A vast bit of open-spaced land for families to come and visit and enjoy. The park along with the castle offers beautiful scenery all year round, plenty of walks,
Photo taken by Aiden Dawson
plenty to see and plenty to do.
From the 14th century castle that was home to Cecily Nevill, to the dense woodlands of the Plotters’ Forest complete with an awesome playground knitted within the hundred-year-old trees. There is something for everyone, ranging from young toddlers to older grandparents.
The park is situated just a 10-minute drive from Bishop Auckland and Barnard Castle and is literally just a 5 minute walk from the small village of Staindrop. The venue covers a lot of land space and features a good variety of things to do with both options of being indoors and outdoors. Great for kids, great for dogs and great for everyone.
Access to the park is very easy, you just need to purchase a ticket or become a member to gain an annual pass. Find out more here.
Taken on castle terrace by Aiden Dawson
Why visit the park?
So why should you pay a visit to this park? Because its beautiful, peaceful, and very interesting and there are plenty of things to check out during your visit.
The castle is perhaps the main attraction of the site. The great old 14th century building sits in the middle of the land, surrounded by lots of green space and a lake.
You can take a stroll around the exterior and appreciate the old architecture. And you can look out over the embattled walls and enjoy the great view over the lake and looking over the rest of the park on the southside of the castle terrace.
Taken inside Raby Castle by Aiden Dawson
Then you can step inside the castle and be enthralled in centuries-old history. Every room within the castle interior is unique and features some stunning décor and furnishing and every room has plenty of interesting stories to tell. Looking at pictures doesn’t do it any justice; you must come and stand in the rooms and see it for yourself to properly appreciate the years of preservation.
If you really do want to learn about the fortress’ rich history, the venue offers guided tours of the castle once a day. The tours take up to an hour long. There are also guides stationed throughout the building who are more than happy to talk you through the historical facts of each room.
You can book tickets to visit the castle and deer park by going on their website here. Ticket prices vary depending on the age and number of visitors.
The Walled Gardens (closed temporarily)
A beautiful space for a picnic, a walk or just a sit-down and escape from
Taken at the walled gardens by Aiden Dawson
everyday life. The walled gardens are a spacious area filled with well-looked-after flowers, plants, shrubs, and trees. You can walk around the walled gardens and appreciate the horticulture and even learn about some of the floristry.
There is a large bit of grass for people to sit and chill with a picnic, along with benches dotted around the area.
The walled gardens are currently closed until 2024 as they are undergoing some exciting developments. You can stay in the loop by visiting there Facebook page here.
The vast deer park is not to be missed out during your visit. It surrounds the castle and offers
Taken near the lakeside by Aiden Dawson
lovely scenery. You can go and see the deer that roam freely around the park.
The deer belong to the park, and they are often an attraction themselves, as they display a hive of activity during the mating season, when the male deer are sometimes seen challenging each other.
The Yurt Café
Photo of yurt café taken by Aiden Dawson
Photo taken inside the yurt café by Aiden Dawson
The new Yurt Café had opened in spring of 2022. It is situated inside a large yurt, so it has plenty of comfortable shelter and space for people to sit down and have a bite to eat and a cuppa.
The yurt is situated right next to the main car park next to the old stables. It is just a 2-minute walk to the castle and Plotters’ Forest.
The food varies from savoury dishes to sweet snacks, with gluten-free and vegan options also included in the menu.
There is also a mobile stand next to the Yurt Café selling refreshments including hot drinks and snacks to take out and walk around the park with.
The Stables Shop
On the site, there is the stables gift shop within the Coach Yard. It is just a minute walk from the Yurt Café.
In the shop, you can buy quality gifts and homeware and plenty of unique items. They also sell books, games, plants, and food treats, so there is something for everyone.
The Plotters’ Forest
An exciting attraction that is part of Raby Castle Park and recently opened in the spring of 2022. A great place for toddlers and young kids. Children can enjoy playing in nature, trying new challenges, and exploring.
This part of the venue is also ticketed, and tickets can be booked on their website here.
The attraction features towering playground structures and walkways weaving their way throughout the dense woodland of Plotters’ Forest. It is just a few minutes’ walk from the café and stables shop and a 5–10-minute walk from the castle.
There is a separate newly built car park right outside the playground too.
Every part of the venue and attractions is highly accessible for people of all needs and capabilities.
Around the Park
There is a large amount of space for parking on the grassy area right at the front of the park just after you drive through the main entrance just off the main road. There is also a car park established for immediate access to the Plotters’ Forest adventure park, the parking is free in both car parks.
People can go onto their website to purchase tickets for general access to the park and castle. Separate tickets are required for the Plotters’ Forest. Events also take place throughout the year.
People can also apply for annual passes, which grants them access to the park all year-round including access to the castle and gardens. People who are members can also get discount on ticketed events and the Plotters’ Forest.
The entire deer park is perfect for bring dogs for walks and exercise.
Throughout the entire site, there is wide tracks and pathways linking all the main attractions including the Plotters’ Forest.
The site is an ideal place for families with children to visit. It is great for young ones to go about and explore, have fun, and burn their energy!
Open space. The entire park offers both the option to be outside and be indoors, so the British weather should never put you off from visiting. With the option of having open space, it is ideal for individuals who don’t feel comfortable with crowds, so even when the venue does get busy there is always quiet space around.
At The Yurt Café
There are no steps going into the Yurt Café.
The café includes snacks, soft drinks, and small-sized meals for kids.
Food and drink. The menu at the Yurt Café is inclusive to all needs and requirements. It includes gluten-free options, allergy information and vegetarian/vegan options too. The variety of food is good as it offers both savoury and sweet snacks and plenty of healthy options too. Drinks include both cold refreshing soft drinks and water, and hot drinks including coffee and tea- perfect for warming up after a brisk walk around in the winter! There is even bottles of beer and other alcoholic drinks available too. So, there is something for everyone of all tastes and preferences to enjoy at the café.
You can bring dogs inside the Yurt Café.
Members can get discount when buying food and drink from the café.
Toilet facilities. On the grounds, there are toilets accessible right next to the main car park, just a few minutes’ walk from the café and stable shop.
In The Castle
Disabled parking. Extra disabled parking is available outside the castle entrance.
The castle is also easy to access and move around inside and includes a lift for wheelchairs to go to the upstairs rooms as well. With the castle being an old building, certain parts of it may be tricky for wheelchair users but guides working throughout the castle are there to help people.
Information around the castle can be read in large print for people who may struggle to read.
If you found this listing helpful and interesting, please check out some of our other listing similar to this one here!
Taken inside the walled gardens by Aiden Dawson
QDo you need to be a member to visit the park?
No you do not need to be a member, although being a member gives you all-year-round access to the park including the castle without needing to pay as you enter.
QDo you need to book separately to visit the castle itself?
If you're a member you will have free access to the castle when it is open between March and October. Otherwise you must book tickets and this can be done online at: https://rabyestate.digitickets.co.uk/event-tickets/39924?catID=39695&
QIs the walled gardens currently closed?
The walled gardens is currently undergoing a major project and will be fully-open by spring 2024. However, there is members-only access to the East Garden right now.
QDoes being a member give you access to the Plotter's Forest?
You will need to apply for a member that includes access to the Plotter's Forest at: https://rabyestate.digitickets.co.uk/category/39743?navItem=551372