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New visitor destination in the North East set to open this weekend

After six years of planning, Raby Castle is ready to open its doors and welcome visitors to The Rising, a 24-acre site featuring the remodelled Walled Garden along with old and new buildings.

 

It is an ambitious scheme – the largest and most significant for generations at the 14th century family home of Lord and Lady Barnard and will provide a stunning destination for the local community and visitors from far and wide.

 

Following an extensive renovation of existing historic buildings and the sympathetic addition of two impressive new buildings, all thoughtfully tied together with newly landscaped and meandering walkways designed by landscape architect and garden designer Alistair Baldwin, the doors will open on Saturday 15 June.

 

The Vinery Cafe and restaurant. Image: Raby Castle
The Vinery café and restaurant. Image: Raby Castle

Visitors can expect a brand-new 200-seater restaurant, stylish shopping, the remodelled 18th century Walled Garden and a new exhibition alongside renovated heritage buildings.

 

Lord Barnard said: “Historic houses and gardens need to be able to offer an entertaining full day out for their visitors. This includes great service, beautiful surroundings, delicious food and drink and high-quality shopping experiences, events and exhibitions. We’re confident that the scheme will deliver this within a truly breathtaking setting.”

 

Situated in the heart of The Rising, the newly constructed Round House is a visitors’ reception and features bespoke hand painted illustrations by Edinburgh-based artist Lucy Roscoe. This central hub is where visitors can book tickets, choose dining options, keep up to date on upcoming events and exhibitions and discover all that can be enjoyed at the Park, Gardens, The Plotters’ Forest Woodland Playground and Castle, as well as the wider estate including High Force Waterfall.

 

Nearby, a newly designed glasshouse, The Vinery, on the footprint of the original structure from where it takes its name, will seat over 200 people. The Vinery offers delicious food made with locally sourced ingredients from across the estate and a menu for all, enjoyed with panoramic views across the High Vinery Garden and Raby Castle beyond. 

 


Raby Castle, park and gardens. Image: Raby Castle
Raby Castle, park and gardens. Image: Raby Castle


The historic 18th century Walled Garden has also been remodelled by international garden designer Luciano Giubbilei. He has created a stunning five-acre romantic scheme to compliment the Walled Garden's existing features, including the original sculptural yew hedges.

 

Lady Barnard said: “I have loved working with Luciano, he has put his heart and soul into the garden. The structure in the winter gets engulfed by the planting that takes over in the spring, it couldn’t be more romantic and peaceful.

 

“Harry’s ancestors built only the best. Whether it is the hay barn or the coach house, they were designed by the best architects of the day and built by the best craftsmen. We have also been able to use skilled craftsmen and local or reclaimed materials to bring them back to life. It’s been a joy to be involved in this process.”

 

Many of Raby’s heritage buildings, which were previously hidden from view, will also be accessible by the public and free to enter. The 18th century Coach House is now an extensive new retail space with inspirational merchandise for the home and gifting, plus a free-to-enter exhibition featuring an audio-visual projection onto a bespoke carved oak eight-metre table made of estate oak, giving visitors a taste of the wildlife in Teesdale.

 

The Riding School and Dutch Barn have also been thoughtfully restored to provide magnificent new event spaces at Raby Castle. The Riding School is an 18th century architectural gem restored to a flexible 500sqm event space and adjacent to this is the Dutch Barn – the hidden gem of the Estate.

 

The historic castle, located near Staindrop, completed the first phase of its redevelopment plans in 2022 with the opening of its woodland adventure playground, The Plotters’ Forest, which has become a firm favourite with families in the area and visitors from further afield. Hosting trails, events and seasonal activities of its own, The Plotters’ Forest can be accessed with standalone tickets which also give access to Raby’s famous deer park and gardens.

 

“Our aim was to make Raby a place where all generations can enjoy a day out and I’m thrilled that we will be finally opening our doors to everything Raby Castle has to offer this weekend,” said Lord Barnard.

 

 

For further information on The Rising, please visit: www.raby.co.uk/about-us/development/raby-castle-development and for Raby Castle visit: www.raby.co.uk/raby-castle

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