The Course

The course is 5000m (5K) long. The course is at Fountains Abbey, Ripon. The course is run on a mixture of solid paths and a minor section of cobble & wooden bridge. Some sections of the course may accumulate mud, leaves and puddles after rain. Dependent on availability, marshals will be at key sections of the course, or signs will be in place.

Please remember that the parkrun uses shared paths. For the continued success of the event, please give way to other park users. This won't hurt your time, it won't stop you from getting a PB and it will make sure everyone continues to enjoy the event.

Please, wherever possible walk, jog, cycle or use public transport when attending the event. If you do have to drive, please consider car-sharing to reduce our impact on both the environment and other park users. Please also watch out for other park users when arriving and leaving. Parking may be limited so try to arrive early.

Course Safety

The Fountains Abbey parkrun is a fun, free event organised by volunteers for the benefit of everyone. We wish to make the run as safe as possible, so runners, spectators and helpers are asked to take care about the following:

  • Please be considerate to the park and other park users at all times.
  • Children under the age of eleven must be accompanied (within arm's reach) throughout the run by a parent, guardian or appropriate adult of the parent's choice.
  • Please arrive by foot, by pedal-power or by public transport if you can - your efforts help to reduce our impact on the park and the planet.
  • Please consider volunteering to help occasionally - this event survives only because of your generosity - please visit the volunteer page for more information.
  • Take care near roads and car parks - some vehicles drive very quickly. Please congregate away from the cars and be careful in particular if you have children. If you’re driving to the run, please drive carefully even if you’re late!
  • When running, take care on uneven surfaces - whether on grass or on tarmac. Watch out for cyclists, other runners, pedestrians, children, dogs, wildlife, park animals, vehicles, park maintenance work, falling branches, bollards, posts and other obstacles around the course.
  • Please ensure that you are fit enough to walk, jog, run 5k (3.1 miles) with us. Health advice about running can be found at the excellent Runners' Medical Resource website (although this external website focuses on preparation for a race and does not describe parkrun events).
  • Remember to warm up before the run.
  • If you see a runner with a serious problem, please stop to help them out and get help as soon as possible.
  • If you’re watching, keep clear of runners on the course, and look after any children and dogs you may have with you.
  • It is not permitted to run with a pushchair and a dog at the same time.
  • Runners wishing to run with a dog are welcome, but please keep the dog on a short lead or harness and under control throughout the event. Please also review the parkrun support page article about running with a dog at parkrun events.
  • Runners pushing buggies are also welcome, but please take extreme care of other runners around you. If possible start from the back of the field and try to keep to one side of the main body of runners.
  • While rare, Lyme Disease is present in areas where deer live, and occasionally passed to human’s through infected ticks. See NHS Choices website for more about Lyme Disease, and how to deal with ticks.

We hope these tips help to ensure that Fountains Abbey parkrun is fun and safe for everyone.

Age Grading

All parkrun events use Age Grading to help athletes compare results.

Age Grading takes your time and uses the world record time for your sex and age group to produce a score (a percentage). This score allows you to compare your personal performance against other people's performances even though they might be a different age and a different sex to you - the higher the score the better the performance. The scores can also be compared across different race distances - to allow you to, for example, compare a 5km time against a marathon.

For more information, please see our Support page.

Course Map


View Fountains Abbey parkrun in a larger map

Course Description

Sheltered in a secluded valley only around 3 miles south west of Ripon lies Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal Water Garden; a World Heritage site and one of the most historic and beautiful places in Europe. Starting from Huby’s Tower at the Abbey, this is a 2 lap gently undulating, clockwise course run entirely on National Trust land on firm footpaths, designed to ensure no runner will be lapped. The route is marked with high vis signs.
The first shorter lap heads past the East lawn, around the Rustic bridge & Half Moon pond, following the River Skell back past the Abbey, the West Lawn and Abbey tea rooms.
The second lap passes the Abbey heading left of the Rustic Bridge around the stunning Studley Royal Water Garden crossing the narrow wooden footbridge in front of the Lake and following a stunning course back towards the finish line at Robin Hood’s Well in sight of the Abbey.
The start and finish is a 10 minute walk from the Fountains Abbey visitor car park, cafe and toilet facilities.

Facilities

There is plenty of free parking at Fountains Abbey, good restaurant facilities and toilets at the Visitors Centre. Post run coffee will be at the Fountains Restaurant by the visitor centre & car park.

Please note the Fountains Abbey parkrun will take place before the National Trust site opens to the public, therefore parkrunners, volunteers & spectators are kindly requested to be through the Visitor Centre gate and down by the Abbey before 9am or you will be denied access, and vacate the Abbey grounds before 10am when the National Trust site opens.

As the World Heritage site is secluded in a sheltered valley, severely restricted access to the site exists as follows:
  • Designated mobility parking & adapted toilets at visitor centre.
  • Emergency vehicle to all admission points; principal access at the visitor centre before 10am.
  • Severely restricted wheelchair access from visitor centre to abbey. Many steps and steep access and return, some cobbles.

Getting There

Location of start

From the Visitor Centre, head through the wooden gate and follow the marked path downhill towards the metal gate leading to the Abbey.

Getting there by public transport

Bus: Services from Leeds, York, Yorkshire Dales and Harrogate to Ripon and Fountains Abbey. Daily from Ripon to Fountains, April to October.

Getting there on foot

By foot: public footpaths and bridleways

By bike: signed on-road cycle loop. On Way of the Roses coast-to-coast route

Getting there by road

By car take the B6265 to Pateley Bridge, signed from A1, 12 miles north of Harrogate (A61).

Parking is free at Visitor Centre. Access to the course is via the Visitor Centre so only park in this car park please.
Please note it is a 10 minute walk from the Visitor Centre car park to the start line of the parkrun course.

Post Run Coffee

Every week we grab a post parkrun coffee in the Fountains Restaurant by the visitor centre & car park - please come and join us!