RABY Estates has today announced it is closing all its leisure and tourism operations with immediate effect.

Lord Barnard said: “In response to the quickly evolving situation we have taken what we feel is the only responsible decision which is to close Raby Castle, Park and Gardens and High Force Hotel and Waterfall completely and until further notice in order to support the Government’s social distancing policy to tackle Coronavirus, Covid-19.

“Our focus now is supporting our staff and local communities in dealing with the difficult days ahead.”

The announcement came after the Estate closed Raby Castle, Café and Shop and cancelled all events until the end of April in response to the Government statements last week.

Whilst no official requirement has yet been made to close public spaces or takeaway food outlets, an Estate spokesperson said ‘it seems the natural next step for Raby in order to best help slow down the spread of this terrible pandemic’.

Claire Jones, head of leisure and tourism at Raby Estates, said: “It is hard to know what do in such unprecedented times, however we do know that we have an obligation to protect our staff and visitors and we feel that this is the best course of action in response to the current situation. We hope that people will respect and support our decision to close our operations and help us find other ways to support our local suppliers and businesses in these difficult times.”

Raby staff continue to work from home. Tenants who need to contact the Estate Office for whatever reason should do so in the normal way. Raby is contacting anyone with bookings at the Castle or High Force in the coming months and will continue