Middleham Castle near Leyburn in North Yorkshire is most famous as being the childhood home of Richard III. You know, the one they recently dug up from under a car park in Leicester, and subject of one of Shakespeare’s most famous plays. It’s not as homely now, but it makes a fascinating day out, and all for free if you are a member of English Heritage.
Middleham Castle is open daily for visitors. There is the requisite castle ruins, a small exhibition of local treasures, a shop/reception, some picnic tables, and not much else. (toilets are a short walk away in the village should you need them.)
There are some nice views over the surrounding North Yorkshire countryside, though you will need to get your walking legs on as there were no such things as lifts in medieval castles.
We spent a pleasant couple of hours here, just walking about, looking at interesting things, and having a picnic in the picnic area. It was a bit chilly and the castle is quite exposed. You can buy hot drinks from the shop/reception.
There is a children’s trail that you can do – collect your sheets from the reception as you go in. It helps you to learn more about the features of the castle.
There is also a small children’s activity area with some books on history and some colouring sheets and crayons.
There was also a very good pack of cards to play with which helped you to learn all the Kings and Queens of England over the years. I might just treat myself to one of these on my next visit to an English Heritage property.
To round it all off, there’s a statue of the king celeb Richard III himself.
Middleham Castle is a great location for learning about history, and having a little run around.
Total trip time – 2 hours
Car parking is on street outside the castle. Watch out for any restrictions.
Admission (as of October 2016) is….
- Adults £5.00
- Children (5 – 15 years) £3
- A family pass (two adults and two children) is £13.00
- English Heritage members go free.