Saturday, July 13, 2024

Medieval UK castle with huge playground reveals brand new 24-acre attraction

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A 634-YEAR-OLD castle in the UK is opening a new attraction just in time for the school summer holidays.

Raby Castle in Darlington attracts thousands of visitors every year thanks to its long history and family-friendly activities.

The UK castle is already home to a huge woodland playground


The UK castle is already home to a huge woodland playgroundCredit: The Times
Last week, Raby Castle opened a wave of new attractions


Last week, Raby Castle opened a wave of new attractionsCredit: Supplied

The castle is owned by the Vane Family after Sir Henry Vane the Elder purchased the property in 1626.

Originally built in the 14th century by the Neville family, Raby Castle was used at the Parliamentary Stronghold during the English Civil War.

The Castle was built as a palace fortress, with two huge towers linked by a strong brick wall.

Ever since the castle opened to the public, it has remained popular with Brit holidaymakers.

And ahead of the school summer holidays, Raby Castle has launched a major new attraction.

The ambitious new visitor attraction is called The Rising, and it features a giant 24-acre site, with a remodelled walled garden and several buildings that have been transformed to their former glory.

Raby Castle’s new attraction comes after an extensive renovation, with two new buildings being built along with new walkways designed by architect and garden designer Alistair Baldwin.

The Walled Garden features a new grass amphitheatre, which is set in the lower part of the East Garden and will host a programme of outdoor events.

According to the attraction’s website, the grass amphitheatre is said to be the first of its kind in the north of England.

The Formal Garden has also opened, featuring a large maze of yew trees.

Inside the 845-year-old castle set to launch a mjor summer attraction

Several heritage buildings, which previously weren’t accessible to the public, have also been restored to their former glory as part of the opening.

The Coach House, which dates back to the 18th century, has been transformed into a free exhibition with audio-visual projections, as well as a retail space.

Both the Riding School and Dutch Barn have also been thoughtfully restored into event spaces.

Meanwhile, a brand-new 200-seater restaurant will also being opening later the month.

Called the Vinery, the new restaurant will serve a range of food from locally-sourced ingredients from across the Raby Estate.

Visitors to the restaurant can also expect panoramic views cross the High Vinery Garden and Raby Castle.

Lord Barnard told Teesside Live: “Historic houses and gardens need to be able to offer an entertaining full day out for their visitors.

“This includes great service, beautiful surroundings, delicious food and drink and high-quality shopping experiences, events and exhibitions.

“We’re confident that the scheme will deliver this within a truly breathtaking setting.”

The Rising opened to the public last Saturday (June 15, 2024), with tickets costing £18 for a full-paying adult.

There are plenty of other attractions to visit at Raby Castle, including The Plotter’s Forest Woodland Playground.

The woodland playground featuring a range of interactive games and climbing apparatus like slides and rope bridges.

Other attractions at Raby Castle include a huge 200-acre deer park.

Three castles to visit in the UK

The UK is home to some amazing castles – here are some of the best:

Bamburgh Castle

This medieval fortress is built overlooking the stunning Northumberland coast, offering a wonderfully picturesque place to explore some of England’s history.

The castle itself is incredibly well preserved and dates all the way back to the 11th century.

Kenilworth Castle

Brits can find out about sieges and royal scandals at Kenilworth Castle, one of the most famous forts in the country.

The medieval castle has had a fascinating history and was even transformed into an Elizabethan palace.

Today its keep, its Tudor towers and Elizabethan garden are among the sites people can explore.

Edinburgh Castle

Dominating the skyline of the Scottish capital, Edinburgh Castle has been dubbed “defender of the nation” by locals.

Today, the castle is still an active military base, with the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo remaining a highlight among visitors.

It’s also home to Scotland’s Crown Jewels as well as other national treasures. 

Meanwhile, a new £16million medieval-themed hotel is set to open at a UK castle.

These are some of the most popular castle stays that can be booked in the UK.

The Walled Garden (pictured) is just one of the new attractions opening at Raby Castle


The Walled Garden (pictured) is just one of the new attractions opening at Raby CastleCredit: Alamy
The castle was built in the 14th century


The castle was built in the 14th centuryCredit: Alamy
Entry tickets into the castle cost £18 for a full-paying adult


Entry tickets into the castle cost £18 for a full-paying adultCredit: Alamy

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