In mid-October we took a beautiful fall day-trip to another abbey, called Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal. This one is north of Harrogate and boasts a huge wild deer park, as well as Georgian water gardens, hiking paths and intact Mill.
The Abbey was huge in its heyday and the ruins are still quite impressive. There are places where the second floor is still intact AND places where you can still see large portions of original tile floor. The architecture is amazing and incredibly beautiful. The mill is still in use, but now as a source of electricity as opposed to a grinding machine. The Cistercian monks used the mill for grinding corn in the 12th century and it has been in use since then.
The kids really enjoyed participating in an art program sponsored by the abbey called "The Big Draw". Free clipboards, writing/drawing utensils and paper were supplied with the instructions to draw whatever they saw that caught their eye while roaming the Abbey grounds. Elie filled a page with little drawings of anything that caught her eye. Isaac and Talia stuck to drawing the abbey ruins and Leila worked on her abstract interpretations of the world around her.
After touring through the abbey, we did a hike around the woods and through the water garden. It was getting towards evening, so we didn't go and hike through the wild deer park, we'll have to go back and see that another time!