Our new highly anticipated adventure playground, The Plotters’ Forest, opened to the public on Friday 15th April 2022, in time for the Easter weekend.
Towering amongst the trees in our Christmas tree plantation, the playground offers an exciting mix of challenge, discovery and intrigue for local visitors, including the young and the young at heart.
Inspired by our past and the part the castle played in The Rising of the North in 1569, the playground will hopefully bring out some modern day ‘Raby Rebels’ as visitors take in the panoramic views of the parkland, experience sky-high turrets and treetop tunnels in the Plotters’ Spire, before slipping down the slides and interacting with the ground-level games that surround the structure.
The playground has also been designed with inspiration from some of Raby Castle’s architectural history, including the famous Neville Gateway.
For the plotters requiring a pitstop, the new catering kiosk, The Plotters’ Pantry, serves takeaway hot and cold drinks, freshly made sandwiches, snacks, cake and ice cream and conveniently overlooks the toddlers’ play area, which includes mini turrets, climbing equipment and chalkboards.
Speaking of the motivation behind the project, Raby Estate’s owners, Lord and Lady Barnard, said:
“Creating The Plotters’ Forest has been a dream of ours for years and is inspired by our own experiences as a family, when our own children were young.
“We’ve taken special care to ensure the playground blends into the forested area where it’s located, by using complementary textures, colours and sustainable materials. We believe that building a relationship with the outdoors inspires children to be resilient, curious and courageous – all qualities found in Raby Castle’s plotters of the past.”
Claire Jones, Project Director and Head of Leisure and Tourism at Raby Estates said:
“The opening of The Plotters’ Forest is a huge step for Raby Castle, marking a new chapter in the much-loved attraction’s history. It is also the first important milestone in The Rising development, which will attract new visitors to the area and create outstanding recreation for the local community.”
The Rising project will include the significant restoration and renovation of several historical buildings on the estate, the creation of a new café and events space, as well as a new visitor hub and landscaped areas. The wider site will launch in Summer 2023.
“With visitors able to purchase tickets that include The Plotters’ Forest, the deer park and castle, we hope it’s a well-rounded offering with something for all family members to enjoy” Claire continues.
The wooden boardwalk through the playground is accessible by wheelchair and pushchair, creating a fun and inclusive space for all of our visitors.
For further information, please visit our Play Page.