Carisbrooke is wonderfully well-preserved and atmospheric motte-and bailey castle that has seen more than 800 years of history, including resisting a siege by the French and seeing off the Spanish Armada.
It’s a great family day out. Kids will love exploring, climbing the 71 steps up to the keep for a panoramic view over the Isle of Wight countryside, then dressing up as Norman soldiers or Civil War troopers. They can meet the castle’s famous donkeys, Jigsaw, Jimbob, Jack and Jill as they work the 17th-century waterwheel at the Well House.
Visit the castle’s tranquil chapel and museum housing fascinating memorabilia of Charles I who was imprisoned here before his execution in 1649. And take time out in the Edwardian-style Princess Beatrice Garden with its period planting, water features and orchard, designed by TV presenter and award-winning garden designer Chris Beardshaw.
Refuel in the charming tea room or bring a picnic to enjoy alfresco on the castle lawns.