We were driving to Slingsby campsite in North Yorkshire, passing fields and woodland in a rural landscape when suddenly a tall column appeared.

Our first reaction was, “what is this doing in the middle of nowhere?”
Column in middle of nowhere

what is this doing in the middle of nowhere?

It was, of course, part of the Castle Howard estate, which became clear the closer we got and approached a huge gatehouse that straddles the road.

On this first encounter of Castle Howard we were towing Casper the Caravan, and with warnings of a very narrow passageway, we detoured around it.
One of the gate houses

we were towing Casper the Caravan….we detoured around it

But the next day we visited Castle Howard without the caravan.

To sum it up: a huge palace and parkland in the North Yorkshire countryside.

This was not something we were expecting at all. It is a palace.

Castle from Gardens

As you approach Castle Howard from York, you pass the tall column and then go through two gatehouses, before arriving at an Egyptian Obelisk in the middle of a roundabout that takes you into the car park.

Castle Howard was certainly built to impress, and to see much of it, expect to spend most of the day and plenty of walking (though there is a ‘train’ to take you around if you don’t want to do too much walking!)

The Castle

This is not a Castle with turrets, but instead, a palace. It wouldn’t be out of place in any of the wealthy Northen European capitals.
The Needle

It wouldn’t be out of place in any of the wealthy Northen European capitals.

Just as with the outside, the inside of the castle is built to impress, with its carvings and high ceilings.
It certainly doesn’t have a homely feel, though parts of the castle are still lived in by the owners.

Not surprisingly, Castle Howard is used as a location for film and television.

Inside Pano

The Grounds

There’s plenty of space at Castle Howard. Enough to wear the kids out (and the grown-ups too!).
Time to run

There’s plenty of space ….Enough to wear the kids out (and the grown-ups too!)

One thing Castle Howard isn’t short of are lakes.
You can walk around the lakes near the Castle. These lakes drop down in levels via a series of waterfalls.

There’s also one very large lake where you can take boat trips.

This area also has a boat house cafe, a play park, and a few fairground attractions.

Snack Time

Hook a Duck

Woodland Trail

On an estate this size, it’s not surprising that there are some woodlands to explore too.
When we visited, there was a children’s trail to do, which involved brass rubbings of the prints different animals leave behind.

Trail nearly done


Planning on visiting Castle Howard? Here are their details:

Castle Howard was built over 300 years ago and sits in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty just outside York.
As well as the castle, there are acres of parkland to explore, with temples, lakes, a play park, and a children’s activity trail.

Castle Howard Opening Times and Prices

Family tickets are available for 2 adults and 3 children.
You can get a combined ticket for house and gardens or just a ticket for the gardens.

The house is open from 10:30 am, with the last admission at 4pm. It closes through the winter (Nov to Apr) except for Christmas time.
Click the link to view more details.

View more details on opening times

View more details on prices


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Getting in Touch with Castle Howard

Here's how you can get in contact with Castle Howard.

Castle Howard Website

[email protected]

@CastleHowardEst

Castle Howard Facebook Page

+44 (0)1653 648333

Where to find Castle Howard

Sat Nav Postcode: YO60 7DA

Latitude: 54.1214104, Longitude: -0.9059516

Click here for directions

Castle Howard is just 15 miles north east of York and easily accessible from the A64 which connects Leeds, York and the Yorkshire Coast.
Note that if you have a wide vehicle or are towing a caravan, there is an alternative route sign posted to avoid the narrow gate houses.

Castle Howard, Howard, York, YO60 7DA.

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Father to 3 kids, who loves getting out and about (hiking, running, camping, cycling, canoeing...) Co-founded Get Out With The Kids to help other parents enjoy the outdoors with their family.

1 Comment
  1. […] Chatsworth House is just as impressive as outside. We felt it was a little more homely than Castle Howard, but it was still built to impress, with massive halls, galleries, staircases, and painted […]

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