Coronavirus and re-opening FAQS
What’s open and what are your opening times?
The Walled Gardens and Deer Park at Raby Castle are open daily from 10 am – 4 pm.
High Force Waterfall and Car Park is open daily from 10 am, with last entry at 4 pm.
Parking charges apply at High Force.
What facilities are available at each location?
In this initial phase of re-opening, limited facilities are available at each site:
- Limited toilet facilities
Reduced toilet facilities, including disabled toilets, are open at both sites. Measures have been put in place to limit the number of visitors accessing the toilets at any time. Please use the hand sanitiser provided and queue at a safe distance from others.
Please park with consideration for others and park at a safe distance from other vehicles.
- Picnic areas
Located at the car park of each site. Do not take picnics into the Deer Park, or down to High Force Waterfall, and please dispose of litter responsibly, in the bins provided.
- Take-away refreshments
Take-away refreshments including drinks and ice creams are available from the refreshment kiosks at Raby Castle and High Force.
What have you put in place to keep visitors and staff safe?
The health and wellbeing of our staff and visitors is our top priority. We have been working closely with our teams at Raby Castle and at High Force to make sure that we have put all necessary measures in place to protect our staff and visitors. We have also been gathering feedback from our annual pass holders to find out what measures they would like to see as we re-open. Measures include:
- Limited tickets and parking passes to safely manage the number of visitors on site at any time
- New signage and clear social distancing guidance at both locations
- Personal protective equipment for staff
- Take-away refreshments only – perspex screens have been installed at our ticketing and refreshment kiosks
- Strict hygiene processes for the cleaning of toilet facilities and picnic areas
- Measures to limit numbers accessing the toilets at one time
- Additional sanitiser stations around the sites and pop up handwashing facilities in picnic areas
- We are accepting card payments only to minimise contact, with contactless payments preferred
- At High Force we have created a circular route to enable greater social distancing, when visitors walk to see the waterfall. There is a new path which you should use for your return journey, to avoid passing other pedestrians. Please adhere to the one-way system where possible to do so. The circular route is steep in places and is not suitable for less mobile visitors or pushchairs. As the path is narrow in places we ask visitors not to bring pushchairs at this time.
We will continue to review the measures we have put in place and if you have any feedback you would like to share with us please email email@example.com
Will I need to book to visit?
To help us manage the number of visitors on site, and to limit contact with staff, we would prefer visitors to book tickets and parking passes for the day of their visit before they arrive. Limited tickets and parking passes will be available to purchase on the day, and for your safety and ours we are accepting card payments only. Annual Pass Holders do not need to book but will be expected to show their pass on arrival.
Why are you only re-opening the Raby Deer Park and Walled Gardens, and High Force Waterfall?
We are following the latest Government guidance about the safe and gradual re-opening of our facilities. Re-opening gradually will enable us to monitor and review our procedures to ensure the safety of visitors and staff.
Government guidance now allows for the public to exercise as much as they wish, providing it is in an environment where there is little or no close contact with others. The health and wellbeing of our visitors and staff is our priority, and we can open open Raby Deer Park and Walled Gardens, and High Force Waterfall safely, to give visitors access to these spaces for exercise.
We are working closely with other local partners to take a collective approach to manage the impact of visitors coming to the area, especially to the small, rural towns and villages.
What are you doing to mitigate the impact of visitors coming to your sites and the surrounding area?
We know that residents in our communities are understandably concerned about the number of visitors coming to the area. We have seen an increase in the number of visitors coming since restrictions on travel and exercise were relaxed and are aware of the impact this is having in the local area.
We are working closely with partners at North Pennines AONB and Durham County Council to take a collective approach to re-opening limited facilities, to try and ease some of the pressure that has been felt by the local community. Car parks and limited facilities have been re-opened in discussion with Durham Police.
At both locations we are limiting the number of visitors on site at any time, and have put comprehensive social distancing measures in place, as well as providing additional handwashing and sanitisation facilities. At High Force we have created a circular route to enable greater social distancing, when visitors walk to see the waterfall. There is a new path which visitors should use to return to the car park, to avoid passing other pedestrians.
Visitors are reminded to behave responsibly when visiting our locations for the safety of our team, other visitors, and residents.
Is the circular route at High Force accessible?
We have created a circular route at High Force to enable greater social distancing for visitors.
The circular route is an enjoyable yet challenging walk however it is not accessible, and is unsuitable for pushchairs. The path is narrow in places; therefore, we ask that you do not bring pushchairs at this time. Please ensure suitable footwear is worn as the terrain is changeable with the weather.
I have an Annual Pass – are you extending my pass from this point?
As we are now able to safely reopen some of our facilities, we will be extending all annual passes to cover the period while we have been closed. Passes will be extended by two months from Friday 22nd May 2020, so you will still get the benefit of your full year of membership. We will be in contact with all pass holders with further information.
I am a member of Historic Houses – do I have to pay for parking?
Historic Houses members can visit for free – please bring your membership card with you as you will need to show this on arrival.
Are you charging for car parking?
We are charging for car parking at High Force, in order to safely manage the number of visitors on site.
How long can I park for at High Force?
To safely manage the number of visitors at High Force we are limiting the number of car parking passes available on each day. Parking tickets are valid all day for the day of purchase.
How can I contact you if I have a question about visiting?
If you have a question about visiting us please get in touch by email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Raby Castle, Park, Gardens, Shop and Café – 01833 660202
High Force Hotel and Waterfall – 01833 622336
Tenants who need to contact the Estate Offices for whatever reason should do so in the normal way.
Raby Estate Office, Co Durham – 01833 660888
Raby Estate Office, Shropshire – 01952 740223
I can’t visit at the moment – how can I keep up to date with what is happening at Raby?
We know not everyone will be able to visit us as we reopen. We will continue to share updates about what’s happening across the Estate on our blog and social media pages.
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