Fountains Abbey has made it onto a 'bucket' list of the best British experiences

A travel writer has picked out a visit to Fountains Abbey in North Yorkshire as one of the top 20 British experiences to have before you die.

Fountains Abbey and the Studley Royal Water Garden
Fountains Abbey and the Studley Royal Water Garden

Author Richard Madden included the monastic ruins near Ripon and the Studley Royal Water Garden in a 'British bucket list' compiled for the Daily Telegraph.

Stately home near Fountains Abbey re-opens as hotel and wellness retreatFountains Abbey was number six in the list of 10 unmissable experiences, and the only Yorkshire inclusion.

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Meet Harriet Vyner, the woman who grew up on the Fountains Abbey estateHe praised the attraction's 'fusion of medieval monastic power and Georgian pleasure garden'.

The ruins of Fountains Abbey

Fountains was founded in 1132 and became one of the richest monasteries in England until it was dissolved by King Henry VIII in 1539.

It then passed into private ownership, and in 1768 the abbey lands were purchased by William Ainslabie, owner of the adjacent Studley Royal estate. He then developed the water gardens.

North Yorkshire County Council took over the site in 1974, and sold both estates to the National Trust in 1983. Three years later the abbey and parkland were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Although the site is owned by the National Trust, the abbey is maintained by English Heritage