Nottingham Castle has revealed its new entry ticket prices ahead of the re-opening of its £30 million redevelopment.
The Castle reopens on June 21 after a three-year programme of work designed to turn it into one of the region’s best tourist attractions.
General admission ticket prices are now £13 for one adult, £9.50 for one child, and £35.50 for a family of two adults and up to three children.
There are also additional costs for access to the Robin Hood Adventures, and Castle Caves Underground Adventure attractions.
The general admission ticket includes access to the Castle’s first temporary exhibition ‘Hello, my name is Paul Smith’ which has more than 1,500 objects. The exhibition celebrates the Beeston-born designer’s career, from his first shop in Nottingham, to worldwide prominence.
Nottingham Castle confirmed it will be offering an annual ticket later in the year, when pandemic restrictions are eased. It has also offered a ten per cent discount for anyone living in the postcodes NG1 to NG9 and NG11.
National Trust property Belton House, in Lincolnshire, charges a similar £15 per adult, and £37.50 for a family of the same size.
In Derbyshire, Chatsworth House charges almost twice as much as Nottingham Castle, at £24 per adult, and £61 for a family ticket.
Some Nottingham residents have welcomed the prices, but others say they fear they are too expensive.
Visitors to the castle’s website criticised the prices when they were announced earlier this week.
“I’ve booked for me and my mum to go on the opening day and I can’t wait,” said Amanda Moo, from Nottingham.
“I really want to see the changes and the exhibitions and of course the Robin Hood section. I will judge if the price is worth it when I’ve been, as I would for attractions in any other city.
“But if the fee is for approximately four hours of entertainment I’m okay with that.”
Others were more critical of the pricing structure.
Elaine Oakes, 58, who has lived in Nottingham for over 20 years, said: “Due to personal circumstances I am unemployed so to go to the castle, which I’m sure looks nice now, and pay £13 to look around probably only once just seems ridiculous.
“So many people are out of work due to Covid with low or no incomes these days and are struggling financially. They are going to want to spend any money on food and bills etc, not so much money to walk around a castle.”
James Johnston-Burgess, 65, added: “There should be a grounds-only season ticket for no more than £10 a year. This pricing strategy will alienate many local residents in the city.
“Local people want to use and enjoy the grounds for recreation even in lunchtime breaks. This pricing strategy excludes the most important visitors.”
A spokesman for Nottingham Castle said its prices were “very competitive in comparison with other attractions in Nottingham and similar offerings elsewhere in the country.”
She added: “All income goes directly towards education, upkeep, preservation, and improvement of the Castle, collections and landscape for the long-term benefit of visitors.
“The Castle experience will offer visitors more than it ever has before, including Robin Hood Adventures, adventure playground Hood’s Hideout, Castle Cave tours, outdoor family trails, and lots more.”
The first Nottingham Castle was built on the site in 1068. The current building was rebuilt in 1878 after it was burned down during a riot by Chartists campaigning to give all men the right to vote.
Tickets are available from the castle website: https://www.nottinghamcastle.org.uk