Visit to Grimsthorpe Castle

Grimsthorpe Castle, near Bourne in Lincolnshire, has a lot going for it as a family day out – there’s the adventure playground, a bike ride around the grounds, a picnic lunch or just taking time to smell the flowers.

Grimsthorpe Castle
Exploring the formal gardens at Grimsthorpe Castle. Image: Michelle Board
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Sometimes it really is the simple things that kids enjoy the most, like running through the trees in woodlands or splashing about in puddles. And sometimes the best days out are quite unexpected, like our day out at Grimsthorpe Castle.

I’ve been to Grimsthorpe Castle once, last autumn when it had a couple of open weekends before Christmas. Only the grounds and gardens were open, and Little Miss and I had a good time stomping through the autumn leaves. But I was keen to visit again and explore the adventure playground, having heard so many good things about it.

What’s at Grimsthorpe Castle?

playground at Grimsthorpe
The adventure playground is set among a woodland. Image: Michelle Board

Right from our arrival, Little Miss was in her element. We went to the adventure playground first, which is as good as everyone says it is. It’s set in the woodland, which gives it a relaxing feeling (well, as relaxed as a playground can be!). There’s a zip wire, climbing frames, swings, slides, towers and wobbly bridges. Little Miss and her friend had a good play on everything, but were intrigued by the woodland. In the end we left the playground and went to play hide and seek in the woods!

After exhausting everyone, we decided to head up to the castle to have a look around the gardens. Little Miss surprised me by her interest in the garden and flowers. Her new favourite word is ‘boring’, so I thought she would find the gardens boring. But on the contrary, she loved them. We were all sniffing the flowers, as some were fragrant and others not. Then we had to point out our favourite flower, which kept changing as we walked through different parts of the garden.

Grimsthorpe Castle
Taking time to sniff the flowers. Image: Michelle Board
As well as the formal gardens by the castle, there is also a large parkland area with a cycling/walking track around by the lake. You’ve always been able to bring your own bikes to Grimsthorpe, but now you can also hire bikes starting at £7.50 for two hours for an adult’s bike. We decided that next time we would bring a picnic and hire bikes for a couple of hours.
Grimsthorpe
Who’s going to win? Image: Michelle Board

We ended our visit by having a running race in front of the castle. When I asked Little Miss what she enjoyed most she said the gardens. I thought it would’ve been the playground, but as I said, sometimes it is the simple things that children enjoy the most.

All the important bits

Location

Grimsthorpe Castle is on the A151 between Colsterworth and Bourne. Use PE10 0LZ for sat nav.

Car parking

There is a large car park. You pay your entrance fee at a kiosk on the way into the car park.

Tickets and prices

Tickets for just the gardens and parkland are £5.50 (adult), £4.50 (concession) and £2 (child 5-16 years). Tickets for the castle and gardens are £10.50 (adult), £9.50 (concession) and £4 (child 5-16 years). See Grimsthorpe Castle website for opening times.

Eating and drinking

Grimsthorpe Castle is a great place for a picnic. There are picnic tables in the playground and courtyard by the visitor information centre and tearooms, or spread out a rug in the grounds somewhere. The Coach House Tearoom serves light lunches, snacks and drinks and the Stables Shop sells those all-important ice creams! The Coach House Tearoom has highchairs and a microwave for heating baby food.

Facilities

There are toilets by the Stables Shop in the courtyard with baby changing and also toilets near the castle. Just note there are no toilets by the adventure playground.

Michelle Board

About Michelle Board

Michelle is a freelance writer and blogger and loves auriculas, delphiniums and tomatoes. Former web editor of the Royal Horticultural Society website, when she's not working, she is chasing after her 4-year-old daughter, Little Miss, and blogging about their days out at littlemissadventures.net. Michelle is the web editor for Richard Jackson's Garden.
View all posts by Michelle.