Welcome to Skelf Island - the magical new playground at Castle Howard

A brand-new treetop playground on the Castle Howard estate will be open in time for the summer holidays.

Skelf Island is a treetop play area on the Castle Howard estate

Skelf Island is an adventure play area featuring treetop nests connected by rope bridges, slides and nets that has been designed to fit in with the natural landscape.

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Children will be able to search for the hidden 'Skelves' - the fictional inhabitants of the magical island.

The playground opens on Saturday

The new family attraction officially opens to the public this Saturday (July 13) ahead of the school summer holidays and will enable children to re-connect with nature.

The playground is inspired by the medieval settlement of Henderskelf, which was close to the site of the Earls of Carlisles' grandiose stately home, Castle Howard.

Illustrator Steve Pearce has been commissioned to bring the 'Skelves' to life with intricate artwork.

Children were consulted on the playground's design

Castle Howard CEO John Hoy said:-

"The area of land across from Castle Howard's Great Lake is the original medieval site of Henderskelf, the settlement that pre-dates Castle Howard. This has been the inspiration for the design team working on this brand-new adventure playground and developing the concept of the otherworldly Skelves. This fantastic addition to the family offer will be included in the gardens admission ticket and we expect it will attract a lot of visitors from both the local area and holidaymakers from further afield."

Castle Howard's grounds also have a children's trail, boat trips across the lake and a cafe.

The Skelves are the fictional inhabitants of Skelf Island