A NEW adventure playground in County Durham that promises to “build a reputation as a key attraction in North East England” will open to the public early next month, as more images are released of the impressive park.

The Plotters’ Forest, which will open its doors to families during the Easter holidays 2022, is built to the north of Raby Castle and will include numerous cutting-edge pieces of play equipment.

From stargazing decks to towers and tunnels, high-level walkways and three-storey forts in the forest, The Plotters’ Forest offers an imaginative playground for all ages to enjoy.

Read more: Raby Castle's adventure playground is named Plotters' Forest

The new attraction has purpose-built areas for toddlers, with mini turrets and lookout decks – located next to the new refreshment kiosk and roof deck seating area.

As part of the build work, the design draws subtle inspiration from the castle’s history, including The Rising of the North in 1569, when Catholic rebels unsuccessfully plotted to overthrow Queen Elizabeth I.

Claire Jones, project director and head of leisure and tourism, said: “It seemed very fitting that the playground, which has been designed and built for real adventurers to unleash their inner playfulness and mischief, should be named after Raby’s plotters of the past.”

Here's some of the artistic impressions of the playground:

The Northern Echo:

The Northern Echo:

The Northern Echo:

The Plotters’ Forest is part of a wider development, known as The Rising, that promises to attract new visitors to the area and create outstanding recreation for the local community.

With its name also rooted in a chapter of Raby Castle’s history, the project will include the significant restoration and renovation of several historical buildings on the estate, the creation of a new café and events space, as well as a new visitor hub and landscaped areas.

The Northern Echo: Lord and Lady Barnard. Picture: RABY CASTLE.Lord and Lady Barnard. Picture: RABY CASTLE.

The wooden boardwalk through the playground is accessible by wheelchair and pushchair, creating a fun and inclusive space for all of Raby’s visitors.

Raby Estate’s owners, Lord and Lady Barnard, added: “When our own children were growing up, we enjoyed many happy times with them at adventure playgrounds close to where we lived in Shropshire.

The Northern Echo: A sneak peak of one of the pieces of play equipment. Picture: RABY CASTLE.A sneak peak of one of the pieces of play equipment. Picture: RABY CASTLE.

“Children always remember with great fondness, the playgrounds where they had fun and adventure when they were younger, and this is the vision we had for Raby.

“Whilst Raby Castle remains a cultural and educational attraction in the North East, we also want young families to enjoy fun and adventure at Raby and the Plotters’ Forest, at the heart of our new development, delivers just that.”

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