castle howard

Castle Howard sets up downhill rolling zone

Okay, so this is a bit of a PR stunt, but we think it’s quite cute: York’s Castle Howard stately home has set up a downhill rolling zone in its gardens.

The designated zone is 126m long with a incline for downhill rolling that is supposedly “sufficiently sloped to get a decent speed up, but not too steep as to lose control”. The 11m wide incline allows for three children or an adult-and-child combo to roll down the hill at the same time.

Warning signs have been installed at the bottom of a footpath leading up to Ray Wood at Castle Howard following the designation of the incline as the UK’s first ‘downhill rolling zone’ – a space where children and adults can simply spend time rolling down a grassy bank.

The 17th-century castle, famed as the film home of the 1980s classic TV series Brideshead Revisited sits on a vast parkland plot with landscaped gardens and an arboretum, some 15 miles north of York.

By creating the rolling space, the team at Castle Howard are hoping that it will mark the start of more informal use of the 1000 acres of garden and forest. “Our grounds are a space that are perfect for exploring – and we want all of our visitors to feel free to run, laugh, play and make the most of this stunning setting,” says the estate’s Rachel Underwood.

“Castle Howard is a family home, and generations of Howard children have played inside and out. This isn’t a library where visitors have to remain studiously silent, but a place that comes alive with the sound of fun and laughter both within the house itself and in the grounds.”

Signage has been installed at the top of Ray Wood Rolling Zone to mark the start, with warning signs placed at the bottom of the slope to alert those ascending to be aware of rollers. “This is designed to be a fun and safe pursuit, not a game of Donkey Kong,” Rachel adds.

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