Fodor's Expert Review Raby Castle
The stone battlements and turrets of moated Raby Castle, once the seat of the powerful Nevills and currently the home of the 11th Baron Barnard, stand amid a 200-acre deer park and ornamental gardens. Charles Nevill supported Mary, Queen of Scots in the 1569 uprising against Elizabeth I; when the Rising of the North failed, the estate was confiscated. Dating mostly from the 14th century (using stone plundered from Barnard Castle) and renovated in the 18th and 19th centuries, the luxuriously furnished castle has displays of art and other treasures. Rooms in wonderfully elaborate Gothic Revival, Regency, and Victorian styles are open for public viewing. In April, May, June, and September you can only visit by guided tour, except on Sunday when you're free to wander around (as you can every day in July and August). There's always a host of Christmas-related events in December, including markets.