The Best Hotels near Fountains Abbey, Ripon

Fountains Abbey reflected in the waters of the surrounding gardens
Fountains Abbey reflected in the waters of the surrounding gardens | © Michiko Smith / Alamy Stock Photo
Jenny Elliott

Set in North Yorkshire’s finest countryside, Fountains Abbey is an imposing ruined monastery, and with the adjoining Studley Royal Water Garden, it makes for an unforgettable day out. Make a long weekend of it with a stay at one of these hotels in nearby Ripon, Harrogate or the surrounding Dales.

Built in the 12th century, Fountains Abbey was founded by Benedictine monks as a key missionary centre in north Yorkshire. Its magnificent ruins remain to this day, alongside the 18th-century Studley Royal Water Garden, with its wide open lawns and serene lakes. After a day spent basking in the beauty of this World Heritage Site, unwind at one of these country hotels nearby.

1. Grantley Hall

Hotel, Luxury

8ff27c4c - Grantley Hall
© Grantley Hall / Expedia

On the edge of the Yorkshire Dales and five minutes from Fountains Abbey, this hotel will charm even the most demanding guest. Elegant luxury reigns supreme in the bedrooms, with their bathrobes and pillow menus, while the drinking and dining options include four restaurants and five bars. Leading the pack is the elegant Michelin-starred restaurant from Shaun Rankin. Find rejuvenation in the spa snow room or indoor-to-outdoor vitality pool.

2. The Royal Oak


34466b2d_y - The Royal Oak
© The Royal Oak / Expedia

This former 18th-century coaching inn is in the heart of historic Ripon. You’ll find crisp, stylish rooms upstairs and a bright, modern pub downstairs – think mismatched wooden chairs, a striking gallery wall and warm Georgian tones. It serves well-cooked classics presented with a flourish. On a sunny day, grab a spot in the beer garden, or explore England’s third smallest city on foot. You’re a 10-minute drive to Fountains Abbey, or the bus drops you right outside.

3. Cedar Court Hotel Harrogate

Boutique Hotel

69022482 - Cedar Court Hotel Harrogate
© Cedar Court Hotel Harrogate / Expedia

With the spa town of Harrogate on its doorstep, this Grade-II listed hotel has the look and feel of a country manor. Bedrooms include a suite overlooking the town’s beloved parkland, The Stray, as well as interconnecting family rooms with bunks. Tuck into afternoon tea in the large, airy tent on the lawn. Alternatively, save yourself for a dinner of Yorkshire-reared sirloin steak with chunky chips in the restaurant or the friendly bar.

4. West Park Hotel

Boutique Hotel

19ec6f59 - West Park Hotel
© West Park Hotel / Expedia

Bold use of colour gives an assured design feel to the West Park Hotel. Inside you’ll find a handful of individually-designed rooms. It’s located in Harrogate, just 20 minutes’ drive from Fountains Abbey and a short walk to Yorkshire favourite Bettys Cafe Tea Rooms. Not that you need to go far for a well-executed meal: the hotel restaurant’s seasonal British menu focuses on high-quality produce. Sip a rhubarb and wild berry sour cocktail at the bar to finish the day.

5. White Hart Hotel

Budget Hotel

The three-storey White Hart Hotel and Apartments across the street from a leafy park
Courtesy of White Hart Hotel and Apartments / Expedia

Surrounded by a host of independent shops and pavement cafes, The White Hart is in a Grade-II listed building in Harrogate’s Montpellier Quarter. Choose between a light, modern room, or spread out in one of seven serviced apartments. The hotel restaurant, The Fat Badger, is one of the best in town and serves British classics with a contemporary twist. It’s worth timing your visit to coincide with the Sunday roast.

6. Aldwark Manor Golf & Spa Hotel

Golf Hotel, Spa Hotel

54d45cea - Aldwark Manor Golf & Spa Hotel
© Aldwark Manor Golf & Spa Hotel / Expedia

Test your swing on the 18-hole golf course, or simply head out for a walk across the verdant estate at this generously-sized manor hotel, 30 minutes’ drive from Fountains Abbey. Luxurious bed linen and freestanding bathtubs mean you’ll be tempted to snuggle into your room, however the draw of a signature martini on the garden terrace will be sure to lure you out. Refined classics are served in its striking restaurant.

7. Swinton Park Hotel

Boutique Hotel

abd316af - Swinton Park Hotel
© Swinton Park Hotel / Expedia

This castle hotel, complete with turret, is wrapped in two hundred acres of Yorkshire parkland. It feels more like staying in a lavish stately home than a hotel, located a 30-minute drive north of Fountains Abbey. When you’re not sipping tea in the drawing-room or tucking into lunch in the AA Rosette restaurant, seek out tranquillity at the spa with its indoor and outdoor pools. River fishing, mountain biking and game shooting are all on offer for outdoor types.

8. The Boar's Head


73562783 - The Boars Head
© The Boar's Head /

There’s a pleasing attention to detail at this traditional coaching inn, which forms part of the 700-year old Ripley castle estate. Staff are friendly and helpful, the comfortable rooms are individually designed and the excellent pub grub features produce from the estate. Take a stroll around the near-perfect village of Ripley, with its bluebell woods and unmissable ice-cream shop. Feeling adventurous? Try axe-throwing or raft-building in the castle grounds. Fountains Abbey is a mere 15 minutes up the road.

Looking for more inspiration? Explore the most beautiful towns in Yorkshire and tick these must-visit attractions off your bucket list. If you’re feeling adventurous, we’ve narrowed down the best campsites in Yorkshire, or if you’d rather have all the comforts of home plus a taste of luxury, we’ve found the best boutique hotels and accommodations in the area. Best of all, you can book right here on Culture Trip.

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