Yorkshire Dales & Fountains Abbey 2017


Small Group Tour – we NEVER use big coaches or buses on our day trips from York!

Full-day tour from York – just £39 per person

On this superb day trip from York to Fountains Abbey and the Yorkshire Dales, you can discover James Herriot’s world-famous Yorkshire Dales and explore one of Yorkshire’s finest treasures as you travel to the Yorkshire Dales & Fountains Abbey with Grand Yorkshire.

On this fascinating tour we take an unforgettable driving tour through the Yorkshire Dales, seeing many of the sights and locations made famous by the world’s most famous vet – Jame Herriot. We’ll visit some of the area’s incredibly picturesque villages and enjoying some of the county’s truly breathtaking views. We visit the beautiful town of Hawes, where you can see how the region’s famous cheese is made at  the Wensleydale Creamery Visitor Centre, we’ll explore the famous and spectacular Aysgarth Falls, we’ll pause for photos at Bolton Castle in Castle Bolton and at Middleham Castle – childhood home of Richard III in the village of Middleham. Finally, we’ll have time to explore Fountains Abbey, one of the best-preserved Cistercian monasteries in England, founded in 1132. Today the abbey sits within Studley Royal Park and is surrounded by a truly remarkable Georgian Water Garden; together they have been awarded recognition as a UNESCO World Heritage site.


  • The amazing scenery of James Herriot’s Yorkshire Dales -
  • Beautiful Dales towns and villages -
  • Hawes and the Wensleydale Creamery Visitor Centre -
  • Aysgarth Falls, made famous in ‘Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves’ -
  • Fountains Abbey, the incredible 900-year-old Cistercian Abbey ruins -
  • Tranquil Georgian Water Garden & Medieval Deer Park in Studley Royal Park.

Full itinerary:

We begin our journey from York, heading north-west towards the breathtaking scenery of the Yorkshire Dales.

We then begin to see the amazing scenery of the Dales as we travel towards the boundary of the National Park. We’ll stop for photos at Bolton Castle in the village of Castle Bolton, before arriving at the incredible Aysgarth Falls, which featured in the Hollywood blockbuster movie ‘Robin Hood; Prince of Thieves’. You’ll have approximately 30 minutes to explore the Falls before we continue our journey to the charming town of Hawes, home of the world-famous Wensleydale Creamery. You’ll have chance to sample Wallace & Gromit’s favourite cheese by visiting the Wensleydale Creamery Visitor Centre during approximately 90 minutes of free time in Hawes. There’ll be time for you to enjoy an early lunch in Hawes before we continue our journey in the afternoon.

Leaving Hawes, we drive up one of the highest mountain passes in the Yorkshire Dales – the Buttertubs Pass (weather/conditions permitting). We’ll climb up above the town of Hawes and out of Wensleydale, pausing to see the natural ‘fluted’ limestone potholes known as the “Buttertubs”. You’ll discover how they got their name before we drop down into Swaledale for a fantastic photo opportunity looking across the stone walls and farmland that leads down towards the village of Muker.

We then make to the village of Middleham as we our way back out of the National Park. We’ll have another photo opportunity at Middleham Castle, the medieval castle which served as the family home of Richard III. We continue through Masham and passed the city of Ripon to Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site which combines the majestic and historic beauty of the Cistercian Abbey ruins with the impeccable Georgian Water Garden and the true charm of the medieval Deer Park. Spend time among the incredibly well preserved ruins of the ancient abbey, imagining how life was for the monks who lived here several hundred years ago. Enjoy the breathtaking beauty of the Georgian Water Garden on a gentle stroll, appreciate the views as you indulge yourself with coffee and cake at the Lakeside Café and then enjoy a drive through the medieval Deer Park as we look for the different herds of deer.

5 Reasons to visit Fountains Abbey

Finally, we head for home as we make the drive back to York at the end of an enthralling day.

What’s included:

  • Return travel from York -
  • Visits to Hawes, Aysgarth Falls and Middleham -
  • Scenic drive over the Buttertubs Pass -
  • Visit to Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Park (entrance ticket not included) -
  • The services of a local guide throughout the day

Cost: £39 per person


How it works:

This day trip from York begins at 9:00am opposite the Dean Court Hotel on Duncombe Place, located beside York Minster in the very centre of York.

On this day trip from York to Fountains Abbey & the Yorkshire Dales, the order of the itinerary may be changed according to the weather forecast. You’ll still have time to see all the sights of the Yorkshire Dales and Fountains Abbey, but perhaps in a different order.

Our first journey takes us away from York towards the rolling hills of the Yorkshire Dales. We’ll stop for 10 minutes outside Bolton Castle in the village of Castle Bolton.

Our next stop is the stunning Aysgarth Falls, a series of low waterfalls which were made famous in the blockbuster Hollywood  movie ‘Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. Here you will have 30 minutes to explore the falls and the visitor centre.

We continue through the amazing scenery of the Dales to our lunchtime stop in the market town of Hawes. Here we stop for an 90 minutes, allowing you time to explore the small town, to visit to the fascinating Wensleydale Creamery Visitor Centre, or to have lunch in a local cafe.

We then enjoy our scenic drive over the Buttertubs Pass (weather/conditions permitting), with two photo stops allowing you to see the amazing limestone potholes and the picture-postcard views across farmland and stone walls towards Swaledale.

We then travel out of the National Park, through Middleham, where we enjoy a photo opportunity outside Middleham Castle. We then continue south through the small city of Ripon to Fountains Abbey.

At Fountains Abbey you’ll have approximately two hours on site, plenty of time to soak up the atmosphere and to explore the ruined monastery, the amazing Georgian Water Gardens and the Medieval Deer Park.

5 Reasons to visit Fountains Abbey

Finally, your day trip from York concludes as we leave Fountains Abbey for the journey home to York.


This excursion is subject to minimum numbers. For Terms & Conditions, click here.

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