The Aislabie Walk from Fountains Abbey – The Short Route

Referring back to the Barden Moor Access Area practice walk a couple of weeks ago I’m pleased to announce that the alternative walk, which I had initially thought rather dull, was a big success so here’s a brief description of it and some photos. You will notice that the weather was exceptional that day. Several days on either side were dark and wet but the weather last Thursday was truly a gift.

Aislabie Walk

The walk was taken from a rather nice leaflet I picked up on a previous visit to Fountains Abbey. The Aislabie Walk (subtitled A journey through picturesque landscapes) is 17.5 miles (allow 8-9 hours) altogether. It’s a circular walk from Fountains Abbey (car parks and toilets) to Hackfall and back. However, along the way there are several points at which you can cut short the route and I chose the 7.5 mile option.

Aislabie map

We parked at the main Visitor Centre car park and set off down the road to the River Skell following it west and then north for nearly two miles until we reached the old sulphur springs and ruined buildings of Aldfield Spa. You could smell them as you approached.

Sulphur Springs

The Wanderers disturbing the Sulphur Springs

From the Springs we headed slightly uphill to Aldfield village itself, passed through a couple of fields of kale (this had been what I remembered as the ‘dull’ part of the walk, across meadows to Laver Banks where we lunched at Woodhouse Bridge and joined the road later at Galphay Mill Bridge (point 5 to point 16 on the map).

A pleasant track through former parkland, now grazed by cows, brought us back to the the gates of Studley Royal Park. We crossed the deer park (only spotted one) taking in views of the Choristers’ House, St Mary’s Church and Ripon Cathedral.

Studley Royal

Studley Royal Hall much of which was destroyed by fire in 1946

Ripon Cathedral in the distance

Ripon Cathedral in the distance

Church and House

St Mary’s Church and the Choristers’ House

St Mary's

St Mary’s, Studley Royal Church

So my concerns about the walk were not at all justified and a good day out was had by all!


6 comments on “The Aislabie Walk from Fountains Abbey – The Short Route

  1. Fran says:

    Expect the unexpected! Looked to be a lovely day for such a walk.

    • 🙂 Thank you, Fran, you were right, I should have been more optimistic about it … and now I have another walk already prepared for when it’s next my turn to ‘lead’.

  2. Nilly says:

    We’re definitely doing this walk before winter sets in!

  3. […] Ruin a Landmark Trust property at Hackfall, North […]

  4. […] a panini and tea at the Studley Tea Room before completing my walk through the Deer Park and past St Mary’s Church. As I drove away just after 1pm cars were circling the car parks in search of […]

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