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Castle Drogo

Castle Drogo

A Day Out at Castle Drogo – Devon’s Dramatic 20th Century Castle

Perched majestically above the Teign Gorge in Devon, the imposing Castle Drogo offers a fascinating day out for visitors of all ages. Built in the early 1900s for wealthy businessman Julius Drewe, Castle Drogo blends medieval grandeur with modern Edwardian comforts, resulting in a dramatic and luxurious castle home like no other.

From exploring the stylish interior rooms to admiring panoramic views over Dartmoor, a family day out at Castle Drogo promises a memorable journey into Devon’s history. Here’s everything you need to know to plan your visit. If you enjoy National Trust properties, here are some of the best in Devon.

Getting There

Castle Drogo is located just outside of Drewsteignton village, around 9 miles north west of Exeter. It sits high above the Teign Gorge, just off the A382 between Exeter and Moretonhampstead.

By Car

Driving is the easiest and most scenic way to reach the castle. Simply follow signs for Castle Drogo from the A382. A free parking area for visitors is located near the entrance.

Public Transport

You can also get to Castle Drogo using public transport. Stagecoach bus service 173 runs regularly between Exeter and Moretonhampstead, stopping in Drewsteignton village which is just over a mile from the castle entrance. Expect a pleasant 15 minute walk to the entrance from the bus stop.

Opening Times and Prices

Castle Drogo is open daily from mid-March to early November each year, then weekends only for the winter season. Opening times are as follows:

Mar to Oct:

  • 11am – 5pm (Wed – Sun)
  • 10am – 5pm (Bank Holidays)

Nov to Mar:

  • 11am – 4pm (Sat & Sun)
  • 10am – 4pm (Bank Holidays)

Castle Drogo is closed during January and February. Check the website for exact seasonal dates.

Entry prices (2023/24) are:

  • Adults – £13.50
  • Children (5-16) – £6.75
  • Concessions – £12.15
  • Family (2 adults + 3 kids) – £34
  • Under 5s – Free

An annual membership of the National Trust allows unlimited visits and is good value if you plan to visit Castle Drogo and any other National Trust properties in Englans and Wales more than three times per year.

Castle Drogo sitting room

The Castle Interior

A visit to Castle Drogo begins by taking an audio guided tour around the majestic interior rooms. Highlights of the castle include:

  • The Great Hall – An impressive entrance space with marble columns, grand staircase and decorative plasterwork ceiling depicting Julius Drewe’s coat of arms.
  • Drawing Room – This warm, wood-panelled room has ornate ceilings and an original painting by Thomas Lawrence hanging above the fireplace.
  • Library – Housing over 2,500 antique books belonging to the Drewe family across two floors.
  • Dining Room – An elegant space with oak panelling, large bay windows and arts and crafts furnishings.
  • Bedrooms – Sleeping quarters displaying the luxurious textiles and furnishings of the era.
  • Kitchens – The extensive basement kitchens demonstrate how the castle catered for lavish house parties and shooting events.

The interior provides a window into the luxurious lifestyle of the castle’s original owners in the early 20th century.

Outdoor Spaces

The beautiful grounds of Castle Drogo can be freely explored and offer spectacular vantage points. Highlights include:

  • Formal Gardens – Designed by Harold Peto, these showcase Mediterranean-inspired terraces, lawns, and granite paths.
  • Woodland Walks – Follow wooded trails along the gorge and streams.
  • Viewing Balcony – Found beneath the exterior entrance steps, this offers panoramic vistas over Dartmoor.
  • Picnic Lawns – Pack a picnic and soak up the dramatic views.
Castle Drogo from Sky

Kids will love scrambling over the castle’s huge boulders and admiring the impressive exterior architecture too.

Facilities and Food

Castle Drogo has a licensed café serving hot lunches, sandwiches, cakes and Devon cream teas. Indoor and outdoor seating is available with scenic views.

The well-stocked gift shop offers a wide range of gifts and souvenirs from guidebooks to jewellery and children’s toys.

Facilities onsite include toilets, baby changing, pushchair access and mobility assistance. Contact the castle prior to visiting for specific needs.

Making a Day of It

Castle Drogo provides a great full day out in Devon. Allow 1-2 hours to explore the castle rooms and appreciate the architecture and design details using the audio guide.

Castle Drogo drawing room

Afterwards, stroll through the formal gardens and grounds, stopping for a relaxed picnic lunch or fresh local fare at the café. Spend the afternoon exploring the Teign Gorge trails and revisiting the viewing balcony for panoramic photos as the light changes.

Nearby Drewsteignton village also offers craft shops and two pubs providing locally sourced food and Devon drinks if you wish to extend your day out.

With its fascinating 20th century backstory, stunning countryside perch and family-friendly facilities, Castle Drogo promises an engaging and scenic day out exploring Devon’s dramatic castle in the gorge.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are dogs allowed at Castle Drogo? – No, with the exception of guide dogs

Why is Castle Drogo famous? It was the last castle to be built in England. By the way, the oldest castle in England is Windsor Castle.

Why is it called Castle Drogo? The original owner, Julius Drewe, named the castle after a Norman ancestor called Drogo de Teign

Other nearby attractions

If you are in the area near Castle Drogo, there are several places worth visiting including:

  • Okehampton Castle – Medieval ruin with interactive exhibits bringing history to life. Great for kids and set amidst picturesque Dartmoor scenery.
  • Fingle Bridge – Charming 17th century bridge crossing the River Teign in Dartmoor National Park. Surrounded by idyllic woodland.
  • Finch Foundry – Historic 19th century water-powered forge where you can watch traditional blacksmithing. Set in the Dartmoor National Park.
  • Lydford Gorge – Dramatic gorge with waterfalls and lovely nature trails along the River Lyd. Owned and managed by the National Trust.
  • Roadford Lake – Large reservoir in Lifton with walks, cycling, fishing, water sports and outdoor adventures available.
  • Tavistock Abbey – Impressive ruins of a 961 AD Benedictine abbey. Fascinating for history enthusiasts to explore.
  • Canonteign Falls – England’s highest waterfall within a lush wooded gorge. Viewing platforms provide scenic vantage points.
  • Launceston Castle – Impressive Norman ruins with fascinating history. Wonderful views from the top.
  • South Devon Railway – Heritage steam train rides through Dartmoor between Totnes and Buckfastleigh. Beautiful scenic views.

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