Middleham Castle Tours
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Middleham Castle dates back to the 12th century, when it was built by Lord Robert Fitzrandolph. For many years it was home to the aristocratic Neville family, but it is most famous as the childhood home of King Richard III. The castle remained in royal hands until the 17th century, when it began to fall into ruin.
Though it now lies in ruins, Middleham Castle is still an imposing presence. Most of the walls remain intact, forming a massive Norman-style keep (one of the largest in the country). Head up to the observation platform, and enjoy splendid views of the surrounding countryside, then explore the grounds, including the former stables and mill.
The castle houses exhibitions about the lives of its most notable residents. There are also displays about the famous Middleham Jewel, a 15th century pendant discovered near the castle in 1985. A replica of the jewel is on display, allowing visitors to appreciate the exquisite gold and sapphire craftsmanship.
Things to Know Before You Go
- You must pay an admission fee to enter the site. Reduced-price family tickets are available, and English Heritage members enter for free.
- There is no parking lot on site, but free on-street parking is available nearby.
- There are no café or bathroom facilities on site, though there are vending machines selling hot drinks. Visitors are welcome to bring picnics to eat at tables on the grounds.
- The ground floor of the keep is accessible for wheelchair users, but the higher levels can only be reached using stairs.
How to Get There
Middleham Castle is located in Middleham, near Wensleydale, on the eastern border of Yorkshire Dales National Park. It’s approximately 2 miles south of the town of Leyburn. If travelling by car, follow the A6108, and if travelling by bus, take the Dales and District route 159. Leyburn railway station is also on the Wensleydale Railway—a seasonal, heritage service that links local towns and villages.
When to Get There
Middleham Castle is open daily from April to September and is open Saturday–Wednesday from October to March. Last admission is 30 minutes before closing time.
Visit Aysgarth Falls
Combine a trip to Middleham Castle with a visit to Aysgarth Falls, located about a 20-minute drive west, near the village of Aysgarth. The falls, renowned for their beauty, are on the River Ure and are made up of three cascades that tumble down a series of limestone steps. You can admire the falls from viewing decks, then walk along one of the area’s many woodland trails.
Address: Castle Hill, Middleham, North Yorkshire, England
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