Every time we drive past the signs for Castle Howard, I always say “Ooo I really want to go there”. It’s a fabulous stately home not far from York and has acres of park and woodland, along with lakes, fountains and formal gardens. Just the sort of place to go if you fancy getting outside and finding something for everyone, there’s even an adventure playground for younger visitors. And, er if you go at the right time of year, ZOMBIES!
After a busy half term, horrible infection and some long days on a film set, I was in need of fresh air and to clear the cobwebs. We arrived at Castle Howard on the last day of their Zombies vs Pirates event. The kids quickly decided they wanted to be Zombies! Armed with activity maps they wanted to do the zombie trail but first we walked around the grounds and then visited the burnt-out wing. This part of the house lends itself perfectly to be the haunt of all things spooky and inside you could walk around the ‘haunted house’. Craft activities and face painters were also inside, and my Daughter was made up as a Dracula Zombie princess.
Now looking the part, we walked through the magnificent woods for the zombie trail. Heads and fingers hung from trees and took us on an interesting walk through the woods. The variety of trees and plants were amazing and at one point with the pyramid and jungle trees we could have been on the set of an Indiana Jones film. The kids loved it, running off around the paths and making spooky sounds. They were a bit worried we would get lost in the woods, but from the map I had already seen we would come out near the adventure playground. “No one’s bothered about going over there are they?”, “We are, we are” they cried as they ran off racing each other to get there first.
After the adventure playground, we visited the boat house at the side of the lake for toasted sandwiches, hot chocolate and tea. Make sure you shut the door as the ducks like to wander in too! We could have had a boat trip (with dressed up pirate!) but left that for a warmer day.
Time to walk off the toasted sandwiches and earn sweet treats from the shop at the entrance. We walked up to the back of the house and to look at the stunning view. We then did a lap of the outside of the house, stopping in the gift shop for some trinkets, a tour of the rose gardens and then a walk to the temple of the Four Winds – the kids, with much hilarity, commenting that the statues really should put some clothes on!
After all that it was time to leave, but not before buying cheese, gin and sweet treats from the courtyard shops.
Castle Howard is in North Yorkshire not far from York. We paid £32 for a family ticket but check the website if you are intending to visit for their winter times and prices. There is roadworks on the A64 on some weekends in November so check before you travel for diversions!
I received no incentive to write this and all words and opinions are my own. Why not check out our other outdoor adventures and if you have any suggestions of places for us to visit, let me know!