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Watermouth Castle

watermouth castle

Step Back in Time at Watermouth Castle

On Devon’s coast between Ilfracombe and Combe Martin, the dramatic turreted facade of Watermouth Castle emerges from pine forests beside a shingle beach. While it was only constructed in the 1830s, rather than medieval times, its imaginative Gothic revival design transports you back centuries.

Wander through ornate castle rooms, discover secret tunnels, ride the cliff railway, explore acres of woodland gardens and enjoy cream teas in the Tearooms. With family-friendly activities from rowing boats to adventure playgrounds, Watermouth promises a full day of fantasy and fun.

watermouth castle

Getting There

Watermouth Castle is located around 3 miles south west of Ilfracombe on Devon’s North Coast. Well signed from the A399 and A3123, it has a dedicated entrance and parking just outside Berrynarbor.

By Car

Driving is the easiest way to visit. Simply follow brown tourist signs from Ilfracombe towards Combe Martin. There’s ample free parking once inside the Castle grounds.

By Bus

The 31 bus from Ilfracombe to Combe Martin stops right outside Watermouth Castle if travelling via public transport. Ask to alight at Watermouth Castle stop.

Opening Times and Prices

Watermouth Castle is open daily in March to November from 10am to 4 or 5pm depending on the season. It closes in the winter monhs.

Entry prices are:

  • Adults £8.95
  • Seniors and teens £7.95
  • Children £6.95
  • Under 4s free
  • Family tickets from £26

Some activities like the Water Adventure Park incur extra fees. Book online to save up to 30%.

watermouth castle drone

The Castle Interior

The elaborate interior of Watermouth Castle brings Victorian Medieval vision to life, with intricacies in every room to delight kids and adults.

  • Great Hall – Atmospheric centrepiece room for feasts with two huge fireplaces.
  • Dining room – An elegant room flanked by imposing stuffed stags.
  • Library – Tiers of dusty books line the walls from floor to ceiling.
  • Bedrooms – Lavish furnishings like a majestic four-poster bed.

As well as the living quarters, peek into the functional rooms like the cookhouse, dairy and pantry that kept the “castle” running.

inside watermouth

Underground Tunnels

Beneath the Castle, a warren of secret tunnels carved through the cliffs add intrigue and adventure. Wander through mysterious lit passageways to find smuggler’s hiding spots, dungeons, natural caves and former boathouses.

Kids will love scampering through the tunnels imagining they’re escaping castle siege or uncovering hidden treasure.

The Grounds and Woodlands

The wider estate provides pleasant walking through enchanting gardens and woodlands filled with mystical surprises:

  • Formal gardens with ponds, scenic paths and flowering arches.
  • Walled kitchen garden growing vegetables and fruit.
  • Picturesque valley walks amongst an avenue of trees, ferns and babbling streams.
  • Lakeside and forest trails – Spot local wildlife.
  • Geocaching courses – Follow GPS trail finding hidden boxes.

From secret stone arches to a magical fairy glade, the gardens encourage exploration and adventures.

windmill at watermouth castle

Family Activities

As well as the Castle’s period charms, Watermouth offers varied family activities:

  • Adventure Trail – High ropes, climbing walls and zip wires tucked in the woods.
  • Water Adventure Park – Zorbing, paddle boarding, row boats and kayak hire.
  • Steam train rides – Enjoy short vintage locomotive trips departing from Watermouth Station.
  • Adventure Castle – Indoor playframe with towers, walkways and twisting slides.
  • Television Room – Cosy lounge showing family movies.

With onsite entertainment catering for all ages, the adventures easily fill a whole day.

plane

Facilities and Food

The Castle Tea Rooms serve Cornish cream teas, cakes, Paninis, ice creams and hot drinks. The Courtyard Kiosk provides lighter snacks and refreshments.

The gift shop stocks everything from swords to princess dolls. Parent and baby facilities available. Most areas are accessible for wheelchairs and pushchairs.

With its charming Victorian fantasy setting and activities galore, Watermouth Castle makes stepping into a fairytale kingdom for the day easy. Just one of many reasons it’s one of North Devon’s top attractions.

mery go round watermouth

Frequently Asked Questions

Are dogs allowed at Watermouth Castle? – Yes, as long as they are kept on a lead

Is it wheelchair accessible? – Most of the castle and grounds are accessible for wheelchairs, but there are a few areas where it is too steep.

Is parking free? – Yes, parking is included in the entry price

Other Nearby Attractions to visit

This part of North Devon has some great places to explore when you are in the area, including:

  • Arlington Court – Elegant Regency mansion once home to the Chichester family, set in acres of parkland. Home to the National Trust Carriage Museum.
  • Valley of the Rocks – Dramatic natural rock formations on the coast near Lynton forming a scenic valley inhabited by wild goats. Striking cliffs.
  • Milky Way Adventure Park – Top family theme park with over 100 rides and indoor/outdoor attractions from rollercoasters to farm animals.
  • Ilfracombe – Charming seaside town with pretty harbour, promenade, beaches and scenic walking trails along the coast and to Hillsborough.
  • Combe Martin Wildlife and Dinosaur Park – Jurassic-themed family attraction with animated dinosaurs, wildlife exhibits, indoor and outdoor play areas.
  • Exmoor Owl & Hawk Centre – Unique opportunity to fly hawks and owls under instruction for an unforgettable hands-on experience.
  • Lynton and Lynmouth – Picturesque Victorian twin coastal towns connected by a cliffside railway. Beautiful beaches nearby.
  • Big Sheep – Family attraction with shows, exhibits and sheep races. Opportunity to walk with alpacas and feed lambs.
  • Dunster Working Watermill – Historic working mill powered by the River Avill where you can see the original machinery in action. Shop on site.

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