This one-of-a-kind ancient abbey ruins and awe-inspiring water garden is a must visit. For centuries people have been drawn to this inspiring place, which is now recognised as a World Heritage Site. From humble beginnings, the magnificent abbey was established by devout monks seeking a simpler existence. The atmospheric ruins that remain are a window into a way of life which shaped the medieval world. When the socially ambitious John Aislabie inherited Studley Royal, he set about creating an elegant water garden of mirror-like ponds, statues and follies, incorporating the romantic ruins into his design. Green lawns stretch down to the riverside, a perfect spot for a picnic. Riverside paths lead to the deer park, home to Red, Fallow and Sika deer and ancient trees; limes, oaks, and sweet chestnuts.