Raby

Opening Times

Castle Open, Wednesday - Sunday, 11am - 4pm
Deer Park Open Daily, 10am - 4pm
The Plotters' Forest Open Daily, from 10am
The Yurt Café Open Daily 10am - 4pm
The Stables Shop Open Daily, 11am - 4pm
Gardens Closed, reopening Spring 2024

OUTDOOR PLAYGROUND LIKE NO OTHER!

Join in with the fun and go on an adventure to The Plotters’ Forest playground surrounded by nature, outdoor play just stepped up a notch!

Plotters’ Forest Tickets include access to the Deer Park with wildlife galore and scenic castle views. 

Pre-booked tickets advised 

Discover a woodland hideaway!

The Plotters’ Forest is an immersive outdoor playground located in a magical Christmas Tree Plantation at Raby Castle.

 The perfect place to reap the benefits of outdoor play for children using a range of interactive games.

‘Close to nature’ takes on a new meaning in The Plotters’ Forest. Built around the existing trees and natural clearings with sustainable materials, the playground equipment feels woven into the forest; an extension of the great outdoors. We’ve taken care to respect our beautiful natural environment, with larch cladding sourced from our sustainably managed woodland and colours inspired by the forest’s stunning palette.

We firmly believe that building a relationship with the outdoors inspires children to be resilient, curious and courageous. In an increasingly digital and risk-averse world, The Plotters’ Forest playground is a setting where little ones – and their imaginations – can run wild.

Looking for an extra inspiring school trip or a particularly magical birthday party?

Get in touch by emailing us at admin@raby.co.uk.

Adventure Play
Plotters Play
Raby Castle - Easter Trail + Plotters Forest -18
The Plotters' Forest Playground
Adventure Play
The Plotters' Pantry

Discover a Plotters’ Paradise

Enter through the towering gateway and disappear into the dense woodland playground. Explore ground-level forest trails, then climb to high walkways and towers. Become part of a world of magic and mischief: create a cacophony on outdoor musical instruments and match pairs on our giant memory game, or strike a Plotters’  Portrait pose and cause chaos with our spinning signposts.

Visitors young and old will love getting lost amongst exhilarating views, sky-high turrets and treetop tunnels, before spreading out on the stargazing deck and slipping down the slide. Send your fellow plotters coded messages through the Talking Tubes, and spot enemies in the Mischief Mirrors. And for the very smallest rebels, there’s a dedicated toddler area: think mini turrets, climbing equipment, slide and a chalkboard for drawing secret squiggles.

For centuries, Raby Castle has been home to men and women who stood up for their beliefs and changed the course of history; plus those who weren’t so lucky and ended up in big trouble. Which will you prove to be: a Plucky Plotter or a Rotten Rebel? Find out in The Plotters’ Forest.

Fun in nature for the whole family

Tickets allow access to the Plotters’ Forest as well as to Raby’s 200 acre Deer Park. Children – plus mums and dads, grannies and grandpas – are guaranteed to love exploring the ancient landscape, lush parkland and spotting red and fallow deer as they graze. For more information about the Deer Park and tips on how to enjoy the wildlife safely, visit our Park page.

Worked up an appetite after all of that activity? Coffee, cake and ice cream are always on the menu. Visit the Plotters’ Pantry, conveniently overlooking the toddlers’ play area, for a freshly-made sandwich, children’s lunch box or a delicious traybake. You’re also welcome to wander further afield and visit the stunning Yurt Café, or browse the beautiful books, local homewares and original gifts for sale at the Stables Shop.

Tickets FAQs

Birthday Parties, Private Events and Groups

We are now offering Raby Rebels the chance to host their very own birthday party or group event in The Plotters’ Forest. Enjoy exclusive hire of our new woodland playground– just for you and your guests. Experience a world of magic and mischief as you get lost amongst exhilarating views, sky-high turrets and treetop tunnels before finishing your event at the Plotters’ Pantry where you can head up onto the rooftop deck for further celebrations.

“I just wanted to write and say thank you for a wonderful party. Amelie and her friends had an amazing time. A big thank you to Daisy and Diane who were brilliant. They were both a great help in making the party run smoothly.” – Caroline 

To find out more and make an enquiry please email admin@raby.co.uk

Plotters' Forest FAQs

How can I book tickets for The Plotters' Forest at Raby Castle?

Tickets for The Plotters’ Forest are available to purchase here.

Can I purchase tickets on site for The Plotters' Forest?

We recommend purchasing tickets for The Plotters’ Forest online in advance as we cannot guarantee availability on site.

What type of ticket do I need to access The Plotters' Forest?

Our Plotters’ Forest & Deer Park Tickets give you access to both The Plotters’ Forest and Deer Park. If you would also like to visit Raby Castle you can add this on during your booking process.

Please note, the castle is open seasonally between March – October.

Is The Plotters' Forest accessible?

The Plotters’ Forest is set on a hillside within natural woodland, with some uneven ground and steps. However, a wooden boardwalk, which reaches the top of the playground is accessible by wheelchair and pushchair allowing visitors to enjoy interactive games on the first level.

The Plotters’ Forest has been designed to allow enjoyment and engagement at the boardwalk level for those visitors with mobility issues however you cannot access some play equipment at the upper level. We were mindful to install several interactive items at boardwalk level to make the experience as accessible as possible, including musical chimes, peeky portrait, pairs games, talking tubes and mischief mirrors. The play equipment is only part of the attraction of this wonderful place. The way the accessible boardwalk weaves throughout the pine trees allows for a very special sensory experience, just the smell and colour of this fabulous forest towering above you makes it a very magical place and one which stimulates both wellbeing and imaginative play.

Does our Raby Membership give us access to The Plotters' Forest?

Raby Memberships that were purchased before April 2022 do not admit visitors to The Plotters’ Forest. However, all Raby Members are able to upgrade their Membership to include The Plotters’ Forest.

For visitors who would like to buy an Raby Membership for the first time, there is an option on our ticketing platform referenced ‘Raby Membership with The Plotters’ Forest‘.

A Plotters’ Forest Raby Membership offers visitors the following benefits for a whole year:

  • Admission into Raby Castle (The Castle is open seasonal March – October)
  • Admission into Deer Park at Raby Castle all year round
  • 10% off at the Yurt Café and Stables Shop
  • Admission to High Force Waterfall all year round (excludes parking)
  • 10% off at the High Force Hotel and Kiosk
  • Admission into The Plotters’ Forest Adventure Playground, all year round. (Please note The Plotters’ Forest requires to be prebooked online you can do this for free using your Raby Membership number)

Please note a Raby Membership excludes entry into special events.

Can I buy an Raby Membership for The Plotters' Forest?

At Raby Castle we have a ‘try before you buy’ system, meaning if you have bought day tickets and have decided you would like to buy an Annual Pass you can purchase this on the day. Your day admission cost will be deducted from the Annual Pass price.

Alternatively, you can buy a Raby Annual Pass in advance using our online ticketing system.

A Plotters’ Forest Annual Pass offers visitors the following benefits for a whole year:

  • Admission into Raby Castle (The Castle is open seasonal March – October)
  • Admission into Deer Park at Raby Castle all year round
  • 10% off at the Yurt Café and Stables Shop
  • Admission to High Force Waterfall all year round (excludes parking)
  • 10% off at the High Force Hotel and Kiosk
  • Admission into The Plotters’ Forest Adventure Playground, all year round. (Please note The Plotters’ Forest requires to be prebooked online you can do this for free using your Raby Membership number)

Please note a Raby Membership excludes entry into special events.

Can adults visit The Plotters' Forest without any children?

The Plotters’ Forest is an adventure play area that has been designed for children, therefore adults with no accompanying children will not be permitted into The Plotters’ Forest. There are many other areas of Raby Castle you can explore instead.

This is an unsupervised play area. All Plotters and Rebels must be accompanied by supervising adult (we have coffee at the top!)

How long do I have access to The Plotters' Forest?

Entry into The Plotters’ Forest starts from your allocated time slot which is 2 hours. The Plotters’ Forest tickets include access into the Deer Park anytime between 10am – 4pm with a complimentary children’s trail.

Upgrades to visit Raby Castle are available online and on the day, subject to availability. Please note, the castle is open seasonally between March – October.

Can I bring a dog into The Plotters' Forest?

To ensure our little visitors are kept safe, we don’t allow dogs inside The Plotters’ Forest and Raby Castle. Dogs are allowed in the deer park, stables shop and yurt cafe as long as they are kept on leads.

Only guide dogs are permitted into Raby Castle and The Plotters’ Forest.

What age is The Plotters' Forest suitable for?

The Plotters’ Forest has been designed to cater for a mixed range of ages and abilities and contains elements of risk. The recommended age for children is between 4 – 12 years.  The majority of the equipment is designed to be moderately challenging. 

Adults should supervise younger children carefully. Adults should also be comfortable that the risks contained are suitable for the abilities of their children before allowing them to play. Big people decide. Only you know the abilities and limitations of the children in your care. Please keep an eye on them and make sure they’re playing safely. 

There is a small dedicated area for under 4’s toddler’s play. 

How long can I have access to The Plotters’ Forest, if I have booked the 3pm slot time?

If you book the 3pm allocated time slot you have access to The Plotters’ Forest until 5pm.

Once I have left The Plotters’ Forest can I come back in later in the day?

Entry into The Plotters’ Forest is at your allocated time slot. Once you have left you can enjoy the deer park and other areas of Raby Castle. You will not be able to re-enter.

Can I bring a picnic into The Plotters' Forest?

We have designated picnic benches on site by the Yurt Cafe. Picnics are not allowed in The Plotters’ Forest. Refreshments are available at The Plotters’ Pantry and the Yurt Cafe.

What can I do in The Plotters' Forest?

The Plotters’ Forest has been designed around discovery, intrigue and challenge around our Christmas Tree plantation with historical features throughout including the Neville Gateway, the Plotters’ Spire, towers and forts inspired by the castle’s history. Other elements include plotters’ talking tubes, peaky portrait, rebels xylophone, mischief mirrors, giant memory game, plotters’ slide, rebels run, toddlers play, sky-high tunnels, treetop tunnels and so much more. Another key element of The Plotters’ Forest is outdoor play reaping the benefits of playing in nature including sensory play, creativity, imagination and wellbeing.

We recommend two hours of play, all tickets allow access to the 200-acre deer park with scenic views of the castle and wildlife. Throughout the holiday periods, we have the added bonus of seasonal trails. There is also the opportunity to upgrade your ticket to include a visit inside the castle to view the superb collections and room exterior.

Please note this is not a tree tops high ropes course.

When are the quieter times in The Plotters' Forest?

We would recommend the 3pm time slot during the weekdays for children who enjoy quieter times.

Sign up to the Raby Newsletter

Sign up to our newsletter today to receive weekly updates, exclusive offers and priority booking on our seasonal events.