Castle Howard, York, YO60 7DA
Castle Howard is 11 miles from Sutton on the Forest around a 20 minute drive. With a range of activities throughout the year, there is always plenty to do for all the family.
There are 1,000 tranquil and impressive acres to explore, including woodland walks, lakeside terraces, statues to admire, formal gardens, and informal parkland perfect for a picnic. Annual displays of daffodils, rhododendrons, bluebells, and roses adorn the breathtaking landscape. Free daily outdoor tours take place between March and October, covering The Walled Garden, The Temple of the Four Winds, 20th Century Landscape and Waterways. On selected dates, curator led walks and talks are available, allowing you to explore buildings and ares of the grounds which are not usually open to the public, and you can book a one-on-one bespoke tour with the curator.
There are also a number of attractions at Castle Howard, which vary from year to year. There are exhibitions and displays — this year incorporating William Morris designs, Brideshead Restored, a collection of replica crown jewels, and an award winning exhibition exploring the stories of Castle Howard in times of war. At Christmas, an indoor market is open daily to help you celebrate the festive season.
A range of cafés offering freshly prepared sandwiches, seasonal lunches, and delightful baked treats, are open across the estate, as well as a garden centre and shops selling souvenirs, local produce, homeware, jewellery, and more. Afternoon tea and private dining for pre-booked groups is another option, so if you fancy a traditional meal, sandwiches, and home made baked treats in the licensed, self-service Fitzroy Room or a relaxed dining experience in the bistro-style Courtyard Café, plan ahead and book a table.
The Proms Spectacular is an annual event. Jae Alexander leads the English National Orchestra in a variety of traditional orchestral anthems while you picnic on the lawns, so remember to take your picnic rugs, plenty of snacks, and a bottle of champagne! There are a number of food and drink concessions selling refreshments at the event too. Gates open at 5pm, the concert finishes at around 10:30pm, and spectacular fireworks complete the evening. Children under 18 must be accompanied by a responsible adult. Please note that this event is not suitable for dogs.
Kayaking sessions for all ages are occasional available to book. This takes place on the lake, which offers wonderful views. This includes a 30 minute introduction to Kayaking, perfect for beginners, and a 5 minutes safety briefing by the RNLI.
Activities for children over the summer holidays include woodland trails, illustrated trails including a spotter sheet to help identify items in the house, a playground and traditional fairground rides, boat rides on the lake, a craft tent, and many specific events such as fairy and wizard themed adventures, as well as face painting and meeting birds of prey. Children can ride the land train through the grounds to the lakeside play area.
You can check the calendar of what’s on for updates, specific dates and details, and to book tickets for events through the Caste Howard website at www.castlehoward.co.uk.