A visit to a Castle is always something our whole family will enjoy - the beauty, history, activities......there's generally always something to interest us all. We have pretty much exhausted ourselves with local Castle's (although we do still love them) so recently decided to venture further afield to Auckland Castle. Auckland Castle is situated in the centre of Bishop Auckland and about an hours drive from our home in South East Northumberland. It's central location means there is no on-site parking (blue badge holders are exempt) however there is ample and well signposted parking in town with the Castle being a few minutes walk up the road.
As it was such a beautiful day we decided to concentrate on the outdoor fun that was on offer in the Castle grounds. Starting with a game of croquet (which I think Heidi thought was more like hockey!)
Next up was a game of outdoor chess - Harry and Heidi learned how to play at the beginning of the year and are now a little bit obsessed. They joined forces to play against dad but unfortunately victory wasn't theres this time!
Thank you to Gore Tex shoes who provided the children with these fantastic shoes in order for us to enjoy a 'Big Day Out' - perfect for lots of outdoor fun!
Next up we visited the Castle reception and were provided with a pack of 12 treasure hunt clues (included with admission). It was lots of fun racing around the Castle grounds both inside and out solving the clues that led us to a treasure chest full of chocolate coins (the best sort!) where we could help ourselves as our reward for solving the trail.
Eagle eyed Heidi spotted some children's backpacks in a basket by reception. I popped over to take a look and was very happy to see a 'Help yourself' sign. I asked at reception and they informed us they were special adventure backpacks that children could borrow when they visit the castle - packed with a scavenger hunt, magnifying glass, binoculars and more. We headed back outside to put them through their paces.
There were 20 items on the scavenger list for us to search for ranging from a small stone, leaf and pine cone to animal prints and acorns.
The Scavenger hunt led us around the Castle grounds and we were all very pleased with ourselves when we managed to collect everything from the list. We were in need on a sit down though and headed to The Library Tea Room for tea and homemade Jammy Dodgers. Lovely!
The sun was still shining and we weren't ready to leave the Castle so decided to take a seat and relax in the gardens for an hour as the children put their new Gore Tex shoes through their paces with various gymnastics displays.
The Library Tea Room and Park are free to enter with admission to the Castle costing just £6 per adult (under 16's go free). Check the Auckland Castle Website for more information.