Castle Howard (Gardens & Play area)

Last Saturday we enjoyed a lovely family visit over to Castle Howard. It is such a gorgeous stately home and grounds located between Malton and York right here in Yorkshire and offers ample beauties, walks and culture. It is literally 45 minutes from where we live and I cannot believe we have’t been sooner!

If you are not from Yorkshire, then you may well be aware of Castle Howard as being the location where Ellie Goulding recently married! But for me, I have passed by on numerous occasions and wanted to visit there for the longest time (like years!). For one reason or another though we just have never got around to it and so I was delighted to discover that my lovely husband had booked it for my recent birthday as a little treat for us to enjoy and a lovely day out for me.

And, it really was as lovely as I had hoped.

Unfortunately with current restrictions the house is closed (which for me has always been the big attraction), but the gardens, land and play area were very much open and that in and of itself makes for a great family day out – especially if you’ve been indoors for a while!

We began our little visit by enjoying a lovely walk around the grounds; meandering through the pretty walled gardens, down to the huge fountain and then up and around the outside of the house. There are large beautiful outside spaces, a lake, woodlands, monuments and various things to see throughout the grounds. We only enjoyed a portion of it and scraped the surface, but what we did see we enjoyed.

From there the kids were keen to see the play area that I had told them was “quite possibly the best in Yorkshire”! And, thankfully it didn’t fail to impress and they absolutely loved it.

The play area is brilliant – better known as “skelf Island”, it has an exciting rope bridge to access over the lake (which is actually quite nervy – they also have a walk way if you would prefer) and this takes you into a fantastic adventure area which is exciting and fun for all ages. It is situated within the trees and has various huts, walk ways, climbing and rope bridges offering hours of fun and imagination. It is really impressive for kids and adults alike and definitely one of the best play areas we have visited!

Down by the play area there are also currently lovely covered seating areas and little trailers offering wood-fired pizzas, warm drinks and Giant marshmallows to toast over the fire pits (only £1 each). I really loved these little wintry added extra’s that made the visit that extra special and whilst we couldn’t get pizza, the marshmallows and cakes were yummy and fun!

I am so glad that even in these weird times we can access such beautiful (fairly local) places and have some relatively normal family time together. I am grateful for historic houses and the opportunity to explore and enjoy their grounds – what a lovely day out it was! I cannot wait to return in the Summer and hopefully embrace more of the beauty of Castle Howard. We certainly hope to return in warmer weather to see more of the temples, woods, monuments and the house itself – not to mention play play and more play in that epic play area!

Useful info…

*A family ticket to the grounds/play area is £28 for 2 adults and up to 3 kids
*There are several places to get a variety of take out food, cakes and drinks – we just took a picnic though
*There is a farm shop open, but the gift shop was closed with the restrictions in place
*Toilets were open and most path’s are pushchair friendly

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