Raby castle is an absolutely spectacular medieval castle in County Durham. It was built sometime during the 1300s and is a tremendous sight to behold. In recent weeks lockdown measures in the UK have been eased slightly meaning we are now able to drive places for exercise. Of course, very strictly enforced and following of social distancing is gospel when doing so.
Through the magic of Instagram I found a post from a fellow northeast blogger listing all the places that are open: https://www.instagram.com/p/CAsaIKpAhYW/
Postcode: DL2 3AH
Raby castle was one of those, and since none of us had ever been before, we decided to go. When I say ‘we’ I mean myself and boyfriend, and my sister and her boyfriend also came (of course in separate cars as they are in a different household and we social distanced the entire time). We set off pretty early which proved to be a good tactic!
Of course the castle itself was closed when we visited (it is now open), however the walled garden and grounds were open. When we arrived, we were guided into a parking space that was 2m from the next car. This made us feel very safe from the off. There were maybe 20 cars in total in the car park at this point which was very reassuring too. However when we came out the car park was almost full so;
Top Tip: Go early to avoid any risks!
We then walked to the entrance where a woman showed us where to get tickets. According to their website, right now here are the prices for the grounds and gardens if you are interested:
- Adult: £8
- Child (5-15yrs): £4
- Child: (under 5yrs): Free
- Concessions: £7
If you want to include the castle which is now open, prices are;
- Adult: £13
- Child (5-15yrs): £6.50
- Concessions: £12
So for the two of us it was £16, which I thought could be a little expensive giving if you have a large family (they did also have family ticket). However, the fact that we were out and exploring again was worth it.
They are also open from 10am-4pm currently.
The walled garden was definitely the highlight of the grounds! Its the first place you walk through upon entering the gardens.
We then left these gardens and walked right around the castle which was so beautiful. Its hard to understand that this is so close to home.
By this point it was lunch time so we found a spot next to the lake and set out our picnic blankets.
Top Tip: Take a picnic blanket and sit out on the grounds, not in the entrance place as, despite social distancing measures, was still busy.
We sat here for over an hour in the sunshine, and it felt for a while that everything was normal (except from the fact that we were sat far apart!).
Did I mention there are deer? Just herds of deer, roaming the grounds? Like not big deal? There were a few near the entrance but most were at the far end of the grounds. They also kept ‘playing piggy backs’. It was funny watching the parents of small children explain this!
Raby Castle was a truly lovely place to spend the better part of the day. And they deserve a lot of respect for the social distancing measures they had in place.
Once we had finished our walk here it was still early in the afternoon so we then decided to go to nearby High Force waterfall. Unfortunately upon arrival we saw how INSANELY busy and unsafe it was as the social distancing was lacking. I wish I had taken a photo of the queue to get down as it was so scary to see considering the current pandemic.
Top Tip: If you do want to visit High Force, go midweek as it was crazy busy at the weekend!
After seeing this, we didn’t even stop the cars. We decided to go to Hamsterly Forrest instead. I’ve decided to save the story of Hamsterly for another day, so stay tuned for another blog post coming soon!
If you do decide to go to Raby Castle (and you should), here is their website with all their open times on; https://www.raby.co.uk/raby-castle/
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Stay Safe, Happy Adventuring!
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