Grimsthorpe Castle is a beautiful estate located in Lincolnshire. The estate consists of the house (aka The Castle), park and gardens. For history buffs, Grimsthorpe was granted to the de Eresby family by Henry VIII on the occasion of the Baron De Eresby marriage to Maria de Salinas – the lady-in-waiting to Queen Katherine of Aragon.
With young children, we didn’t opt for viewing the house. With its fine collection of paintings, furniture, tapestries and objects d’art, I felt like I would be constantly yelling out, “don’t touch!”. Plus the outside area is stunning and the lure of an Easter hunt was appealing!
It was our first visit to Grimsthorpe Castle, and as it was during the Easter holidays, the ‘Great Easter Bunny Hunt’ was running. Instead of searching for eggs, we had to look for twelve naughty bunnies instead. They were conveniently hidden in a manageable space for a 2,3 and 5 year old – plus all areas were pram accessible. If anyone in your party has accessibility issues, there is also an electric buggy (subject to availability of the driver.) Dogs are allowed in the park, but not in the formal gardens. There are two small ornamental ponds with the topiary gardens and a fountain in the main courtyard.
The outside space provides plenty of opportunities for little ones to let odd steam. We particularly enjoyed the ‘maze’ area – a formal rose parterre with small box hedges. Searching for the bunnies led us all around the formal gardens and the outside of the house, including the kitchen gardens and the topiary area. The Great Easter Bunny Hunt takes about an hour to complete, and a pit stop to the cafe for some lunch was much appreciated. The prize of some beautifully presented colouring pencils and sweets were a lovely touch.
The tea-room provides a selection of hot and cold food, such as jacket potatoes, soup, freshly made sandwiches etc. For children, there is a further option of a lunch pack for £4.25, where you can select 5 items. The lunch bags doubled up as activity packs which have a few puzzles on them. The tea-room also provided high chair and plastic cups, plates and cutlery. A little shop is also on site full of local produce, gifts, and toys.
A further draw for families is the woodland adventure playground. The playground has swings, a zip wire, climbing trail, slides, see-saw, a tiny tots area, climbing tower plus a picnic area.
For older children, there are miles of traffic-free cycle paths. You can even hire bikes and the little kids tag-alongs plus buggy attachments for those who can’t sit on a bike. Helmets are provided on loan for free. (Bike hire is just behind the cafe.)
Opening Times for 2017 (Open season is between April 2nd and September 28th)
Park and Gardens (open 11am -6pm)
April and May, Sundays, Thursdays and Bank Holiday Mondays.
June-September Sunday to Thursday inclusive.
Child (5-18 years) £2.50
Family (2+3) £14.50
Castle, Park & Gardens (The Castle opens at 12 noon on the same days as the park)
Child (5-18 years) £5.00
Family (2+3) £27.00
Adult – £22.00
Child (5-18 years) – £6.00
A family season ticket £50.00 for a family ( 2 adults + 3 children)
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For more Days Out With Kids, you may be interested in the Nene Valley Railway with rides on Thomas The Tank Engine! I foyu are looking for a great travel resource for the Midlands area – Plutonium Sox has lots of travel tips.