Ripon to Fountains Abbey Round

Watch the video of the walk

Ripon is a small city with a market place and a huge Cathedral. Since 1108 market day is still held on every Thursday. In 1880, the Corn Market, as it was then, was signalled by the Ripon Bellman and today the Bellman still rings his bell at 11am every Thursday to officially open the general market. Also in the Market Place is the Obelisk which was built in 1703 to replace an earlier Market Cross and it is here where the Hornblower blows his horn each night at 9pm keeping the tradition of “setting the watch” for over a 1000years. The narrow winding street called Kirkgate is the main thoroughfare between the Market and the Cathedral. The Cathedrals right name is the Cathedral Church of St. Peter and St. Wilfrid and is the fourth to be built on this site. All that remains of the first church is the Saxon Crypt built in 672 by St. Wilfrid.

Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal is Yorkshires first World Heritage Site which is a huge estate of over 800acres of natural beauty. There are the beautiful ornamental gardens with spectacular ponds, ten historic buildings and of course Fountains Abbey built in 1132, the largest Cistercian abbey ruins in the country, to explore. Studley Royal is also a deer park with 650acres of woodland so watch out for the herds of deer, an incredible sight.

Fountains Abbey is also disabled and wheelchair assessable.

We walk from the Market Place, down Kirkgate towards the Cathedral and turn right, over the roundabout and take the path next to the bridge and follow the River Skell going through the Nature Reserve. When we come to the lane we turn right, go over two bridges and take the path on the left which takes us to Studley Roger, here we go over the road and take the path opposite taking us into Studley Park. We follow the path to the church and Obelisk. At the Obelisk, we turn left and follow the path to the road, at the road we turn left and follow the road to Fountains Bridge then take a left fork. After a few hundred yards we take the path on the left and follow this path through Hill House Farm and down into the wood bottom and we take the path opposite going up hill to a lane. We turn left until we come to a t-junction and turn left again. Then we turn right onto the path, back through the Nature Reserve following the River Skell back into Ripon.

Throughout this walk watch out for all the wild life from a common Robin to Birds of prey, so take your camera you never know what you will see!


Easy walking with two moderate inclines.


Approx 8.5miles using map OS 298 Nidderdale


Ripon – Market Place – North Yorkshire


From York take the A19 to Thirsk. On reaching Thirsk take the A168 and turn off at Dishforth then turn right at the roundabout and left at the next roundabout. Follow the road through Sharow then straight over at the roundabout then left at the small roundabout taking you into Ripon.

Toilets and Refreshments

In Ripon there are public toilets in Minster Place, Spa Gardens and at the bus Station. There are public toilets at Studley Royal and Fountains Abbey. For refreshments there are plenty of pubs, cafes and bakeries in Ripon and a café and shop at Fountains Abbey.

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