Yorkshire Tree Bouldering Championships at Studley Royal

We live about 30 minutes away from Fountains Abbey. As a World Heritage Site, it’s very definitely on the ‘Tourist Trail’, and with good reason. The Abbey ruins are quite spectacular and James loves exploring them, especially at Christmas, when they are usually lit up with coloured lights.

Yorkshire Tree Bouldering Championships at Studley Royal

What with the ruins, the caves, the river, the adventure playground, and of course the tearoom, we had never yet got as far as Studley Royal at the other end of the estate, and I suspect that this is so for many families.

This week, I was determined to press on to Studley and I’m glad we did. With a bit of encouragement, we reached the Lakeside, where the ducks, swans, and stomping through the wonderful piles of autumn leaves provided plenty of entertainment.

Walking through the fallen leaves

James was most concerned about my safety as we walked around the lake: “Be careful, Mummy, ‘cause you might fall in! Water can be very dangerous, you know! Hold my hand and I will look after you!” Further on, we crossed a series of pleasing stone-built humpbacked bridges where, inevitably, we had to stop and act out ‘The Three Billy Goats’ and the “big nas-tee troll”.

Peeping over the humpbacked bridge

Best of all were the huge, fallen trees. Twisted and gnarled, the textures were wonderful and they were fantastic for bouldering on. James’s triumphant grin after topping out says it all! As we kicked our way back through the leaves to the Lakeside tearoom for some well-deserved tea and edible ‘prizes’, James was already asking when we could come again. So, if you make a trip to Fountains Abbey, don’t forget to walk that little bit further and hold your own tree bouldering competition!

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About the Author

Helen & Ian

Helen & Ian

About Me & Mine

Hi there! Helen and Ian here from the Oxfordshire-Wiltshire border! We have two boys who love everything in the Great Outdoors (especially sticks), and a border collie who also loves everything in the Great Outdoors (especially tennis balls). We also have a toddler daughter who is fiercely independent and proving to be just as intrepid as her brothers.

Favourite place in the world:

A difficult one... There are so many wonderful places to choose from... But it has to be Sandwood Bay in the far north-west of Scotland which can only be reached by a 4-mile walk. Last time we went it was a full-on winter mountaineering experience (with ice axe and crampons!) just to get there. Wild and windswept, it's totally unspoilt.

Favourite things to do outdoors:

Enjoy beaches, woods, and coastal paths; explore waterways in our open canoe; go for a big day out on a small hill; go rock climbing; collect sticks, conkers, and acorns; investigate puddles and rockpools; ride our tandem; fly a kite against a clear blue sky.

Comments (3)

  • Fiona Moore

    Fiona Moore

    30 March 2011 at 19:38 | #

    That looks like lots of fun, and I love the photo of James peeping over the stone wall! I am impressed you were allowed to take the dog along too - I thought they were usually banned from such places?


  • Stephanie


    30 March 2011 at 20:22 | #

    This looks like it might be worth a Little Trekkers visit as a potential place for our 'Little Trekkers Great Days Out' Feature. The 'head' shot is making us all laugh in the office - it's surreal!


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