Founded in 1152, Kirkstall Abbey near Leeds is one of the most complete examples of a medieval Cistercian monastery in Britain. The gothic ruins have inspired artists such as JMW Turner over the centuries, and are surrounded by a wide stretch of beautiful parkland on the bank of the River Aire (perfect for picnics). The visitor centre features a series of interactive exhibits that illustrate the history of the abbey and the lives of the monks that lived there.
Head over between 12pm and 3pm on the last weekend of the month (March to November) to catch the abbey’s local market, featuring over 40 unique stalls selling hand-made crafts and local produce from across Yorkshire.
Also check out Abbey House Museum whilst you’re there!