Springtime at Rockingham Castle

Spring finally feels as though it is in the air and it is making us excited to get outside and relish our beautiful surroundings here at the Castle. It has felt like we’ve been cooped up inside for far too long and although there is much to be said for curling up by a fire with a good book, it will be nice to get some fresh air in our lungs!

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The gardens and grounds here at the Castle are varied and beautiful. They make a stunning backdrop to a bit of well-intentioned exercise, even if you do drop into our tearoom afterwards for some cream tea sustenance… With 18 acres to explore you are bound to burn off a few calories! Begin your garden tour by entering the 17th century terraced garden with spectacular views across the Welland Valley and a 400 year old Elephant Hedge. The Rose Garden was planned by 2007 Chelsea Gold Medal Winning designer Robert Myers. The 19th century rose garden remains at the core with yew hedges utilised to emulate the keep which used to sit on this site. Small “rooms” have been created which make this the ide
al place for a sit down before tackling the Wild Garden. This was replanted with advice from Kew Gardens and features a variety of trees and shrubs. The remarkable Handkerchief Tree is situated here and looks particularly spectacular when it flowers in May. The ground is undulating and can get blood pumping if walked at some pace! Pause for a moment to take in the beautiful ornamental lake before returning to the Castle. Perhaps a climb up the Tower could top off your healthy day perfectly?

The gardens look wonderful all year round whether showing the first signs of spring with snowdrops and aconites, glowing with autumn colours or bursting with roses in June. Perhaps you could bring your yoga mat

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The Castle has even more expansive grounds however and the Great Park can be explored at our International Horse Trials from the 20th to the 22nd of May. The cross country courses can be walked around to get up close to the action. On Friday a shorter course is running taking in the wonderful parkland including a water jump, coppice and quarry. At the weekend, the course becomes even longer with a good climb up to a spectacular run of fences that really utilise the ancient undulations of the parkland. The Castle also offers a great backdrop to any photos you might take up at this farthest part of the course. After a walk around the course you could reward yourself with some top quality retail therapy. Have-a-go dog agility will also be available to get your canine friends involved as well. You may even be inspired to take up horse riding yourself?

If you’ve really been working hard on your fitness perhaps you’d like to take on our Suffering event on the 25th and 26th of June. The 5K race has 15 obstacles, a lot of mud and a whole lot of fun. The 10K has 25 obstacles, more mud, water and Reapers to make your challenge even harder. Or maybe the 10 mile race will appeal with 35 obstacles, punishing hills, water and even more Reapers! Become a Suffering Legend and complete all 3 races over 2 days! Children aged 4 to 1 have their own races to tackle at 3km or 5km.

The Castle and grounds are open now on Sundays and Bank Holiday Mondays from 12 noon til 5pm. From June to the end of September we will be open on Tuesday as well. For more information on the Horse Trials visit www.rockinghamcastlehorsetrials.com. And if you fancy a bit of suffering visit http://www.thesufferingrace.co.uk/ocr/rockingham-castle/ for more information.

Written by Eleanor Carter.


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