GTW’s Harley Denham and Karen Newton explore what’s great for groups and families at the medieval Grimsthorpe Castle

The castle's tea room is set in a Georgian coach house

While there's been a 'castle; at Grimsthorpe for around 800 years, today it’s more of a large country pile than a traditional turreted affair, having been in the Willoughby de Eresby family for 500 years.

With an impressive history (the castle was granted by Henry VIII to William, Baron Willoughby de Eresby when he married Maria de Salinas, lady-in-waiting to Katherine of Aragon, in 1516), its oldest part, King John’s Tower, was built in the early 13th century. And if you detect a hint of Blenheim Palace about its design, that’s because the house was the final masterpiece of Blenheim’s architect Sir John Vanbrugh.
Open to families and groups from March until the end of September, you can take a guided tour of the castle and its state rooms, explore the gardens and walk or bike ride through the parkland trails, which can take you on a route of up to 10 miles as you explore thousands of acres that are home to buzzards, red kites, swans, geese, ducks and deer.


Grimsthorpe Castle welcomes groups of all sizes, and Ray Biggs, who’s Access Manager at Grimsthorpe, is on hand to deal with your group bookings, offering something slightly different from the usual guided tour. Your group will be guided round the park and grounds on your coach before entering the house and gardens. We can personally recommend the home-made cakes in the castle's wonderful cafe.

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