Devon’s location by the English Channel has seen it invaded by many less-than-friendly visitors over its long history. To fend off these various attacks, great castles were built across the county. Many of these remain standing today to offer an exciting and educational day out.
This well preserved castle has a picturesque location at the mouth of the Dart Estuary. Parts of it date back to the 14th century, and it was one of the first castles to be equipped with heavy cannons. The castle’s battlements provide spectacular views over Dartmouth.
On the opposite bank of the River Dart is Kingswear Castle. Although it is not open to the general public, it can still be viewed from either side of the river.
Powderham Castle, Kenton
Powderham’ Castle is one of Devon’s grandest castles and is a popular tourist attraction. It was first constructed in the late 14th century and has been the home of the Courtenay family ever since. Highlights include the Victorian Kitchen, the Georgian grand staircase and the deer park that surrounds the castle.
Berry Pomeroy Castle, Totnes
The current Berry Pomeroy Castle was actually built as a stately Tudor home within the grounds of an earlier 15th century castle. You can discover the shared history of both castles by taking an audio tour. Totnes Castle can also be found nearby.
If you’re looking for some authentic medieval ruins then look no further than Okehampton castle. It was built by the conquering Normans in the 11th century and was once the largest of its kind in Devon. Take a fascinating audio tour of the eerie remains.
Exeter Castle was also built by the Normans to subdue the rebellious locals. It was held by the Crown until the early 21st century, but is now open to visitors and hosts the annual Exeter Food & Drink Festival.