Raby

Father Christmas at Raby Castle is now fully booked. It is possible that we may be able to release more tickets at a later date, should current guidelines change. If you would like to join our waiting list please email admin@raby.co.uk


Come and meet Father Christmas in a magical festive family experience at Raby Castle.

We are having to do things a bit differently this year to make sure that everyone has a safe, and enjoyable time with us at Raby Castle this Christmas, so if you’ve visited us at before you will see some changes. But don’t worry – we promise the experience will be just as magical as ever!

This popular family event has limited capacity this year so early booking is essential. We’re only releasing a handful of tickets at a time so the experience will be even more exclusive.

Please be aware that at the moment, we are only able to allow one grown up to attend with each child to make room for as many children as possible! If we can allow more grown-ups nearer the time, we will – thanks for your patience and understanding.

What’s the difference between premium and standard tickets?

Visitors with premium tickets will be seated at the front of the performance area, but the experience is the same for both ticket types.

What can I expect at the Father Christmas at Raby Castle experience?

We are having to do things a bit differently this year to make sure that everyone has a safe, and enjoyable time with us at Raby Castle this Christmas. But don’t worry – we promise it will be just as magical as ever! We are following the latest Government guidance, and the event will be fully compliant with the latest advice.

This popular family event has limited capacity this year so early booking is essential. Please be aware that at the moment, we are only able to allow one grown up to attend with each child.

Please dress warmly as you may have to wait outside.

We recommend that you read the following information before booking tickets.

I am an annual pass holder – are these tickets included in my pass?

Father Christmas at Raby Castle is a special event and all visitors must purchase tickets as these are not included with your pass.

What time should I arrive?

Ticket holders will be sent full arrival details by email prior to the event.

Please arrive at Raby Castle leaving plenty of time before your session – you must arrive at least ten minutes before your scheduled time to allow for check in. Toilet facilities are limited – please make sure your child has been to the toilet before the session starts as there are no toilet facilities in the Castle.

There may be a short time to wait outside so please dress warmly. The Coach yard is open daily for visitors to enjoy a hot chocolate and explore our Stables Christmas Shop.

If you have upgraded your ticket to include the Festive Children’s Food Box please arrive at least 30 minutes prior to your ticket time to enjoy this in the Coach Yard. Please note food and drinks are not permitted inside the Castle.

What if I am late for my time slot?

It is your responsibility to arrive on time for your time slot. Please plan and check for anything that might delay you, road closures, weather etc. Unfortunately, late arrivals cannot be guaranteed entry, and due to limited capacity at each session we are unable to transfer tickets to another date/time.

What else is there to do at Raby Castle?

There’s lots to see and do at Raby Castle at Christmas! The Coach Yard is open throughout December, where you can purchase real Christmas trees, and our Stables Christmas Shop & Stables Café are also open to visitors. Why not arrive early and enjoy our Festive Enchanted Forest (selected dates only) and enjoy hot drinks and tasty treats from our Stables Café and kiosk.

Is there car parking?

There is ample car parking in the grounds of Raby Castle, mainly on grass.  Please follow signage and instructions from staff to parking areas once you arrive at Raby.

Will there be food and drink available?

Yes – hot drinks and festive treats will be available in the Coach Yard.

Where do I collect my Children’s Festive Food Box?

If you have upgraded your ticket to include a Children’s Festive Food Box, you can collect this from the kiosk prior to your session with Father Christmas. Please arrive 30 minutes prior to your ticket start time to enjoy before your visit to the Castle. No food or drinks are permitted inside Raby Castle.

Please note Children’s Festive Food Boxes must be booked in advance.

Is the venue accessible?

There is level entry into the Entrance Hall. If you or your child require assistance or have specific access requirements, please call us on 01833 660202 and we will do our best to accommodate you.

What measures have you put in place for Covid-19?

We have been open to visitors since the end of May and have been following Government guidance closely to make sure we do this in a safe and controlled way. We have put comprehensive measures in place across the site, and all our events are carefully managed to keep visitors, staff and volunteers safe.

For this event, parties of up to six guests (from a maximum of two households) will be grouped together.

What will happen if I am unwell with Covid-19 symptoms?

If you or anyone in your party are showing symptoms of Covid-19 we kindly ask that you do not attend. For the safety of all visitors, staff and volunteers we reserve the right to refuse entry to this event to anyone who is unwell with Covid-19 symptoms.

Can I leave my child while they visit Father Christmas?

No – children must be accompanied by an adult at all times when visiting Raby Castle.

Will I be allowed to take photographs of my child?

There will be time for photographs so make sure you bring your camera or a phone that is fully charged!

How many adults can I bring?

Due to social distancing limitations we can only welcome 1 accompanying adult per child. Each child ticket includes one adult. If we are able to do so, we will release further adult tickets nearer the time – thank you for your understanding.

What age is this event suitable for?

We allow you to decide whether this event is suitable for your child, but it is naturally aimed at younger children (under 12 years) who still believe in the magic of Christmas. Children of all ages will enjoy the spectacle of arriving at Raby Castle and seeing it decorated for Christmas. Children must be able to sit for around 30 minutes of entertainment. Each child taking part in the experience, must have a valid ticket for entry.

What should we bring?

We suggest bringing a camera and dressing warmly as there is a short walk between the Castle and car park and you might be required to wait outside for a short time.

Will we need to wear masks?

Anyone aged 11 or over, and all visitors who do not have an exemption, will need to wear a mask inside the Castle.

What is the address of Raby Castle?

Raby Castle, Staindrop, Darlington, Co Durham, DL2 3AH

What is the cancellation policy?                        

Unfortunately, due to the popularity of this event, there are no refunds or cancellations permitted. As the experience is personalised, it is not possible to transfer tickets to another name. Please be sure that when you make your booking, you know exactly which date and which time slot you wish to secure.

The event will still take place in rain or snow and weather cancellations are extremely rare. If the event is cancelled due to Government guidance related to Covid-19, you will be notified immediately and given a complete refund or the opportunity to reschedule (subject to availability).

How do I contact Raby Castle?

You can call the office at Raby Castle on 01833 660202 between the hours of 9am and 4.30pm Monday to Friday, or email admin@rabycastle.co.uk.

We look forward to welcoming you to Raby this Christmas!

What's on

Events and activities at Raby Estates

We are OPEN! We are following the latest government guidance to keep our visitors, staff and volunteers safe. Click HERE to read our latest update.