We ended our weekend visit to the North East with a visit to Fountains Abbey. Located near Ripon in North Yorkshire, Fountains Abbey is one of the largest and best preserved examples of a Cistercian monastery. It functioned for over 400 years from its founding in 1132 until the dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII in 1539. Now owned by the National Trust the Abbey is Grade 1 listed and a World Heritage site. Set in the most beautiful grounds, the abbey is wrapped in a profound peacefulness which made me fall in love with it. The Podlings enjoyed exploring in the ruins and had fun running through the beautiful buttercup meadow. There was something special about this place and we certainly return here in the future.