I’ve always loved visiting Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal, a National Trust property near Ripon. I have been visiting since before I could walk, was a frequent feeder of ducks (until one bit me!) and during my A Level study leave I would frequently decamp to Anne Boleyn’s Seat to sit in total tranquility and study with no distractions! A view like this was definitely inspirational!
So I was very excited to go an visit the newest exhibition in the water gardens: Folly! This exhibition utilises some of the follys dotted around the water gardens to bring new life to these often overlooked structures. I’ve always loved the romanticism of follys so this installations really captured my imagination.
I started with the high ride to the Octagon Tower, step inside and stare!
Then along the path through the woods we came to this curious nest at the Temple of Fame:
I think this one was the dogs’ favourite, a big pile of sticks! What could be better?
Then we continued down past Anne Boleyn’s Seat and on to Fountains Abbey. The boys love jumping on the ruins!
Then we turned back towards the water gardens. The bluebells in the woods were looking lovely and the place was awash with wild garlic!
We made our way up to the Banqueting House, an often overlooked section, which is a shame because it is the perfect spot for a picnic!
But look who was lurking inside! You have to peer through the windows for this one, which can be tricky due to the light reflecting, but what a sight!
All in all it was a lovely walk. It takes me and the dogs about an hour all told at a reasonably leisurely pace (you don’t get much faster with Darcy!) I think that Folly! is a fantastic addition to the site and makes you look a little closer at these lovely little buildings and see them in a new light. It will be there until the end of November so plently of time to visit but I think that it will be great to go back throughout the seasons, especially when the leaves turn for autumn as the whole valley looks delightful then! Why not take a picnic and make a day of it?