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Castle Howard

Set in an elevated position, against the Howardian Hills in the North Riding of Yorkshire, Castle Howard's magnificent facade is visible for miles around. It is the largest house in Yorkshire and has been the home of the Howard family, since the 17th century.

Built for the 3rd Earl of Carlisle, Castle Howard was designed by Sir John Vanbrugh, whose first project this was, his second was Blenheim Palace. Sir John chose the brilliant Nicholas Hawksmoor as his clerk of works, which proved to be a partnership of unparalleled excellence and together they created one of England's grandest homes.

You will delight in the many elegant architectural features, the balustrade, frieze and pilasters; the statues and the long arched windows, but

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best of all is the beautiful cupola, which crowns the centre of the house.

The marble entrance hall, lit by the dome is impressive; the long gallery is also note worthy, but the house has many superb rooms, filled with fine furniture, statues and beautiful china.

You will marvel at the remarkable collection of paintings by Rubens, Tintoretto, Van Dyke, Canaletto and Reynolds; the most famous is the portrait of Henry VIII. You will also be able to see a fascinating collection of drawings and paintings, the work of the 9th Earl; a gifted artist who devoted much of his time to his great interest.

World-class gardens proudly display seasonal collections of snowdrops, daffodils, rhododendrons, azaleas, roses and delphiniums. While the 1,000 acres of sublime landscape filled with temples, lakes, statues and fountains will always leave visitors full of awe; don't miss seeing Vanbrugh's Temple of the four winds, or Hawksmoor's circular Mausoleum, which is as big as one of Christopher Wren's churches.

In the grounds, enjoy outdoor tours that reveal the secrets of the architecture and gardens. The high energy Adventure Playground offers fun for all the family.

Inside, welcoming guides bring stories of the house, family and collections to life. Exhibitions in the Cabinet Room change regularly throughout the year.

A varied programme of events run throughout the year and include the annual Castle Howard Proms Spectacular, School Holiday Children's Activities and the award winning, Christmas Opening.

Castle Howard's retail outlets include an award-winning farm shop, extended plant centre and chocolate shop, as well as gift and craft shops.

Homemade meals are available in the Courtyard Café and Fitzroy Room, while the Lakeside Café, next to the adventure playground, offers a selection of family friendly drinks and snacks.

Dogs on leads are welcome at Castle Howard. Please note that there are a few restricted areas where dogs are not permitted and these are clearly signed.

Castle Howard has good facilities available for the disabled.

  • There is a regular "land-train" which transports visitors from the car park to the House

  • Some paths and entrances are ramped for easier access.

  • There is one disabled toilet in the Stable Courtyard and one at the main House.

  • A chairlift is available to take disabled visitors to the main floor of the House.

  • We ask visitors in wheelchairs to be accompanied by at least one person able to assist them in the event of an emergency.

  • We have wheelchairs available for use in the Grounds on a first come first served basis. (Please note that there is no wheelchair access to the Chapel).

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  • Directions

    Only 20 minutes from the centre of York. Castle Howard is 15 miles north of York, just off the A64. York is less than 2 hours by train from London.

    From the North:
    From the A1, take the A61 to Thirsk, then the A170 to Helmsley, turn right onto the B1257. Castle Howard is well signposted from this point.

    From the South:
    Take the A1M to Junction 45, then the A64 east to York, by-passing York. Continue east on the A64, following the brown and white signs to Castle Howard.

    Public Transport:
    Telephone Yorkshire Coastliner on 01653 692556 or Traveline on 0870 6082608 or visit www.yorkshiretravel.net

    Nearest stations Malton 6 miles, York 15 miles. (London Kings Cross to York 2 hours).

    Castle Howard Postcode for SatNav: YO60 7DA


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