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Visit Castle Howard, a place like no other

Updated: Jul 10, 2023

Visit Castle Howard, near York, and explore the historic house, gardens and adventure playground for a great family day out. This is one of England's finest historic houses, set in a thousand acres of sweeping parkland dotted with statues, temples, lakes and fountains. Inside discover world-renowned collections gathered by succeeding generations of the Howard family. You will also find eating places, gift and food shops and a garden centre. There is a Kelly Car Land Train for transport down to the boathouse cafe along with boat trips around the lake. Built over 300 years ago, today it still remains a family home, Castle Howard, a place like no other!

The tranquil Walled Garden with its manicured borders, ornamental vegetable patch and pretty summer blooms is the perfect place to relax and discover a stunning collection. Please note the Walled Garden is open Spring - Autumn, and closed during the winter for recovery and maintenance.
Entrance to the Walled Garden

The Mausoleum rises 90 feet into the air and is supported by a colonnade of 20 pillars. Designed by Nicholas Hawksmoor, it is one the finest free-standing mausoleums in northern Europe.  Building began in 1729 but  was not completed until after the deaths of both Hawskmoor and the 3rd Earl, who was originally buried in the local parish church and re-interred in the mausoleum six years later.  Still the private burial place of the Howard family and nearly one mile from the house, the Mausoleum is not accessible during a visit. However, it is easy to see from the waterfall at Temple Basin and the curatorial team does lead special visits for the public.
The Mausoleum

The Temple of the Four Winds lies at the eastern end of Temple Terrace, commanding stunning views across the hills  It was designed by Vanbrugh but remained unfinished at the time of his death in 1726; the interiors were finally decorated in 1738 by the stuccoist Francesco Vassalli.  The temple was originally used as a place for refreshment and reading, beneath it is a cellar where servants prepared the food they served to the family above.
The Temple of the Four Winds

The South Lake, below Temple Terrace, was fashioned in the early 1720s, while a decade later New River was widened from a natural stream.
South Lake

The most recognisable piece of sculpture at Castle Howard, the Atlas Fountain sits at the centre of the South Parterre and is visible from much of the house. The fountain was commissioned by the 7th Earl in 1850 from the landscape gardener William Andrews Nesfield; the sea gods that surround Atlas were carved by the sculptor John Thomas and transported from London by railway. In 2010 it underwent major restoration work.
The famous Atlas Fountain

Free transport is available from the Courtyard Ticket Office to the House and Boathouse Café & Adventure Playground during our regular House Opening Period. The Kelly Car can accommodate wheelchairs and pushchairs and our driver will assist visitors getting on and off the vehicle. Please note, dogs are not permitted on the Land Train.
Kelly Car Land Train

The Rose Gardens originally comprised three adjoining enclosures - Lady Cecilia's Garden, the Sundial Garden and the Venus Garden. With their romantic Italianate trellises, hornbeam hedges and backdrop of brick walls, these gardens are a sheltered paradise of colour and intoxicating perfume, where visitors will enjoy a spectacle of massed roses. In total there are 2000 modern roses of all types making this one of England's most comprehensive collections.
The Walled Garden, in full bloom

Spend happy days exploring magical woodland paths, picnicking by the lake and discovering flowers and wildlife in the Walled Garden.
Castle Howard, the main house

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