Travel back in time to the age of knights and princesses with a visit to one of South Devon’s many castles. From classical motte and bailey keeps to abandoned and haunted fortified homes, there is a lot of history to explore on Britain’s South Coast.
Dartmouth Castle has been protecting the mouth of the River Dart for over 600 years. Originally built in 1388, the castle held what is likely Britain’s first anti-ship heavy cannon and served as a military bastion until the end of World War Two.
The castle is now far more welcoming to visitors and is a great day out no matter what the weather. Explore the stone hallways and open ramparts and see where soldiers lived and worked for over half a millennium. If you’re looking for some great views, take to the tall gun tower and bask in the glorious landscapes of the River and the town of Dartmouth itself.
Dartmouth Castle is open throughout the year and is a great addition to a day out in Dartmouth. If you’ve got a day of great weather, why not add a ferry trip to your visit and take in the castle from the water?
Totnes Castle was originally built by 13th century Norman conquerors to help control the Saxon town of Totnes through intimidation. What remains today, perched high on a nearby hill, is the outer stone shell of a traditional motte and bailey design castle.
Thanks to its hilltop position, a walk up to the castle offers stunning views of the area – including the River Dart. The castle and its grounds offer ample opportunities for a relaxing picnic with its forest of sheltering trees – some of which are over 150 years old – creating many peaceful resting spots. As you’re exploring, make sure you keep an eye out for graffiti that was carved into some of the trees by Italian prisoners of war during World War Two.
Berry Pomeroy Castle
Hidden deep in the woods outside of Totnes, the ruined remains of Berry Pomeroy Castle are a romantic and atmospheric prospect. The outer walls of the castle were built in the 15th century, with the construction of the Elizabethan mansion of the Seymour family starting later in 1560. The mansion was never completed however, and was completely abandoned in 1700. Since then, the castle has grown a reputation as the most haunted castle in the UK – maybe this is part of why the castle was abandoned in the first place?
There’s no need to fear however, as the ghosts seem to be happy to welcome visitors to the castle ruins. The castle’s location also makes it a great starting point for walks, as the surrounding forests contain many beautiful walking routes.
English Heritage offers a full audio tour of the castle, so visitors can have the castle’s history brought to life. This, coupled with a bite to eat at the on-site cafe, makes Berry Pomeroy Castle a great family day out.
All of these historical sites are located within 10 miles of Galmpton Touring Park. If you’re a big history buff, you could even visit them all in a single day – safe in the knowledge that you have a great place to relax after you’re done. To learn more about Galmpton Touring Park, or to book for the 2019 season, visit our website.