We also love walking around the grounds of Castle Howard and without all the foreign tourists it felt eerily quiet. Look out for a separate review of Castle Howard coming soon including the house and grounds.
Skelf Island Adventure Playgrounds at
My first bit of advice for visiting Skelf Island and the adventure playground is to get there early. We had booked a 10 am slot and we were the first over the water to Skelf Island. They are limiting numbers not just on the grounds but in the play area. We did notice it was a lot busier later in the day but still not as busy as we’ve seen the adventure play area in the past.
The main way over is via a rope bridge over the water, but if you have a buggy or aren’t brave enough to walk over the wobbly bridge don’t worry as there is accessible access to the island, although the play equipment itself is not accessible.
I now need to add that that rope bridge over the water isn’t as easy as it looks. I was all like yeah I can do this. Oh my gosh! It wobbles and it’s actually quite hard to keep fully upright on. It is, however, a lot of fun and had it not been busier later on my son would have happily just gone round and round.
Once you’ve crossed the bridge you enter the home of the Skelf’s, see if you can spot their homes.
There are lots of wooden walkways to run along with tunnels, nets, a couple of slides and more. My son loved running around, especially as he had it virtually to himself. There is nowhere now for parents to sit so I felt a bit awkward hanging around watching. You can join younger kids if you want or need to.
The adventure playground has also had a bit of a revamp since we were last there. The larger slide tower has been updated and there is now a small barefoot walk although that was closed when we last visited.
The main reason why Skelf Island and the adventure playground has a stand-alone post on my website is because we feel it’s one of the best playgrounds in Yorkshire. There is so much to play on!
There’s play equipment we’ve not come across before and there is lots for young and old. They have equipment to challenge kids and my son loved crossing across the wooden climbing frame. It is all very natural looking.
They aren’t allowing food and drink in the play areas but there are a fair few picnic benches next to it. They also have toilets here and a cafe selling food and drinks to takeaway.
If your kids have been missing play areas then this is the one for you.
Important Information about Skelf Island
Address: Castle Howard, York YO60 7DA, North Yorkshire
Car parking at Castle Howard – There is a large free car park. The play areas are a good 10 minute walk from the entrance.
Castle Howard Prices – You can purchase a ticket for just the grounds and play areas. This costs £12.95 per adult and £8.50 per child aged 4-16. Under 4’s are free. A combined ticket with the house is considerably more at £22 and £12 for a child. The house is currently only open at weekends.
Facilities at Castle Howard: There is an excellent adventure playground, picnic area, toilets, cafe and grounds.
Opening Times: The grounds and play area are open 10 am until 6 pm. For up to date information please click here.
Accessibility – The paths themselves are accessible. However, the loose chipping on the play areas would make it difficult to access in a wheelchair. There are adapted toilets.
Is Castle Howard Dog Friendly: Dogs are allowed on a lead but are not allowed in the playground and a few other areas.
Are there places to picnic at Castle Howard: Yes there are picnic tables next to the play area.
Category: Historic house and grounds, suitable for all ages.