Special interactive tours of the Castle for children were introduced for the first time this year at Raby, led by Mike our Friendly Footman. They have been a huge hit with families and they are back again for October Half Term. We caught up with Mike to find out what visitors can expect from these fun events.
How are the children’s tours different to other tours of the Castle?
They are not a history lesson – although there will be plenty of tales from the past. These are fun events, full of activities and laughter. Time flies for the adults and the children and there is a chance for everyone to have a go at each activity, whether that’s sitting in the stocks or being knighted.
What will families see on the tour?
We start off in the coach house with the carriages and then walk up to the castle. Before we even go inside the gates there is plenty to talk about as we walk past the moat and through the gatehouse. There might even be a chance to play bows and arrows before exploring inside, where nobles and knights once lived.
Are you in character as Mike the Footman?
I am definitely not in character. If I was playing the role of footman I wouldn’t be able to identify with the children and their modern world. I can tell them how things were different back then when apps, phones, gadgets and games consoles didn’t exist. The costume adds to the sense of fun and makes me easy to spot as we make our way round the Castle.
What about the adults?
Children must be accompanied by an adult on the tour so I make sure I don’t leave them out. The activities are geared towards children and are most suited to 4 to 8-year-olds but I include enough interesting information for the adults to make sure they leave feeling that they’ve had a good time and learnt something too.
What is the most popular thing about the tours?
Children love all the activities and I find that a bit of toilet humour always goes down well with the children. They are fascinated by the horrors of medieval sanitation! Above all, I think it’s the fact that its light-hearted and interactive. I make sure I have fun and that means everyone else does too.
How to book
Children’s Tours of the Castle are available on selected dates during October Half Term. The Castle will be closed to the public during October and November and will only be open for pre-booked Children’s Castle Tours and Behind the Scenes Tours. To book a place on either of these events visit www.rabycastle.com/shop.