We’re enjoying our second year of English Heritage membership. Membership for two adults, with L free, is £31 in Tesco Clubcard Vouchers. So it is next to no money. L loves castles, English Heritage have a lot. It’s free days out for a year.
I’m trying to write about all the properties we visit using our membership. What I liked, didn’t like, share some pictures. We more than made our money back on the membership last year and this, so I am very happy it is good value for money.
We visited Old Wardour Castle on our way home from our Trevornick Eurotent in Cornwall before an overnight stop in Southampton. We had visited Launceston Castle earlier in our journey and were making better time than expected so I hopped onto the English Heritage app to see if there was anything nearby and that’s when Old Wardour popped up. Trust me, without a postcode you would never find this place, but it is so worth it.
There are plenty of lovely little picnic spots and a lovely little gift shop that sold drinks and a few snacks, as you are a long way from anywhere that would sell food it would be worth bringing a picnic with you to this one I think.
The toilets on site are clean and well maintained, it’s worth noting they are down a relatively steep flight of steps, but there was a lift if I recall correctly.
There is a substantial free car park.
The gardens aren’t huge but there is a nice path round the edge that leads you to the Pavillion which has some very interesting information about the site and you can also visit the Grotto which is a fabulous spot for kids to explore.
The views from the garden are lovely, overlooking a large lake and the very pretty surrounding countryside.
For us the biggest draw was the openness, plenty of lawned areas for L to just run wild and have some fun. He’d been in a car for hours and was about to be cooped up in a hotel room for the evening before doing it all again the next day.
Near the Grotto there was a small wooded area to explore which generally added to the sense of fun and mystery surrounding Old Wardour.
There were a few families enjoying picnics on the lawns and children exploring and playing. It also looked like there were plenty of public footpaths you could take to explore the area further if you had more time, or were more organised than we were.
The Castle is brilliant. Lots of areas to explore and plenty to see.
It is ruined, and there are lots of narrow, winding and steep stairways. Nothing L couldn’t manage, but I would think twice about toddlers and it’s definitely not wheelchair or pushchair friendly.
I cannot rate this castle highly enough. There were plenty of information boards, everything that could be opened up safely was opened. The views as you got higher were stunning and the whole place really captured our imagination.
It is one of those castles you just want to keep exploring, popping in and out of different rooms, climbing higher and higher. Hiding from your party and jumping out on them whenever you can. It really is brilliant.
Opening Times & Prices
Open 10am to 4pm Monday to Sunday
|WITHOUT GIFT AID||WITH GIFT AID|
|Child (5-17 yrs)||£3.20||£3.60|
For full details of times and prices please visit the English Heritage website, these are only a snapshot.
Old Wardour Castle was a brilliant stop, a little tricky to find and well off the beaten path, so glad we had our Sat Nav, but completely worth it. We spent just over an hour exploring and playing and taking it all in.
This is one of the prettiest sites we have visited, a really romantic ruin. I can see why the family wanted to keep the Castle just to enjoy as part of their gardens when the built the new Castle.
The views form the top of the castle are amazing and the information boards were very interesting. I’m really pleased we stopped to visit.I was most impressed with the children’s activity sheet, it wasn’t too long and incorporated a lot of fun things as well as some history. It really got L thinking.
It’s great value for money and we all just really loved it, so much.