Family days out: Rockingham Castle

0
Have your say

Steeped in history, Rockingham Castle provides the perfect opportunity for you to step back in time and is a great family day out.

With views across the Welland Valley it’s easy to understand why Rockingham Castle is so popular with visitors.

Rockingham Castle

Rockingham Castle

And it’s a great day out for all the family – especially for anyone interested in history, as my two children are!

I haven’t visited the castle since I was a child so it was on my list of things to do with the children.

Kai, seven, and Ella, five, were really excited to be going to the castle and finding out more about the kind of people who lived there hundreds of years ago.

We started our visit by embarking on a mission to find Wentworth’s wandering armour.

It’s basically a game of hide and seek for children to enjoy.

Just help Wentworth, the Rockingham Griffin, find 12 numbered shields which have been hidden around the main gardens.

Once you’ve done this, you can claim your ‘badge of honour’ from the gift shop.

The first seven shields were pretty easy to find but we all had to keep our eyes peeled as some were hidden very well!

However, after 40 minutes searching we couldn’t find the last one.

After inquiring at the gift shop to check that there were actually 12 to be found (which there are), Kai and Ella were still rewarded for their efforts and given their badge of honour.

It was a lovely gesture of goodwill by the gift shop staff as they would have been disappointed at not getting their badge.

It was such a lovely day and all the fun and excitement of seeking out the shields meant we were hungry and thirsty.

I brought some drinks and a little picnic with us to enjoy on the grass (which is aplenty) before we went to tour the castle.

There is a tea room here too which serves hot and cold light lunches and afternoon teas from midday, so don’t worry if you don’t bring lunch.

Although Kai and Ella were keen to visit the castle, I was a little apprehensive that they wouldn’t enjoy the tour of the house itself.

But I was wrong! They were really inquisitive about everything they saw and kept asking if everything was real – including the few life-sized mannequins dotted around!

They were also excited when they were able to try on replica helmets that soldiers used to wear hundreds of years ago – and the castle guide was most helpful and attentive to the kids and their questions, which was great.

I have to say that, actually, all of the staff we encountered on our visit were very friendly and helpful and it certainly made the visit more enjoyable.

The tour of the castle ends in the gift shop and here you’ll find the entrance to Salvin’s Tower.

Climb up the steps and you’ll be rewarded with spectacular views.

However, the twisting staircase leading up to the tower is very narrow in places so you’ll need to take care with little ones.

I made sure the kids were in front of me on the way up and behind me on the way down – just in case!

After more than three hours here it was time to leave.

We didn’t have time to visit The Ice House or St Leonard’s Church so we’ll just have to come back and do that next time!

Entrance fee

Admission to the castle and grounds is £9.50 per adult (age 16 and above) and £5.50 for children (under fives go free).

A family ticket (2+2) is £24.50.

If you just want to tour the grounds, then you’ll just pay £5.50 per adult or child.

Opening times

Rockingham Castle is open Tuesdays and Sundays until September 29 with the grounds opening at midday.

Access to the castle is from 1pm. Last admission to the castle is 4.30pm with the grounds and castle closing at 5pm.

Where to find it

On the outskirts of Corby, just off the A6003. You’ll find the castle using postcode LE16 8TH.

Christmas at Rockingham

Step back in time to Christmas Eve in 1881 at Rockingham Castle between November 18 and 22 where you can experience a Victorian Christmas.

The castle will be decorated for a nostalgic Christmas with guided tours in period costume taking place throughout the day.

There will also be Christmas gifts available in the gift shop, along with a Christmas marquee set up in the courtyard.

The experience will be open from 11am to 8pm.

For more information about tour times and prices, visit www.rockinghamcastle.com or call 01536 770240.