Welcome to the Plotters’ Forest at Raby Castle quite possibly the playground of dreams; perfect for children of all ages.
You’re probably wondering why on earth I’m featuring a playground on my blog given that I’m not a parenting blogger nor is Evelyn currently old enough to enjoy a playground. Well, the reason why is that the Plotters’ Forest is a must-visit for any family that plan on spending time at Raby Castle.
I’ve already written about spending an afternoon at Raby Castle and we’ve just renewed our annual pass for the first time since Covid-19 so we’ll be spending a lot of time here over the coming months (and years given that we live so close!).
For those of us with children, thoughts will now always lean towards occupying them for at least a short while so that you can have a coffee or tea in peace. Whilst Raby Castle and the 200 acre Deer Park is perfect enough for visiting with a family, the Plotters’ Forest is a brilliant addition.
VISITING THE PLOTTERS’ FOREST AT RABY CASTLE
Without further ado, let’s talk about the Plotter’s Forest. This playground is built from sustainable material and nestled within a Christmas tree plantation – I mean, this isn’t your playground from the estate is it.
You’ll enter through a huge turreted gateway before clambering through treetop tunnels and walkways, up climbing walls to the main event; the huge slide. There is even more for children to do (think spinning signposts, outdoor musical instruments and talking tubes) but don’t think that adults can’t take part. We visited with our friends, Claire and Matthew, who’s eldest was able to take full advantage of the playground but it also meant we could too.
There’s a toddler’s play area at the back near the cafe which serves coffee, cake and ice cream. The cafe’s seating area is on the rooftop meaning that you get great views over the top of the trees to the parkland beyond. You can even spot deer from here.
One good thing about the Plotters’ Forest is that it’s very accessible with the wooden walkway curving its way through the trees up to the cafe. We were able to push two prams through and those with wheelchairs will find it easy too.
Our entrance to the Plotters’ Forest was included with our Annual Pass which we paid £28 each for. The Annual Pass includes admission to Raby Castle (which is open seasonally), the Deer Park (all year round), admission to High Force Waterfall as well as admission to the Plotter’s Forest.
If you don’t have an annual pass, you can visit the Plotters’ Forest plus the Deer Park for £8 per adult, £7.50 for children aged 4-15 or £29 for a family ticket (2 adults + 3 children). If you wanted to add a visit to the Castle (and you definitely should), a family ticket becomes £45. Under 4’s are free.
One final thing, before I forget, you have to pre-book your time slot for the Plotters’ Forest online.