New generation set to experience adventure holidays at Northumberland castle

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A new generation of children are set to experience the thrill of outdoor adventure at a Northumberland castle.

Ford Castle had been a residential and adventure centre for children from across the North East for more than 60 years until the last operator withdrew in 2020.

New operator PGL has been working hard behind the scenes since agreeing a 26-year lease with Ford and Etal Estate last year.

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And the historic 13th century castle will be swinging open its gates to new arrivals from July 30 with visitors promised non-stop fun and adventure.

Adventure holidays operated by PGL are returning to Ford Castle.Adventure holidays operated by PGL are returning to Ford Castle.
Adventure holidays operated by PGL are returning to Ford Castle.

Anthony Jones, chief executive of PGL, said: “Ford Castle is the newest addition to our collection of unique locations across the UK and it is certainly a special place. Its history alone makes the castle a very exciting venue for young people on a PGL adventure.

"This combined with the wide range of activities we offer at PGL, including some new and bespoke to this location such as bridge abseiling and river rafting, will make Ford Castle a holiday to remember.

“Ford Castle will also be our first site in the North East, and we’re looking forward to introducing PGL to a whole new audience who may never have had the chance to visit one of our sites and enjoy the adventure we have to offer.”

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Contemporary adventure activities include a river raft challenge and bridge abseiling, as well as archery, rifle shooting and a zip wire.

Ford Castle.Ford Castle.
Ford Castle.

All activities are specifically designed to engage and challenge young people, with many conquering fears and achieving success they never thought possible.

PGL provides all-inclusive residential children’s breaks, from a two to seven-night period during school holidays. And during term time PGL delivers unforgettable outdoor learning experiences to school groups.

Overnight visitors will stay in either the Castle Main Building or Castle Courtyard and when the activities are finished for the day there is plenty to explore or see, including grand halls, a flag tower and an oubliette (secret dungeon).

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Residentials were operated by Northumberland County Council until 2016 when a private operator took on the lease. It withdrew in October 2020 during the Covid pandemic.

To find out more about Ford Castle or to book a stay, people can visit