For a building almost 900-years-old, you could forgive Fountains Abbey for looking a little bit worse for wear.
Add into the mix that the Abbey has withstood 14th-Century Scots, the Black Death, and the wrath of Henry VIII, it starts to look surprisingly well.
In fact, it’s stunning.
As the largest monastic ruins in the country, there are plenty of reasons why you ought to visit Fountains Abbey, never mind the tranquil surroundings of the Studley Royal Water Garden.
The grounds are surprisingly large, with 800 acres of beautiful countryside and manicured lawns to explore, and the setting either side of the pretty River Skell is lovely in all weather.
There really is lots to see and do, from a steady amble past the abbey and around the Georgian water garden, to discovering the history of the Abbey in the Porter’s Lodge exhibition, to letting the little ones burn off some of their abundant energy in the outdoor play area.
And don’t be put off by the winter climate, because if fingers and toes get a little chilly, there is plenty of opportunity for a warming cuppa.
The Abbey tea-room, Studley tea-room and Fountains Restaurants are all ideal stop-offs on your way round.
So throw on a warm jumper and coat, grab a scarf and woolly hat, and see what this UNESCO World Heritage Site and Grade I-listed Cistercian Abbey has to offer this winter.
It’s one of those locations, which, if you’ve not been for some time, you’ll wonder why.
Definitely bring the camera as the scenery is simply breathtaking.
Prices: Adult £9.50 Child £5.00 Family £24.00 (prices include gift aid) National Trust members free
Opening Times: 10am to 5pm
Address: Fountains Abbey, Ripon, North Yorks
Car Parking: Free
Attraction Website: www.fountainsabbey.org.uk
Telephone: 01765 608888
Sat Nav: HG4 3DY
For more days out see: www.yorkshire.com