Well worth a visit when in Exmoor National Park, the magnificent Dunster Castle is now run by the National Trust as a tourist attraction. Hundreds of years old, this medieval country home will have plenty to keep you entertained. There are ‘behind the scenes’ tours to help you get a glimpse of how the servants lived, run daily from March until November. Visit the crypt and learn about the ghosts of Dunster Castle… if you’re feeling brave enough!
Mill Lane, Dunster, Minehead, Somerset, England, TA24 6SL
Open all year. April to October 10am – 5pm. November to March 11 am – 4 pm. Click here for more information on opening times
Ticket prices: Adult £11, Child £5.50, Family £27.50
Dunster Castle was first constructed in timber in the 11th century, with the addition of a stone shell keep in the 12th century. Over the many years, the castle has been expanded, mostly by the Luttrell family, who have owned the castle since the 14th century.
Today, the heart of the modern castle today is a manor house, but a few features of the medieval castle remain. These include the Great Gatehouse and several of the towers in the Lower Ward, as well as other features such as 13th-century gates and various artworks and tapestries.
Dunster Castle Gardens
Surrounding the castle, there are approximately 15 acres of garden, with a further 680 acres of parkland beyond this. Set as four regions
The South Terrace
magnificent floral displays in the summer and various Mediterranean species. The Orangery for coffee and snacks, the Lemon House, and Swan Pond – home to goldfishes and newts, provide plenty of entertainment for the whole family.
The River Garden
A wooded area, with giant rhubarb, small bridges over the River Avil and a path down to the working watermill and tea-room
The Yew Bank
Yews dating back to the 18th century
Levelled in 1721 to form a Bowling Green. The Octagon Tower, constructed for ladies and bowling participants, now houses a historical exhibition.
Dunster Working Watermill
Dunster Castle and Garden admission now includes The Watermill. A mill was first recorded to be present at the site in the Domesday Book, although the present building dates back to 1780. Situated on the River Avil, close to Gallow Bridge, is fully restored and still used to grind flour – you can even buy some flour to take home.
Family useful information:
- Baby-changing facilities
- Front-carrying baby slings for loan
- Family and children’s guides
- Children’s quiz/trail
- Wheel-friendly route in gardens
- Buggy park
- Family events and activity days
Other posts you may be interested in;
Self-catering accommodation in Dunster
If you are looking for some nearby accommodation, there are plenty of self-catering cottages available for short stays in the village of Dunster many of which are within an easy walking distance of the castle
The Hideaway, Dunster, Sleeps 6. The Hideaway is situated right on the high street, within view of the castle. A large open plan living room, exposed beams and wood burner make a lovely holiday stay for up to 6 guests in 3 bedrooms.
Ruffles Cottage, Dunster, Sleeps 4. The cottage was built in 1844 and has all ‘mod-cons’ whilst retaining its traditional character, complete with a wood-burning stove.
Priory Cottage, Dunster, Sleeps 4. Tucked away on a small side street while in the heart of the village. Priory Cottage is just a stone’s throw from Dunster Castle, St George’s Church and the Tithe Barn. This deceptively spacious holiday property is set out over three levels.