This dog friendly destination in Yorkshire is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is managed by The National Trust, it comprises of the dramatic ruins of Fountains Abbey, which is the largest and best preserved Cistercian monastery in England and the awe inspiring Studley Royal Water Gardens, Deer Park and Estate.
One of the best things about Fountains Abbey is that dogs are welcome almost everywhere on the site. You can take your furry friend into the visitor centre, the abbey ruins, the water gardens, and the deer park. The only areas where dogs are not allowed are some indoor spaces and the bird hide. However, there are plenty of outdoor spaces for you and your dog to explore, so you won’t be missing out on anything. When visiting the abbey dogs must be kept on a lead but this has never spoilt the experience for Maya and Lucia!
There are plenty of facilities for four-legged visitors including numerous bowls of water dotted around and plenty of poo bins. There are picnic areas where you can sit and enjoy a packed lunch with your dog, as well as a dog-friendly restaurant where you can grab a bite to eat. The restaurant offers a range of delicious treats for humans and dogs alike, and the staff really enjoy having furry customers. In fact the National Trust take the enjoyment of dog owners and their four-legged friends so seriously they have recently partnered with Forthglade Dog Food and launched the ‘Dogs Welcome’ initiative. All National Trust properties have been ranked in terms of their facilities for dogs and Fountains Abbey has achieved the highest ranking of Three Pawprints! The visitor centre at Fountains Abbey even has a selection of dog toys and poop bags for sale so if your dog is a good girl or boy during your visit, you can treat them on the way out! Well that’s what my spaniels think the purpose of the shelf is anyway!
Dog Walks at Fountains Abbey
Much as my dogs enjoy sniffing around the ruins the highlight of visiting Fountains Abbey for them is the dog walks.
There are several mapped walks around the estate and you can pick up full details of them all from the visitor centre, my favourite though, and I especially recommend you doing it if you are visiting Fountains Abbey for the first time, is the A Walk Through The Centuries at Fountains Abbey walk. You and your dog can immerse yourself in the history of the Abbey from its founding in 1132 right up to the opening of the visitor centre in 1987. The walk is an easy one, about 4 miles long, but can take a while if you really want to soak up the atmosphere, admire your surroundings and take a few pictures.
My Dogs would rate the Studley Royal Deer Park Walk as top of their list. We have visited Fountains Abbey around a dozen times now and when we approach the Studley Royal entrance that leads to the deer park I always sense that the girls have become a bit more excitable! It is a really beautiful walk and sometimes the spaniels have been rewarded with their quarry, deer poop! Dogs eh! Who’d have them?
Visit the official NT Site for full details of all the dog walks at Fountains Abbey.
A visit to Fountains Abbey with your dog makes a really nice change from hiking in the Dales, hope you enjoy it if you go.
Sal, Maya and Lucia xxx