Fountains Abbey-Ripon

Fountains Abbey

Wow where did the summer go? Cannot believe the nights are now drawing in and leaves are starting to fall. We even started talking about booking a panto tonight!!

We have really got the camping bug this summer and wanted to make the most of the August bank holiday so we arranged with our friends the Walkers, Smiths and Coulsons to camp at another Camping and Caravanning site on the outskirts of Boroughbridge.  In true Hooper fashion there’d be a bit of a spanner thrown in the works on the Wednesday of that week, when Abigail had broken her wrist attempting to be the next Amy Tinkler, our local GB olympic winning gymnast, doing the beam on the back of my mother’s setee… arghhh!!!  After x-rays and a fetching illuminous pink pot the doctor said she was fine to do normal activities. The trip was back on!!  Abigail was beside herself with glee and couldn’t wait to show her pals the summer holiday war wound.

Abigail Hooper Broken Wrist

Camping in Boroughbridge

Camping in Boroughbridge

The Boroughbridge camping site is located just off the A1 in North Yorkshire, so only took around 1.5 hours from home which was ideal as Alan was working till 4pm that Friday night.  This was to be our 13th night under canvas in just a few short months so we were well versed in the pack up and put up strategy by now.  Another great flat pitch next to the children’s kick around and park area was allocated and the lovely clean toilets and shower blocks which seem standard with a C&C.  Once the vino is open and the kids are playing in the park I’m happy!

To add a bit more drama to the trip, on the Saturday morning, our friend Olivia was suffering with an allergy which resulted in a swollen eye so felt it best to head to Ripon A&E to get checked out.  After a very lazy morning of cooking up bacon and copious mugs of tea, ourselves and the Coulson’s decided to head along to to Fountain’s Abbey just 15 minutes or so away in Ripon.  Yet again our National Trust pass really has owed us nothing this year and it was to be a nice cheap afternoon out in the fresh air.

Fountains Abbey

Fountain’s Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden is it’s full title and is a massive place.  As it was already 12 noon it was unlikely we were going to cover the whole area so we decided to concentrate on the Abbey and the park for the children.   We knew it would be busy day when we were shown a car parking spot in the spill over field-it wasn’t too far from the main entrance though.

The entrance is a modern block with a huge cafeteria, an ice cream kiosk and large gift shop.

Fountains Abbey

Bigger than any of our local NT properties by miles.  It had been an hour of so since our last coffee so we decided to grab one while we perused the map (and Alan and Stephen worked out where the geo-caches were)!

Heading down the bank we passed a new wooden play area that the kids were keen to dive onto. We pacified them and said we could head back later but wanted to check out the ruins first.  There was also a centre that was running knitting classes for children – we were way to disorganised to sort this but thought it would be something Imogen would have enjoyed.

Fountains Abbey

Dark clouds were also gathering so we weren’t sure how long the dry weather would last. Fountain’s Abbey’s story is described on the website as beginning “in 1132 when 13 monks came here to start a simpler life. Over 400 years later, when Henry VIII demanded the closure of the Abbey, the monks left behind the most complete Cistercian abbey remains in the country”.  It’s a fantastic place for a picnic to climb, take photographs and just explore.  Abigail certainly wasn’t restricted by the cast and climbed with the others.  It’s amazing the level of detail and you can visualize how the abbey looked back before Henry VIII came along and spoiled things for them.

Fountains Abbey

As Alan and Stephen headed off to geo-cache the sky turned black and a heavy shower came down to soak us.  We, along with the rest of the place, sheltered under the large trees until it passed.  At this point we decided to just head back to the main information centre and hope it would be dry enough for the kids to play in the park.  The rest of Fountain’s Abbey would have to wait for another time.

Fountains Abbey

Although we only scratched the surface of fountains Abbey, we filled in 3 hours with just the abbey ruins. Where we weren’t sure how interested our kids would be with the shell of an old building, we managed to keep their attention.

Fountains Abbey

The park was a big success with lots of wooden bits to climb, zip wires and den building section.  It was a bit damp but they went off anyway and were happy enough.  As the rain was on for the night a plan was formed to meet the rest of the gang in a pub in Boroughbridge to watch Newcastle play and for the ladies to partake in our hobby, drinking wine!

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