Carisbrooke Castle is one of the Isle of Wight’s most fascinating attractions. Its long story includes a murdered king, a ghost princess, mysterious Roman foundations, charismatic donkeys, and much, much more. With over 1000 years of history, panoramic views right over the Island, and plenty to see and do, it will provide a truly memorable family day out.
It is likely that there has been a fortification on the Carisbrooke site since Roman times, but the Castle visitors see today dates largely from the 12th to the 15th century. Carisbrooke Castle is most famous as the place where Charles I was held prior to his execution by Oliver Cromwell’s Parliamentarians. His two youngest children were also imprisoned there following his execution, and the castle is said to be haunted by the unfortunate King’s young daughter, Princess Elizabeth, who died during her incarceration in the Castle.
The English royal family held no hard feelings towards Carisbrooke however, as from 1896 to 1944 it was the home of Princess Beatrice, Queen Victoria’s daughter. She was very fond of both Carisbrooke Castle and the Isle of Wight, and did much to enhance both. Modern visitors can enjoy beautiful Edwardian-style gardens created in her honour.
The Carisbrooke Castle museum contains a wealth of fascinating facts about the Castle and its history. The museum has won several awards, and provides a comprehensive and entertaining view of the Castle’s history.
Today, the Castle is operated by English Heritage, who open it to the public through the spring and summer. Full opening times can be found on their website. Visitors are welcome to relax in the gardens, or climb the Castle battlements and enjoy the views over the Isle of Wight. You can even visit the Carisbrooke Castle donkeys, which are famed all over the Isle of Wight. They can be seen giving demonstrations of the way their ancestors would have worked the 16th century treadmill, and very much enjoy the attention they get from visitors.
Getting to Carisbrooke Castle is easy. Our Fishbourne ferry will drop you only six miles from the Castle. If you’re feeling fit, it’s an easy cycle ride from Fishbourne to Carisbrooke. If you prefer to travel in a little more comfort, the Isle of Wight’s buses regularly pass close by the entrance. If you’ve got a car with you, it’s barely any time at all from the Fishbourne ferry terminal to your day out at the Castle.
Take a look inside Carisbrooke Castle with our 360 degree virtual tour.
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