I’ve visited Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal on many occasions but I had never walked there from Ripon so thought it was about time to explore some of the footpaths along the valley of the River Skell.
I set out along the river but headed off on the path toward Whitcliffe Hall, eventually entering Studley Park via the gateway at the old ruined Mackershaw Lodges. From here there was a nice mowed path leading across farmland past a pond which provided a nice watering hole for cattle on what was quite a warm day despite the overcast conditions.
The path descended past a pine plantation and emerged into the part of the park I already knew quite well at the lake (formed by the dam on the River Skell) near the top entrance to Fountains Abbey.
I spent some time around the lake and up to the church and obelisk before heading off back down the lane across the estate toward Studley Roger. There’s a great view here down the tree-lined avenue to the gatehouse with Ripon Cathedral visible in the distance.
Outside the gatehouse at Studley Roger (above) the path continues across meadows back toward Ripon, eventually joining the road back into the city passing Spa Gardens which looked lovely, full of summer flowers.
By this time the sun had put in an appearance, so a late afternoon trip to the cathedral was in order to get some summery shots which I’d not done here before. I hadn’t noticed the mix of styles before either – mainly early English Gothic with pointed windows but also Norman style rounded windows in the south transept, with its attractive Romanesque arched entrance. It certainly made it a shoot with a lot of variety!