Raby Castle’s new adventure playground reports success
Raby Castle’s new adventure playground, The Plotters’ Forest, has sold out for a sixth consecutive weekend following its opening to the public on April 15, when it welcomed nearly 2,000 people across the long weekend.
Built by playground designers, Creating Adventurous Places (CAP.Co), the sensory creation is set amongst the trees in the 700-year-old castle’s Christmas tree plantation, outside the castle’s paywall.
The Plotters’ Forest is the first phase of Raby’s extensive renovation scheme The Rising, which aims to attract new visitors to the County Durham based castle as well as create recreation for the local community.
Claire Jones, head of leisure and tourism and The Rising’s project manager, said: “The opening of The Plotters’ Forest is a huge step for Raby Castle, marking a new chapter in the castle’s significant history.
“Cap.Co’s brief was to create a playground of challenge, discovery and imagination and its eagerly anticipated opening didn’t disappoint. We are delighted with the result.”
The Plotters’ Forest is accessible via the 165-metre wooden boardwalk running through the playground, which sits amongst sky-high turrets with panoramic views and treetop tunnels. Ground-level games, including talking tubes and xylophones, surround the wooden structure along with an under-fours area and The Plotters’ Pantry – a food and beverage outlet with a rooftop deck.
Raby Estate’s owners, Lord and Lady Barnard, said: “When our children were young, we enjoyed visiting different attractions and making wonderful family memories – so creating The Plotters’ Forest has been a dream of ours for years and is inspired by our own family adventures.”
CAP.Co’s managing director, Simon Egan, said: “When Lord and Lady Barnard came to us with this epic location for The Plotters’ Forest, we knew this wasn’t going to be an ordinary project.
“With the planned site amongst hundreds of pine trees at the Christmas Tree plantation its certainly one of our most sensory builds yet. Building amongst ancient trees and within the plantation was a fantastic challenge and the end result is a sustainable adventure playground which looks perfectly at home in its surroundings.”
Johnny Lyle, CAP.Co’s marketing director, added: “Selling out for its Easter opening and for the sixth consecutive weekends since it opened is a fantastic result for Raby. The excitement has been building locally as more and more of the structure went in and we are so proud of this playground, which promises to offer young people an amazing place to let their imaginations run wild.”