Things to do at Walmer Castle and Gardens review
The beautiful Walmer Castle was built as part of the Tudor sea defences near Kent’s coast. It has a more recent history as the home of the Duke of Wellington who lived there for over 20 years. The Queen Mother also used to stay there every year in her role as Warden.
The gardens are a haven for walkers and children. The Queen Mother’s Garden is pretty and the children enjoyed looking for fish in the pond. The children then had fun running around in the moat which has now been converted to gardens. There are plenty of wooden structures for kids to explore on the natural play trail, whilst the woodland walk is enjoyable for walkers of all levels of fitness.
We spent about 2 hours here and it would have been easy to spend longer if we’d had refreshments, lunch at the tea room or our own picnic, or fully explored the gardens (the children were a little tired so we missed the quarry at the end of the gardens).
There are two elements to the castle representing the original defence purpose and the newer ceremonial role. The older Tudor features such as cannon and battlements, drawbridges and a moat (now a garden), and cold stone basement rooms for keeping gunpowder and other stores for defending the castle and coast.
Then there are the more modern parts (decorated in the 19th century or interwar periods!) with comfortable living quarters including the bedroom where the Duke of Wellington lived and died. There are many artefacts from its famous occupants who also include Prime Minister Pitt the Younger, but surely the most iconic item in the collection is Wellington’s boots. Please note that visitors are unable to take photographs inside the main building due to the fragility of the artefacts.
Covid 19 – Please check the website or social media of an attraction before visiting. Many places may be open differently and some remain closed. Reviews do not mention all of these changes or possible price changes. Most places still require you to pre-book online in advance.
FAQ and Further Information Walmer Castle and Gardens
Is there food and drink available?
There is the Glasshouse café, overlooking the formal gardens as well as a Tea Room in the castle itself. There were vegan and gluten free options available but we didn’t get to try them on our visit (planning to go back!)
What are the main things to do?
Pretty gardens around a castle, natural play trail with wooden structures, woodland walk. There are toilets, a shop and a cafe.
What are the ticket prices?
*Mid-range. Free for English Heritage members
*Prices are subject to change and/or discounts online. *An adult ticket without a donation costs £12.20 and £7.30 for a child aged 5-17. Under 5’s are free.
Is there parking?
There is parking, non members will have to pay to park.
When are they open?
The castle and gardens are only open at weekends over the winter and are closed Mondays and Tuesdays for some other months of the year. For up to date opening times and dates please follow this link.
Only assistance dogs are permitted.
Are they accessible?
Guest post by Laura, writer at www.loopyloulaura.com
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