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Hear, hear for new castle guide

PUBLISHED: 00:23 29 June 2002 | UPDATED: 12:12 03 March 2010

A FELIXSTOWE family was one of the first of this summer's visitors to a Suffolk monument to use its new digital audio personal guided tours.

Maria Jones and her two sons, Charles, 12, and Ben, ten, tried the new system as part of a day trip to Orford Castle.

A FELIXSTOWE family was one of the first of this summer's visitors to a Suffolk monument to use its new digital audio personal guided tours.

Maria Jones and her two sons, Charles, 12, and Ben, ten, tried the new system as part of a day trip to Orford Castle.

English Heritage has bought hand-held phones that people can carry around with them and listen to private tours of the 12th century keep. It also enables visitors to tour the building at their own pace, making this invaluable to those with more time to spare.

Mrs Jones, of Felixstowe, said: "We all really enjoyed the audio tour. Its educational benefits are vast and provide the children with more facts and figures than they would take in from a brochure – they reveled in knowing how much it cost to build the castle all those years ago!

"The audio tour brought the past back to life, with parts of the tour told by different character voices. Both boys have said they'd love to go back."

Jim O'Sullivan, custodian of Orford Castle for the past 12 years, said: "The new phones have been well received by everyone. Guided tours are still available, but many visitors prefer the personal 45-minute audio tour, giving them time to take in the castle's fascinating history."

The castle is open daily from 10am to 6pm until September 30, and to 5pm during October. Entry is £3.20 for adults, £2.40 for concessions and £1.60 for children, a family ticket is available at £8.

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