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Yorkshire's Best Guides

Yorkshire's Best Guides

Yorkshire's Best Guides are those who have qualified to receive the prestigious Blue Badge from the Institute of Tourist Guiding

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Perhaps you're already a regular visitor to this enchanted place? There's some good news! You can once again explore Yorkshire's lesser-known abbey's beautiful ruins and then enjoy the delights of the re-opened tea rooms. The cakes are just as good as before and the coffee even better!

Jervaulx Abbey is one of the largest privately owned Cistercian Abbeys in England. The lovely Burdon family work hard to maintain the site with its abundant wild flowers. They don't receive any government funding for the upkeep of this treasured historic monument in its stunning setting so don't forget to pay your contribution in the Honesty Box. The extensive abbey ruins are a wonderful place for a family gathering. Children love to play hide and seek in the beautiful Abbey ruins, while their parents chat and don't try quite as hard as they could to find them.

The french-sounding name comes from the times when Jervaulx was one of the great Cistercian abbeys of England, built in the 12th century. Its name means 'Ure valley' or 'Yoredale', the old name for Wensleydale. The monks were rich and powerful, largely from trading sheep and wool which was an important commodity in the middle ages. They bred and trained horses, a trade still carried on in nearby Middleham. The first Wensleydale Cheese was made by the monks, originally using sheep's milk. After the Dissolution of the Monasteries, Jervaulx was pillaged but substantial ruins remain.

The lush parkland surrounding abbey is serene and beautiful, with several lovely and easy-going walks.

Across the road from the abbey are the tea rooms where the Burdon sisters create award-winning cakes. I was pleased to see that the large model of the abbey is still there. There's also a very pleasant outdoor seating area.

Do check opening times before setting out on a journey
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