Dear Ford Castle (June 2016)

St Mary's School Thank Yous

 

We couldn’t possibly choose a favourite! So here’s a short snippet from each of the lovely and colourful letters we recently received from our good friends at St Mary’s School!

“Thank you so much for encouraging me to do the Zip Wire, I didn’t think I could do it!” – Ruby

“Thank you for making us laugh!” – Matt

“If I could have stayed longer I would since it was so amazing!” – Iona

“I never thought I would do fencing or archery and after doing them I want to do it again and again” – Ollie

“I didn’t think I would be able to stay over Two nights because I have only ever stayed over One night…  If I had the choice to go to Ford Castle again, I would definitely try and stay longer!” – Freya

“The Zip Wire was amazing, going down upside down was a thrill of a lifetime!” – Jamie

“I was very happy when I climbed up the high pole because I had fractured my arm beforehand. I would like to thank Dave for helping me finish it!” – Maria

“I really want to thank the kitchen staff for the amazing food!” – Hamish

“Thank you to all the staff for the disco, which was so much fun” – Phoebe

“If I got to do another activity it would obviously be the Assault Course, because we got so muddy!” – Orla

“Thank you to all the staff for being very kind and helpful to all of us.”  – Jessica

“The food was delicious, especially the cheesy pasta!” – Alex

“Thank you very much for making me feel welcome and safe, I really enjoyed myself!” –  Isla

“I never thought that I would be on a platform on a pole and doing piggy-backs on it” – Lucy

“I especially enjoyed the Leap of Faith, so I would like to thank Dave for encouraging me to climb to the top” – Tegan

“I am also going to be starting fencing at home, when I can get my hands on some equipment!” – Dicken

“I especially want to thank Dave for helping me finish the Leap of Faith. I think I overcame my fear of heights” – Antony

“It was sad to say goodbye at the end” – William

“Now I can’t wait till I do high ropes again!” – Tommy

“My favourite activity was the disco, Luke as a really good dancer” – Will

“Thank you very much for making my stay enjoyable and exciting, thank you for the yummy meals and lovely rooms” – Rowan

“Thank you for showing us around the castle and telling us the history of the castle, it was really fun” – Beth

“I have never done fencing before, the history of Ford Castle is cool!” – Fergus

“I would like to say thanks to Ollie, he was really nice when he took us on the castle tour – I enjoyed learning about the castle” – Otto

You guys sound like you had an amazing time! And we’re so happy you shared your stories with us,

See you next year on your return visit! 🙂

My first week at Ford Castle

MY FIRST WEEK AT FORD CASTLE

By Jack Franks

 

During the last week in February I experienced what it was like to be working in and around a medieval castle, something that I would not have imagined myself doing a few months ago. If someone had proposed that idea to me before I started my apprenticeship at Ford in January, I would have been very surprised. Yet from the 24th-28th February 2014 I had a taste of what goes on at Ford Castle, a picturesque and historical building which provides visiting flocks of children a whole lot of fun as well as education all in the space of a few days. I was intrigued to see what the castle was all about, as well as to brush up on my historical facts.  I managed to jot down some notes about my experiences throughout the week, in the hope I would come back with a better knowledge and understanding of the castle. It turned out to be the most fun week I’ve had in a long long time!

photo 4

 

After a short journey on Monday morning, we arrived in Ford Village. I don’t know how I imagined Ford to be, but I was surprised at how huge and rural it is, with miles of stretching countryside in every direction. When the castle came into view I was very impressed with the sheer scale of the building as I had previously only seen the castle on photos. We unloaded all the bags into reception and I met the castle staff who made me feel welcome from the first minute to the last. The first job was to unload all the shopping that had been delivered for the upcoming week; I’ve never seen so much food in my life! Once the goods were stocked up I was shown where I would be sleeping for the week. I had a small room in the cottage which is a separate building located to the east of the castle. After getting my uniform and a quick tour of the maze-like castle it was time to meet the first arriving schools from Byker and Kirby Moor. That afternoon, I got to try my first scheduled activity: fencing. I would be shadowing the staff throughout the week on various activities, helping out and picking up some knowledge along the way. After a beginner’s fencing education I helped on a low ropes session with some of the younger children from Byker. It’s great to see the groups working together and having fun. Later that day the staff told me some ghost stories about the Castle’s past; flickering lights, creepy laughter and doors opening themselves. Thankfully I think they were messing with me – not a Grey Lady in sight! I also took the opportunity to go down into the castle’s dungeon. Simply put, I didn’t go back in a hurry.. Later, for my first evening’s entertainment, I led the Grail Hunt, which was a puzzle style game which had riddles and questions about the castle. It reminded me of a 90’s adventure quiz show, Crystal Maze springs to mind…

photo 2

 

The second day we were up and at ‘em early for breakfast, with first session at 10.40am. It was a busy day ahead however, with Initiative and Nightline all morning. These two games are all about communication and working as a team, and I thought the children rose to the task brilliantly. After watching several kids tackle the assault course I helped Group Leader Rosy put some of the final touches to the eagerly awaited Knights Quest. I made a crown for one of the skeletons; it was truly a work of art. The day ended with a disco which took me back to my very own primary school days. Classics such as the ‘Cha Cha Slide’, ‘The Macarena’ and ‘Saturday Night’ were all blasted out and it definitely took me back. I can’t say that I sioned myself doing the ‘Cha Cha Slide’ in front of 20 plus children, but I can safely say I’ve still got the moves…

 

 

Wednesday arrived and it was definitely the most hectic day of the week, as we said our goodbyes to two schools and welcomed three. The whole castle was turned upside down as we prepped each room until it was gleaming. I was housekeeper all morning, which admittedly is not my strongest point, however if I can take anything from my week it’s that I can now make a bed to a very high standard. Once the children had all settled into their rooms and were ready for their Ford Castle experience to begin, I led an Initiative session and a double session of Nightline, leading a blindfolded group across an obstacle course that requires them to work together.

 

Upon waking for my final day, I was on pot wash duty (earning my keep!), followed by a clever and well-constructed CSI session in which the groups have to solve a murder mystery and guess who did it. As it was my first time experiencing the activity, I was basically one of the children as I was trying to solve who committed the murder, which I was surprised to hear was a real life crime. I had a stab in the dark (excuse the pun) and went for a suspect who was the least likely on paper. Don’t ask me why I thought this, but unsurprisingly I was incorrect. It reminded me a bit of life-size Cluedo. Next was Knights Quest, and it was something I was looking photo 1forward to seeing as I had a little hand in the preparation of the session’s various props. I was impressed at the idea and the puzzle elements within the activity, and the children got right into it trying to solve riddles and find the treasure which was the goal of the quest. After a huge lunch, afternoon arrived and began with Team games which allowed me to choose my own activities throughout the session. My group for the hour was from Lanchester School and the children were excellent, fun and well behaved. I opted for a game of Splat to begin with; a game which I learnt throughout the week is a favourite with all young children. I then went with what I know best and that is football, and thankfully the group all were in the mood for a kick about and I was impressed with some of the skills on show. Kwik cricket was my final choice for the session and a big hit with the group. Next, I led Nightline myself for the first time. I had watched 3 sessions of Nightline throughout the week so I was quite familiar with how the session should be handled. This time I had a great group from St Michael’s C of E School. With this session I opened up with a few starter games which showed them how important communication is, communication being the key word for the session. My confidence was growing and I took the children round the rest of the activity, guiding them to the obstacle course that they had to navigate through whilst seeing only complete darkness. They worked so well in a team that we had ten minutes at the end to play everyone’s favourite game; Splat. I felt proud of myself and felt like this was the final thing I needed to try to get a full Ford Castle experience for the week. My final night was capped off with a disco for the Lanchester students. A dance off between the boys and the girls began and the boys tried to get me to participate for them, but that was a step too far for me. I had a few children come up to me and say “You can’t dance”. All I could do was agree with them…

 

The Friday started with another Team games session on my own and I used the same format as the previous day, however I decided to throw in a fun relay race as well. I had created the most random relay of all time, with hoop throwing, pole spinning, hopping and cone juggling just some of the features included. The children thoroughly enjoyed themselves though and wanted to race again, but sadly time was against us. Next up for me was something that I had been looking forward to which was the castle tour, as this would give me the chance to learn some of the history of the castle as well as get some photos. Part of the tour took us to the James’ study which holds some memorabilia and historical artifacts. There were swords, muskets, helmets, armour and paintings which all dated back to the 1500’s; around the time the Battle of Flodden took place. The children were shown the dungeon and had the choice whether they wanted to be locked in with the lights turned off for a short period of time. I had already seen the dungeon so I chickened out of it; however a brave bunch stayed and were surprisingly calm about the whole situation! We had a small tour of the grounds and I realized

photo 1

just how close we were to where battles would have taken place, after being told arrows were found under a mile away. The tour showed to me how the castle is steeped in history and made me realise what a beautiful building it truly was. Once the tour had finished I had one last spot of housekeeping to attend to, as there were teachers from France coming to stay over the weekend as part of a teacher preview. It was. This brought the curtain down on my week at Ford Castle, and what a week it was!

 

My experience at Ford Castle has been a very important one and one I will take a lot from. For one it has allowed me to get a feel for the castle and see how it works on a day to basis, as well as meet some of the people who work there and get to know the team dynamic. I have to say that I respect the team who work there all season, as they are professional, helpful and dedicated people. As my role is in marketing, seeing the castle with my own eyes will allow me to market the company better, as well as add the photos I took to the collection we already have. I will take a lot from my week at Ford Castle; instructing sessions, learning about the castle and of course most importantly, learning the dance moves to ‘Saturday Night’…

Looking back and looking forward

Looking back and looking forward. The Ford Castle Adventure for 2014 starts now!

 

By Jack Franks

 

St Michaels Scary Sisters2013 was a fantastic year for Ford Castle, a year where people laughed, conquered fears, tried new things and overall had a memorable experience. Over the course of last year we had a lot of visitors, with schools and EFL children joining us at our Northumberland base. During their stay with us they experienced the thrill of what Ford Castle offers; the numerous activities that challenged their skill, minds and nerve. Of course there was a lot of fun chucked in the mix as well, with smiles a plenty beaming on every face.

Amble + Castle

In April we had a visit from Amble First School, and they proved to be an infectious and excitable group. Later into April, a Spanish school, St Michaels, visited us all the way from Madrid. They had an extended stay at the castle and tried everything we have to offer. During their 11 day stay with us they packed in a whole range of activities and excursions around the North East, and visited a local school, Longridge Towers, as well as Bamburgh and Holy Island. Although the weather might not have been quite what they’re used to, the St Michaels had loads of fun in the great British outdoors. The majority of the nights saw a disco and team games, and they definitely seemed to be in the party spirit throughout their stay.

 

Another highlight of last year was a visit from historian Dan Snow. In May, he visited us as part of a report for the BBC hit show ‘The One Show,’ to mark the 500th anniversary of the Battle of Flodden. Whilst he was with us he toured the nearby Battlefield, talked about the

weapons and tactics used by both armies, and visited the spot where King James IV was killed by the enemy. To have such a high profile visit was exciting, and our caretaker and resident History buff Paul told Dan a few little known facts about the castle on camera.

Throughout July and August, our English Language camp was in full swing. We had visitors from France, Spain, Switzerland, Italy and Holland! Over the duration of their stay the students, aged between 8 and 18, participated in a host of activities alongside their language studies, and soaked up the tradition and culture that comes with the castle and its surroundings. Broomstick training, soap making, dressing up in traditional outfits, canoeing, zip wiring, the list goes on. They also enjoyed trips out to Edinburgh Castle, sampling the sights of one of the UK’s most beautiful cities, and even had time to stop off for ice cream.

 

On the weekend of the 3rd and 4th of August EFL Students and actors participated and reinacted the ‘Battle of Flodden’ as part of the Flodden discovery weekend. Over the course of the weekend the students assisted in the running of the event, handing out leaflets andBattle! Théo and Nathan info, as well running the admissions tent, and of course taking part in some of the battle re-enactment, which was one of the bloodiest battles in history!

 

We’ve had small parties, huge groups, international students and celebrities visit us this year, and we’ve had so much fun looking back that we can’t wait for the 2014 season to begin.

This year we look to continue in the same vein, and even improve upon the excitement of the year just gone.

We’re excited for former visitors to make a return, and to show new visitors just how exciting our unique centre is!

We hope everyone checks out our social pages too – we have daily updates, info and photographs added to our Facebook and Twitter pages every day, some fun challenges, riddles and competitions too, so give us a follow!

Have you seen our YouTube channel yet? Once the season gets going next month, expect to see regular updates.

The first video looking back at 2013 is online now, so if you have 3 minutes and 47 seconds spare check it out…http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMXDST0jyho.

May this year hold many moments which will live in the memory for years to come. Here’s to 2014!

Ford Castle Captions – Fancy a go?

Do you fancy yourself as a witty writer or enjoy the odd caption conundrum? If so, you’re in luck – we would love to see what you can come up with for the image below.

English Tourism Week

Northumberland – A great attraction in itself

By Crystal Booth

Berwick upon Tweed Walls Walk Beamish Museum Alnwick Treehouse Alnwick Harry Potter Bamburgh Castle
To celebrate English Tourism week (March 16th – 24th) we wanted to share with you our brilliant excursions from Ford Castle.

For three years running Beamish Museum has been the North East’s top visitor attraction and if you’re visiting us from the south, the good news is that we recommend you come and experience a bit of time travel and step into Victorian England, on your way up to Ford. Positively dripping with tourism awards, including Best UK Attraction for Group Visits over six times, why not find out why? It can also double up as a lovely rest from your travels.

Another brilliant excursion close by is Bamburgh Castle, originating as far back as 1200BC and famously home to the Kings of Northumbria. Discover the secrets that have lain hidden for centuries such as the Bamburgh Beast and the unique Bamburgh Sword, unearthed as recently as 1960; someone clearly knew how to hide things well. With its historic castle, quaint village and breath-taking coastline, no wonder Bamburgh won Gold in the North East England Tourism Awards 2010, just don’t expect any zip wires at this castle – you can do that when you get back.

If historic museums aren’t what you’re looking for, how about a magical maze of gardens or perhaps taking a step inside a piece of film history? Not only have Alnwick Castle and Gardens been used for the first two Harry Potter films but Elizabeth and Robin Hood Prince of Thieves, to name a few, have taken advantage of this incredible site.

There are, of course, a huge variety of Potter-themed activities throughout the year: broomstick training, potter characters on parade and a battle-axe to broomstick tour, which we’re sure the students will love. This is one excursion not to miss!

It’s easy to see why Northumberland attracts an average of 7.2m visitors a year. With fabulous film locations, great gardens and medieval museums; it’s our privilege to show you around the Region whilst visiting Ford Castle.

My first day at Ford Castle – what an adventure

by Rosy Graham 

I joined Ford Castle Adventure Ltd as an apprentice Admin Assistant, based at Head Office in Stanhope.  So I was very surprised to find myself travelling to the Castle itself to take part in some ropes training and a First Aid course, on my first day.

 After one of the most traumatic journeys I have ever experienced, taking four hours to complete a trip that 

should only have taken an hour and a half, with a full, and by the end, rather sweaty car, we arrived at Ford Castle in Northumberland.
The first thing that hits you is how incredibly castle-like Ford Castle is.  It really is like something from a fairytale.  I had never seen a castle that appears to be straight out of the middle ages
and yet is still very much lived in. I was even more impressed as we toured the Castle and I was shown snippets of history like the secret staircase, the hidden library and a ring given to King James IV by the Queen of France.
On to the training though and before long we were making  
our way to the armoury, where all of the kit is stored.  Fully laden with ropes, karabiners, harnesses, helmets and all of the other paraphernalia needed, we headed out to the Zip Wire.  It soon became apparent that some of us were somewhat, how should I say this . . . vertically challenged and had a problem reaching the wire to attach the trolley.
  Some were lifted by the instructor, but with a premonition of being dropped, I decided to try a leap-and-grab tactic to pull the wire closer to me.  After setting up successfully, we sent
each other down the Zip Wire in turn.  Now, whilst I maintain that I am unafraid of heights, there is something quite unnatural about being launched from one side of a gorge, voluntarily, suspended from a length of wire; a dizzying drop beneath you, by a not entirely confident fellow trainee.
I imagine that most people on their first day of a new job would try to impress their seniors with whatever knowledge or skill they possessed.  I fear that my squeaking like a mouse being trodden on whilst zipping across the gorge on that wire possibly did not convey the impression I was hoping for.
After Zip Wire training we moved on to the high ropes course.  I had been looking forward to this, knowing that I at least have some experience with ropes.
However, nothing could have prepared me for the sight of colleagues attempting an elegant ascent of Jacob’s ladder as I belayed, or going for a wobble across the Postman’s Walk.
Unfortunately however, I drew the short straw once again, as I was volunteered by our instructor to do . . . (drum roll please) the LEAP OF FAITH.   Never mind, I would impress all onlookers with my confidence.  How hard could it be . . . ?
Very, very hard indeed actually, as the wind makes the 10m pole sway and the platform (platform?  Well
that’s a complete misnomer for a start: small tea tray may be closer) is so narrow that to climb atop without giving the appearance of a whale beaching itself, is something not in my gift.  I’m sure I recall some threats of failing the course if I didn’t manage to stand up, though this has been thoroughly denied by all concerned since, so I somehow managed to not only stand, but also leap toward the trapeze and even, joy of all joys, catch the bar swinging before me.  My joy was short-lived however, when I realised that whatever goes up, must come down and, more relevantly, I had to let go of the bar.
All joking aside, I learnt a huge amount in one of the most awe-inspiring places I have ever been to, with a staff team that not only made me feel welcome and helped me, but immediately made me feel like an equally important part of the team.  There was never a dull moment . . . I suspect dull moments will be few and far between in this job.

 

First Aid Training at Ford Castle

Intrepid, that’s what we were.  On a mission to acquire and improve our first aid knowledge, both theoretical and practical, if only we could get through the large quantities of snow falling like so much shredded crepe bandage on the hills and in the valley, but mostly, it seemed, on us.  With hindsight we were possibly a little foolhardy, but we made it and all in one piece . . . well two pieces: two cars with a total of nine (seriously seatbelted) people travelling from Stanhope in Weardale to the Castle in Northumberland.
As it’s the start of a new year, we are undertaking a series of training courses, as a refresher for some and to impart new skills to others.  The first of these was indeed a First Aid course and I’m very pleased to say that I was part of this expedition and subsequent training.  Aside from anything else, the Castle is just wonderful and an opportunity to stay there, always a treat.
The last time I did a First Aid course was . . . erm . . . well let’s just say that on completion I gained my Guider’s First Aid badge.  Things have moved on.  I really should have retaken this course before now and would thoroughly recommend anyone considering doing the same to go for it.  I’m not suggesting that if you let me loose with a scalpel I’d confidently whip out a troublesome appendix, but I could check whether an unconscious casualty was breathing and perform CPR if not.
We are a mixed bunch, from the seriously outdoors type (Gordon) to the smart-lipped belles (all the Beths, even the one who’s Rosy); the demure multi-lingual graduates (Anita, Dan and Alex) to the castle expert with a penchant for activities (Paul); not forgetting the horse-mad organiser, who manages and oversees all (Claire).  We gather together to learn from Des, who seems to have been everywhere and done everything, but (fortunately for us) now fits us in for training.
Whilst I always knew First Aid to be a valuable and extremely important asset, particularly whilst working at an activity centre, I would never have anticipated that we’d be asked to do the impossible.  Attempting to bring a dummy to life through CPR is frankly a thankless task at which I failed miserably.  Applying the defibrillator proved to be just as fruitless.  Here we can see that even Des is having little success in resuscitating ‘Little Anne’, who, it has to be said looks more like a ‘Little Andrew’.
The course was certainly worthwhile and I think we all learnt something; even those for whom this was just a refresher.And next?  Ah yes, the Zip Wire.  Bring it on!

 

 

The Duchess Community High School Choir

By Bethany Reeve

On a chilly weekend in November, the Duchess Community High School Choir from Alnwick visited Ford Castle.  Think Fame/High School Musical/Glee* go Medieval.  All musically talented and all eager to have a go at our activities, as well as rehearse of course.

Along with the students came a great variety of bags, cases, stands and equipment to be unloaded before the group could explore the interior of the Castle and find their chambers.  A little later, emerging from their rooms, students and teachers found their way to the dining room where a traditional roast chicken dinner awaited them.

Whilst clearing away after dinner, we were stopped in our tracks by what we took to be a CD playing on the sound system. The Castle was filled from dungeon to tower with the most wonderful choral music coming not from a CD but from the choir. Forget all of the above-mentioned shows; these students can really sing, with not a microphone in sight.

Saturday morning started with a full English breakfast – continental for those who preferred it – which set everyone up for the busy day ahead. Rehearsals were interspersed with some rather daring activities including the thrilling Zip Wire, toppling Crate Stack, bumping Nightline and testing Initiative Exercises.  The students were up to every challenge and seemed to have a brilliant time, though looking a tad muddier after Nightline. Unable to resist, the Duchess staff joined in too.

An evening meal of pasta, served with freshly baked baguette was positively devoured by hungry choristers after a very active day.  Still to come though was the Talent Show that formed the evening’s entertainment.  Of course, being such a talented group, they put on quite a show.  Many students sang, as soloists or in groups; some played instruments, or danced.  The announcement of a Fire Dance raised our Health & Safety Officer’s eye but fears were allayed and extinguishers lowered as scarves replaced real fire. Though almost impossible to choose the best act, a boy/girl duo was announced winners. The teaching staff then treated us to an excellent performance until hot chocolate and bed time.

Sunday morning commenced with another hearty breakfast. Everyone swapped activities to try something different; willing to try everything, The Duchess School certainly does not lack enthusiasm and made running a session as much fun as (we hope) participating.

After lunch our guests gathered their bags, boarded the coach and with much waving and many a ‘Goodbye, see you soon’ were on their way and I’ll just bet that the Wheels on that coach went ‘round as melodiously as any heard in the area for some time.

Thank you Duchess School Choir, for being so polite and enthusiastic; you were a pleasure to accommodate and we very much look forward to seeing you again soon.

*Delete as applicable dependent on age

Postscript:  Unfortunately, due to a technical hitch (someone forgot their camera) we are unable to illustrate just how keen the choir was, both in participating in activities and rehearsing for their forthcoming competition. Heads will roll, mark my words.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

 

 

 

As our first year at Ford Castle draws to a close we’d like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

We’ve had some great times with schools that have visited us already and are looking forward to welcoming many back again next year along with some new visitors.

The new activities have gone down a storm.

Zippin’ through the trees

From the Zip Wire through the trees and across the gorge  . . .

 

Reach for the stars

. . . to Jacob’s ladder, a great challenge requiring teamwork to get off the ground at all

Crate Stacking has a lot to live up to. These competitors are doing so very well, but what has gone up, must inevitably come back down.

Crate Stacking: up . . . and up . . .

. . . until crash and it’s time to dangle

Walk this way

Sometimes it takes great Initiative to get from A to B without setting off a mine and these girls are demonstrating the perfect technique.

Meanwhile, on Postman’s Walk, some rather different skills are required in order to get from one side to the other without falling

So you can talk the talk, but can you walk the postman’s walk?

When shall we three meet again …

Eye of newt and toe of frog

Well, so far as I am aware, no one has actually turned their teacher into a frog . . . yet, although there have been some rather ‘interesting’ concoctions dreamt up by groups trying their hand at Potions Class. 

This minibeast is a bit of a red herring.  Not actually a fish you understand, rather a minibeast caught (temporarily) and examined as part of a river studies course.

Stumbling around a wooded area blindfolded would be bad enough, but some fool’s put an obstacle course in the way as well. Nightline’s great for team-building and getting young people to work together, or suffer the consequences! It’s a given though, that everyone will get muddy, but isn’t that just part of the fun?Fencing, on the other hand, that noble art from days of yore, takes some degree of skill and is quite fitting for the environs of a castle such as Ford.  It’s also quite exhausting and certainly warms you up if you’re feeling a bit chilly.

Get on the Nightline train

Foiled again

We’re not resting on our laurels though; there’s more fun planned for 2013 and we’ll be releasing details on new activities in the New Year.So thank you all for your support and we look forward to seeing you in 2013

 

Ford Castle Re-opens

Ford Castle welcomes schools back to enjoy

. . . everything from Knights’ Quest to

Zip Wire; Potions to Fencing

 

“Exciting, challenging and fun!”

On a sunny(ish) morning in June the first schools, since Ford Castle re-opened, cheered their way through the portcullis and invaded – in a wonderful and thoroughly good way – the castle rooms beyond the Long Gallery.
A lot of hard work has gone into the preparation of the Castle and additional on-site activities, so to finally see children enjoying this fabulous site is truly a joy.
River Studies and Potions Class for Westfield were a great success, although the girls did try their best to turn Mrs Branson green with a very strange concoction.  
Meanwhile, Whittonstall and Broomley First School enjoyed the Zip Wire – some were even brave enough to look down whilst whizzing across the gorge (not me, that’s for sure!) – and a boat trip around the Farne Islands, where some of the wildlife, in the form of the Arctic Terns, got a little too close for comfort.
The Castle Tour has proved very popular, with Meadowdale School singing their hearts out in order to be allowed out of the dungeon whilst the treasures in the James Study, including swords, armour and paintings, all have tales from long past.  
The High Ropes course has now been completed and staff will be trained by the end of this month after which there will be some great (ie from a very great height) challenges including the Hanging Vines, High All Aboard, Leap of Faith, Jacob’s Ladder, Incline Balance Beam, Peg Pole and Crate Stacking.

Walk this way

“Dedicated staff, beautiful, historic setting – an unforgettable experience for all!”(Whittonstall & Broomley First – June 2012)