September is drawing to a close, the harvest moon is beginning to wane, but that soft September sunshine is still shining. It has been the most perfect of summers that has built to a crescendo of a truly bountiful harvest! Juicy blackberries, elderberries and sloes have filled the hedgerows and I’ve never seen as many apples. On a perfect autumnal day, where the weather is balmy and gold is becoming the predominant colour all around, I couldn’t think of a more beautiful place to be than Studley Roger.
Studley Roger was one of the first places I visited before moving to Yorkshire, it has held my heart ever since. You know you are visiting a special place when you follow the road through the stone archways and along the magnificent ancient tree lined avenue. Many of those Lime trees are over 300 years old. The view in front of you at the brow of the hill is the magnificent St Mary’s church. To the left and right, if you are lucky, you will spot the resident Red, Fallow and Sika deer that freely roam.
It is when you take the turn towards the lake that I am always further in awe. Regardless of the time of year or the weather conditions, the lake is always breathtaking. Still and azure blue or dark and foreboding, sometimes choppy and quite often iced over, but always beautiful. Today was no exception. Swans and geese enjoy the lake as their playground, while the surrounding area is a hive of activity with pheasants and deer enjoying the sunshine.
My favourite walk is over the seven bridges, past an ancient Horse Chestnut tree. Continue onwards and upwards uphill to Sam’s Seat. This is the perfect spot to stop, catch your breath and take in the pretty views of Ripon Cathedral. From here it’s a steady walk back up that magnificent driveway towards to the lake. The reward at the end is the tea room! Serving cakes, scones, light lunches and a great pot of Yorkshire Tea, it makes for the perfect end to an inspiring walk.
Studley Roger is a short drive from Warren Forest. It is free to park for National Trust members and you can access Fountains Abbey next to the tea shop too. For more information take a look at the website https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/features/fountains-abbeys-parkland
For now, take a look at some of the photographs below and I think you’ll agree it’s well worth a visit!