Yorkshire is a wonderful part of the UK. It is home to diverse landscapes and full of English heritage. One particular feature that seemed to be in abundance in Yorkshire are the number of incredible Abbeys. There are around thirteen abandoned abbeys open to the public in Yorkshire. I have listed my favourite three below.
Fountains Abbey is simply beautiful. It is impossible not to be impressed by this abbey. In medieval times Fountains Abbey was one of the largest and wealthiest abbeys in England due to its extensive wool trade. A large amount of that wealth was put into enlarging the abbey buildings and enriching the architecture. One particular stunning feature is the medieval undercroft.
There is so much to explore in the ruins of the abbey and in the grounds surrounding it. You can happily spend the whole day there looking at the abbey, the mill, Fountains hall, the deer park, the woodland pathways and the lake. Bring a picnic and enjoy this grand abbey.
Technically this Abbey is actually called Bolton Priory and the village is called Bolton Abbey. However most people call this Augustine monastery Bolton Abbey. This 12th-century Augustinian priory is a little smaller than Fountains Abbey but the real attraction here are the stepping stones. Are you brave enough to cross the raging, icy waters of the river Wharfe? There is also a footbridge for the less courageous amongst us.
Bring a picnic and a young heart to build dams, play in the river, climb over the ruins and realise your inner child.
This Abbey is the most sinister of my top 3. Whilst we didn’t see any vampires we did see some impressive gothic ruins. The landscape surrounding the abbey is windy and wild as it is constantly harassed by sea gales. Walk up the 199 steps mentioned in Bran stoker’s Dracula on a dark moonlit night and tell ghost stories up here if you dare.
This is also the oldest Abbey out of the three listed here. Founded in the 7th Century, this abbey changed the religion in Northern England forever. Whitby Abbey played a pivotal role in changing celtic traditions to Roman Catholicism.
Whitby Abbey certainly does not disappoint by providing amble dramatic history alongside its rugged beauty.
There are many wonderful abbeys to visit in Yorkshire but if you are short on time try and visit one of these! Which out of the 3 would you like to visit the most?