It's always interesting to look around ancient castles steeped in history as we can imagine what life was like back then and appreciate how these buildings have been preserved over the centuries. Imagine how your child will react when he or she discovers they can actually stay at the castle! So what can we expect to find at Ford Castle today? Let's take a look.
Who Runs the Castle?
Ford Castle has a lot to offer and is run by NCC and Chateau Beaumont, previously the castle was run by Northumberland County Council. The castle is now an outdoor residential centre for school children and is known as Ford Castle Adventure Limited. All the staff are trained in child safety, CRB checked and hold NGB certificates where applicable.
Many staff are first aid trained too, while all equipment used on the site is tested regularly and always checked over before use. Equipment such as harnesses, buoyancy aids and helmets are supplied as are waterproofs, boots and backpacks. Many visitors prefer to bring their own boots and clothing as they feel more comfortable doing so. Groups and school parties are catered for with regular courses run throughout the year.
Education Can Be Fun!
There is no better way to learn than to have fun while doing so, while educational courses run at Ford Castle cover National Curriculum requirements in a range of subjects. The location of Ford Castle is ideal educationally as it is close to Roman remains, the Cheviot Hills, Holy Island, the Northumberland coast and the amazing River Till.
Studying History, Biology, Science and Geography are all facilitated here. Combining a holiday with learning is a great way to get kids to enthuse about study. In fact children will be so involved in all the activities that they will study and learn without realising they are doing so. Further information about Key Stage 2 and 3 learning activities may be found at the Ford Castle website.
Kids Will Love It!
Children can now not only visit Ford Castle but also stay the night to experience what it is like to live in a real medieval castle. As if that isn’t enough they will also take part in various educational activities, trips out and take in what this beautiful area of England has to offer, while all the time having a really fun time! There's plenty to keep kids occupied as the castle offers a wide range of activities meaning there is bound to be something of interest for most.
Activities include archery, fencing, an indoor assault course, juggling, plate spinning and even jousting of sorts although parents needn't worry the joust is an exciting game based around the sport but without the danger. Those who feel even more adventurous can take part in climbing on nearby cliffs, take to the zip wire, canoeing on the River Till along with a range of building type activities such as crate stacking. All the activities are supervised by qualified instructors when necessary, while taking part certainly builds a child's confidence.
Ford Castle activities also include many team building pursuits where children will work together as a team in order to achieve their objective. This is a great way to get kids to learn that working as a team is something they will most likely have to do throughout their lives. There are a number of challenges including
This is a superb challenge where kids will wear black out goggles so will rely on their team mates along with all their senses, except sight, to finish the challenge.
Use Your Initiative
Kids will work together to problem solve physical challenges.
On the Beach
We like this challenge as it involves going to the beach where kids will build a sand castle in the style of Ford Castle. Children will rely on memory and each other to build as accurate a replica as possible.
Walk the Eco Trails
Once again getting out and about kids will look at all the beautiful plants and animals that inhabit the region in the company of trained guides.
Children may join an excursion when staying at Ford Castle with a huge variety of destinations offered
- A trip to the Roman wall
- Victorian Cragside House
- Christians on Lindisfarne
- Visit Ford Village
- Flodden battle field walk
- Alnwick Castle
Winding Down in the Evening
Visitors are offered plenty of activities in the evening for those who still have energy left. The Medieval Banquet is very popular and is where everyone dresses up in medieval costume to enjoy playing games such as apple dipping. Another evening event is where the staff holds a talent show and disco or maybe you would like to join in the Castle Olympics. Games such as tug of war, sack races and three legged races all feature.
The Grail Hunt that takes place on the first evenings stay is especially good fun. A whole host of clues puzzles and artefacts are hidden around the castle and it's up to the guests to find them. This game is ingenious as it’s a great way for visitors to become familiar with the castle layout while they have a lot of fun in the process.
Guests who stay at the 14th century castle can be assured that their rooms are comfortable with all the modern amenities required. Student rooms house up to twelve people and have bathrooms close by. Teachers who are staying will have a room to themselves, bathrooms and tea and coffee tray.
All food is included throughout the visit, is home cooked on site and is eaten in one of the castle dining rooms. Packed lunches are offered for those going on an excursion, while any special requirements such as vegetarian options are also catered for.
It is advised to call the centre in order to ascertain if the dates you require for your visit are available. A non-refundable deposit is required followed eight weeks later by a second deposit. The remainder of the cost is payable six weeks prior to your visit.
- Ford Castle
- Tele 0844 800 4278