Our evening at Raby Castle - Summer Lates
Updated: Jun 2
**We were gifted entry in return for this review**
PLEASE NOTE: This review was originally published in July 2020. I strongly advise checking with the venue for updated opening times, entry fees and Covid restrictions before travelling.
Raby Castle, to me, is what you think of when you say a proper castle. It is magnificent! I spent quite a lot of time visiting Raby Castle with my Grandparents whilst growing up and I just thought it was fantastic and would imagine all sorts of medieval goings on.
So when we were kindly invited along to Raby Castle for the Summer Lates special occasion evening openings, we were thrilled.
We arrived 20 minutes early so we just sat and waited by the entrance gate until the gates opened, we were shown to a space which had been planned so that you can socially distance in the car park. There wasn't too many cars and I think the staff did a great job planning the amount of tickets sold to enable everyone to observe social distancing guidelines.
The boys were handed a scavenger hunt to do on the walk around, which is the kind of activity they always love.
We made our way down to the courtyard where we were greeted by more friendly staff and the smell of some tasty sausages cooking, we treated ourselves to a sausage in a bun for supper with onions which was £6 each, made from Raby's own special ingredients. The gardens were just mind blowing! The smell of lavender as you brush past them is just one of my favourite smells ever! We were quite lucky to see the rose garden in full bloom and Elliot went around sniffing them all! You will also find various kinds of tree species here there is a gorgeous walnut tree hidden out of the way that looks like something from a fairytale. Then we found ourselves wandering through the Raspberry plants watching the bees buzz in and out as we made our way out and onto the path for the Castle. You can also find a really pretty wishing tree in the garden, which sounds lovely when the breeze catches it. There is a gorgeous pond that just sounds so nice when you are sitting relaxing close by, Elliot was happy that it had lily-pads, so he spent the next 15 minutes looking for frogs. (he's obsessed!)
Unfortunately the castle was closed for the evening specials, but you can come along during the day to enjoy the delights of the magnificent Raby Castle. You can also join a tour of the Castle which run twice daily, on Monday and Tuesday, and lasts for around 60 minutes.
We headed along past the castle and got some fantastic photos, it is so easy to imagine what life was like back when the Castle was a fortress. I won't lie, you get some amazing photo opportunities here, the views are to die for and we even spotted some wildfowl taking flight. Then as we headed up the bank from the castle, Elliot spotted the Deer.
Raby Castle is home to around 600 Red & Fallow Deer, they are absolutely stunning and the antlers are huge! We have been reading about the history of Raby and it is so interesting to read about the Deer and the Longhorns on the land.
After we watched the Deer for around 30 minutes we decided to head back round to the walled garden and relax to a beautiful sound bath. Now I have to say it was extremely relaxing to the point Elliot was drifting off to sleep. It was mesmerising, watching how the performer was making the sounds with the gongs. Lots of people started to leave after this but it was only 8pm, so we decided to explore the walled gardens again and we found some beautiful flowers and a patch of wildflowers too. We sat for a while and watched as the sun started to drift down and the shadows on the castle were changing every minute. The boys ran around playing hide and seek and then lay down on the grass to cloud watch and see what shapes they could find.
All in all the evening was perfect, it was well organised, people followed social distancing well. There is lots to see and we will definitely be getting ourselves an annual pass.
*Dogs are welcome in the gardens and park but not in the castle and must be on a lead at all times.
*Stables cafe is set in the beautiful horse stalls, offering a range of delicious treats from Cakes, Afternoon tea, wine, tea and Coffee
*Coach Yard Kiosk serves hot drinks & Ice Cream and there is also a shop adjoining the coach yard stocking some great gifts and trinkets.
*You are allowed to take your own food for a picnic, to be enjoyed in the picnic area near the cricket pitch but please take away your litter. (No food is allowed in the walled gardens)
*Toilets are available and are operating a one in one out system.
*Hand sanitiser is available throughout.
*Tickets can be booked online only. A limited number of tickets are available on the day
*Plenty of benches dotted around if you feel like you need a rest
*Plenty of signage up to keep everyone safe
*Card payments only
Deer park, walled gardens, play area & food are all open from 10am - 4pm
The Castle is open from 11am - 4pm Wednesday - Sunday
Castle tours are Monday - Tuesday and must be pre booked
Tickets (Daytime opening)
A family day ticket (2 adults and 3 children) to the castle, park and gardens £36.50
For an annual pass it is £60 for 2 adults and 3 children
Tours (Monday and Tuesday) are included in the ticket price but please bear in mind they only offer 2 tours a day and there is a maximum number. Please ask at the ticket booth for availability Places are limited.
There is lots going on at Raby Castle this Summer all the latest can be found HERE
Further Summer Lates are planned throughout July and August please keep an eye on Raby Castle's Social media for all the latest details. You can also subscribe to the website for notifications of new events.
Social Distancing Measures
Raby Castle have been taking a gradual approach to reopening and you can watch a video on the website which tells you a little more HERE.
It was a lovely evening and we thoroughly enjoyed it.
**We were gifted entry in return for this review**