Coronavirus and re-opening FAQS

What’s open and what are your opening times?

We are continuing to take a gradual approach to reopening our facilities, and opening times may vary – please check before you travel. If you have visited us before things will be a bit different, but we are working hard to make sure that your experience with us is both safe and enjoyable.

Raby Castle

The Deer Park, Walled Gardens and Woodland Play Area at Raby Castle are open daily from 10am – 4pm.

Raby Castle will open Wednesday – Sunday from 11am – 4pm. A one-way system is in place for visitors to the Castle to support social distancing.

The Refreshment Kiosk is open daily, and the Stables Café will open during busier periods. The Kiosk and Café will serve the same menu.

The Stables Shop is open on request.

High Force Hotel and Waterfall

High Force Waterfall and Car Park is open daily from 10 am, with last entry at 4 pm. A new circular route is in place to support social distancing.

Parking charges apply at High Force.

High Force Hotel is now open for bookings. Please contact the team on 01833 622336 for all room and table reservations.

Do I need to book to visit?

Raby Castle

You will need to purchase a ticket to visit Raby Castle, Park and Gardens. To help us manage the number of visitors on site, and to limit contact with staff, we would prefer visitors to book tickets for the day of their visit before they arrive.  Limited tickets will be available to purchase on the day (subject to availability), and for your safety and ours we are accepting card payments only. Annual Pass Holders need to book and  will be expected to show their pass on arrival.

Please be aware we may be required to share booking details with Public Health England as part of the track and trace process

Buy your Raby Park and Gardens ticket/Annual Pass

High Force Hotel and Waterfall

Reservations at High Force Hotel and restaurant are now being taken, and must be booked in advance. You can book online or contact the team on 01833 622336.

If you are visiting High Force Waterfall you will need a Waterfall ticket which can be purchased from our website. Parking charges apply at the High Force Car Park.

Are you offering timed tickets?

We are limiting the number of tickets on sale each day to help us safely manage numbers on site. While we are not offering timed tickets we are closely monitoring the number of visitors in each space, and so you may be asked to wait before moving through to the next area.

Will you be offering guided tours?

We are not offering guided tours of the Castle at this time.  However, our room guides will be on hand to answer questions and share the fascinating stories of the Castle with visitors.

We plan to offer guided tours of the Castle Terrace over the coming months. Please check our website and social media channels for further updates.

Do I have to pay to park at High Force?

Car parking at High Force costs £3 for half a day or £6 for a full day. Tickets to the Waterfall cost £2 for adults and £1 for children 5-15. Under 5s are free.

Are there any events happening at Raby Castle and High Force?

We’re busy making plans for the rest of the year, looking at new and exciting ways for visitors to enjoy our fabulous spaces.

We opened the Walled Gardens and Deer Park for two very special evenings in June, and if the weather is kind, hope to open for further Summer Lates in July and August.

We’re following the latest guidance about events and hope to bring you an update very soon. To be the first to hear about our events sign up to our newsletter.

What facilities are available at each location?

Limited facilities are available at each site:

  • Food and refreshments

Food and refreshments including drinks and ice creams are available from the refreshment kiosks at Raby Castle and High Force. Tables can also be booked at High Force Hotel. We are offering a reduced menu at Raby Castle and High Force, which will include Raby favourites and delicious cream teas.

Visitors eating indoors at Raby Castle and High Force will be asked to provide their contact details in order for us to support the Track and Trace programme, should anyone develop Covid-19 symptoms following their visit. Please be aware that you will be asked to provide this information during your visit.

  • Toilets

Reduced toilet facilities, including disabled toilets and baby change facilities, 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 note there are no toilet facilities for visitors in the Castle at this time.

  • Parking

Please park with consideration for others and park at a safe distance from other vehicles.

  • Picnic areas

Located at the car park at each site. Do not take picnics into the Deer Park and Walled Gardens, or down to High Force Waterfall, and please dispose of litter responsibly, in the bins provided.

Can I bring my dog?

Well behaved dogs are welcome in the Park and Gardens at Raby Castle, and at High Force Hotel and Waterfall. Dogs must be kept on a lead at all times.

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 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 – perspex screens have been installed at our ticketing and refreshment kiosks
  • Strict hygiene processes for the cleaning of toilet facilities, picnic areas a
  • 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.

Track and Trace

We are committed to supporting the NHS Track and Trace programme. Visitors may be asked to provide contact details when visit to Raby Castle or High Force, to be shared with Public Health England, should there be a notification of a Covid-19 positive case.

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 admin@raby.co.uk

Why are you only re-opening in a limited way?

We are following the latest Government guidance about the safe and gradual re-opening of our facilities.  Re-opening gradually and in a limited way will enable us to monitor and review our procedures to ensure the safety of visitors and staff, and to manage visitor numbers safely.

If you are planning to visit please check our website for the latest opening times and prices.

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 am a member of Historic Houses/Yorkshire’s Great Houses, Castles and Gardens – do I have to pay? 

Historic Houses members and members of Yorkshire’s Great Houses, Castles and Gardens can visit for free – please bring your membership card with you as you will need to show this on arrival.

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 – admin@raby.co.uk

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.

For the latest news follow us on:

Facebook (Raby Castle)             Facebook (High Force Hotel and Waterfall)

Twitter (Raby Castle)                 Twitter (High Force Hotel and Waterfall)

Instagram (Raby Castle)           Instagram (High Force Hotel and Waterfall) 

You can also subscribe to our newsletter for further information and updates.

To hear about upcoming Raby events and news, click HERE to sign up to our e-newsletter.