Local mum Kristin, went exploring at Fountains Abbey for Mumbler to see what was new this Summer…
If has been a few weeks or even a few years since you had a day out at Fountain’s Abbey then I highly recommend a visit. We go often, sometimes making it to the Abbey but other times only get as far as a visit to the recently rebuilt wooden play area.
I hadn’t, since Spring, visited the Studley Royal water gardens and walked through all of the grounds. The Family Trail through the gardens is a must do event this Summer and also offers the chance to enter a prize draw.
One of my favourite things about being a mum is watching the kids work out art and discover spaces for themselves. I love getting to see things through their eyes and hear first hand the questions that art inspires. The folly! Family Trail is a perfect way to introduce your toddlers or even high school kids to the concept of a folly whilst interacting with these unique and wonderful works. The trail map brochure, which is provided at the entrance, illustrates the new works and also calls attention to follies that you might have missed on previous visits. Use it like a treasure map, allowing the kids to mark off each one as you pass. (Don’t forget a pencil!)
Our favourite was the Gazing Ball, by Lucy and Jorge Orta. Sat in the lawn of the Banqueting Hall, where the original Rotundo folly also resides, is this captivating structure inspired by Georgian architecture. It is a nice place to rest on the walk and take in the gardens from several different perspectives. You should definitely go and discover your own favourite. Perhaps it will be the colourful and most playful Polly, designed by Charles Holland, which sits perched atop the Surprise View. Or the Cloud, designed by a Yorkshire pupil who saw his design become a reality after an architecture workshop. Or the Listening Tower where you can hear the drip dropping of the lost Bathing House.
The National Trust suggest their Top 5 things to do at folly!
- Pull a funny face in the Gazing Ball
- Show us your best dance moves under the Cloud
- Have a picnic by Polly
- Design your own folly on the family trail (and enter it into the prize draw*)
- Listen out for the drips and drops of the re-imagined Bathing House
* see folly! trail map for details.
Surprise View – photo by Chris Lacey
All of the follies are interactive and inviting and a must see before November, when they will all sadly be removed. So, make the most of the Summer and get out and explore the gardens at Fountains Abbey. My favourite view of all? From high up in the woods at Anne Boleyn’s Seat, also known as Surprise View, out over Polly and to the Abbey beyond. Can you find it? You’ll need to take the trail up thorugh a tunnel and through the woods above the water gardens.
Don’t forget to tag Fountains Abbey in any photos you take along the trail using #folly18 so they can share in your adventures.
For more of what’s on this Summer at Fountains Abbey, including pond dipping, friendship bracelet making, candle making and more see our blog.