April’s Letter from the Curator (2021)

Dear Friends,

April – Hoorah! Not any old April but one that brings the news that we open here at the castle on April 12th. After all this time, we can be together again – cautiously, but definitely together. There is much cheering here in our fortress, with a sense of joy and much planting and re-decorating, and everyone happy and looking forward to April 12th. As it is the school holiday, we are open every day that week and will then move to being open on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday each week until the summer holidays.

At the moment the continued restrictions mean that we can only open the grounds at present, so the price for entry has been reduced to £2.50, with children under 5 free. We are keeping the price down as low as possible, so people can afford to come!  Season tickets for 2021will be available, and I am glad to say that season tickets for 2020 can also still be used at no extra charge. We were happy to welcome a number of regular visitors last year, despite the difficult circumstances, so we look forward to seeing you again. Although we cannot open the main building until the next stage in relaxing restrictions, there is plenty to see outside, and there is full access to toilets at the ticket office and at the main building.

On Friday and Saturday nights there will be an outside bar open in the grounds from 4.00 until 10.00pm, with a new cover to shelter the patio as well as our usual picnic benches on the grass. Just in case there is a chill in the air we will bring out our outside heaters. Entry to the castle grounds after 4.00pm is free to give access to the bar.  There will be food available as well as soft drinks and tea and coffee. Yes, we have got restrictions on numbers and following rigidly all government guidelines, but we have a large area so are able to host large numbers. Dogs are very welcome. Our sunsets can be breath-taking so bring a camera (or your phone) to record the joy of being out again, having fun. 

Spring is always a time to look forward to with warmer, longer days, blossom starting and the promise of the summer ahead. We are feeling a bit like that here and look forward with much pleasure to welcoming you back here again and extend a warm welcome to all new visitors.

Best wishes to all,

Lesley Smith