I’ve learnt two things today…

1) To always ensure that I have play-doh in my bag whenever I take the kids out this summer. Honestly, sitting under a tree, pulling out a few of those little plastic tubs of bright-coloured, elasticised modelling compound, and instructing your little people to construct something that they can see around them is genius. I’m talking well over an hour of 100% engagement to the cause.

 

 

Fountains Abbey Yorkshire

 

2) Fountains Abbey And Studley Royal Water Garden just outside of Ripon is the Western World equivalent of Cambodia’s Angkor Wat and I am very, very lucky to have such an incredible, enchanting place on interest on my doorstep. It is very very beautiful. And whilst the children may not appreciate this beauty, they do appreciate the acres of gardens complete with follies, waterfalls, ice cream vans, statues, wildflower gardens, and a great tea room.

 

Fountains Abbey Yorkshire

Fountains Abbey Yorkshire

 

(For those of you who have never heard of Angkor Wat, it’s a famous UNESCO World Heritage Site in Cambodia – a 12th Century Cambodian Buddhist temple dedicated to a Hindu deity that famously played the backdrop to the blockbuster move Tomb Raider back in the year 2000).

So I suppose you could say that today, I was almost the Yorkshire version of Lara Croft – the blonde equivalent of Angelina Jolie – invited to attend a VIP picnic in the incredible grounds of Fountains Abbey And Studley Royal, along with several other child-bearing bloggers and their broods… That’s where the similarities to Angelina and I end. Other than we have cute kids. And we once wanted an hour in a room on our own with Brad Pitt. I still do. Not sure about A.J…

Seriously though, Studley Royal, which includes the ruins of Fountains Abbey – one of the largest and best preserved ruined Cistercian monasteries in England – is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

 

Fountains Abbey Yorkshire

Fountains Abbey Yorkshire

 

Fountains Abbey Yorkshire

 

Fountains Abbey Yorkshire

Fountains Abbey Yorkshire

 

It’s a pretty spectacular example of an 18th Century English Garden featuring a number of traditionally fitting, and rather modern and peculiar follies – all of which make for a magnificent subject for any child with a shit load of play-doh at their disposal.

If you take the kids anywhere this summer, take them to Fountains Abbey And Studley Royal. Take a picnic and your camera too.

Find out more HERE.