Five castles by the sea
Feel like the king or queen of the castle on your next trip to the seaside, if only for one day.
With spectacular views out to sea, this impressive coastal fortress has defended Cornwall since the Tudor times, playing a major role in two World Wars. At Pendennis you can experience the sights and sounds of battle, tune in to the daily firing of a historic gun, or meet costumed characters from the castle’s colourful history.
This charming castle come lavish family home is set in the beautiful surroundings of a deer park, with spectacular grounds, delightful Victorian, American and rose gardens with a gothic-style summerhouse, and a range of events year-round for the whole family to enjoy. Wander its many gardens, marvel at its elegant interiors or take a long walk on the land with your pooch as this castle is dog-friendly – there’s plenty to keep you entertained at the family run fortress.
Although the castle, as we look at it today, is a 19th-century construction, records show that there has been a house on the site since at least 1460. Its long and complicated history indicates the work of many hands, which gives the castle its distinct character. In the 1980s, it was acquired by Clwyd County Council and, in partnership with the National Portrait Gallery, was restored to its Victorian splendour. With some of the furniture loaned from the Victoria & Albert Museum, the castle now provides an exquisite setting for exhibiting some of the finest portraits from the National Portrait Gallery.
With its towering stone façade, unique architecture and opulent interiors, Penrhyn Castle tells the story of the longest-running industrial dispute in British history. Known as the ‘Great Strike’ a bitter dispute between Lord Penryhn and the quarry workers over pay and working conditions, changed the landscape of this North Wales community forever. Seeped in a turbulent history, some of the castle’s cosmetic features include its neo-Norman stairways and authentic Victorian kitchens, as well as the dazzling daffodils that dominate the castle grounds in spring. Expect the unexpected from this unusual Welsh castle.
A few miles from the Angus coastline, Dunninald Castle and Gardens is a gorgeous Gothic Revival castle – highlights include collections of furniture, paintings, photographs and even needle and plasterwork. Plus, you can go on a range of walks littered with wildflowers as snowdrops take over the grounds in spring, with bluebells taking their place in May.