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Dunster Castle

Visited June 2009

 

 

Location Dunster, Nr. Minehead, Somerset
Entrance Fee Yes (Please check Website for current prices)
Railway Station       No
Parking Yes
Facilities Toilets, Shop
Map

 

 

 


 

 

Review

 

Set in beautiful scenery, this castle is one of the jewel in the  National Trust’s crown, with excellent facilities, beautifully maintained gardens and plenty to see in the castle itself. It even takes debit & credit cards in the admissions booth- we have visited plenty of NT properties which do not !!!! . There is a steep walk from the car park up to the castle itself- unfortunately this gives plenty of scope for grizzling (and that is just the adults!!), but if you can coax everyone up the hill it is well worth it. There are several garden walks, and the views are amazing. The castle itself as we see it today is built on top of the remains of a Norman castle, and was owned by the Luttrel family for about 600 years before being given to the National Trust. A visit inside is a must- and the ever patient NT staff are very good with children, one of them let our 4 year old have a go at banging the gong in the entrance hall, we wondered as the sound reverberated around the building if this was a form of secret code to the other staff to let them know that kids were on their way round, as some of them seemed to be expecting us. My only complaint about the place was that lovely as the staff were, there were quite a few elderly visitors that day who did not share an appreciation of children. However, as children are the NT members of the future, I tend to just try and laugh off any dirty looks and get on with our visit.

 

The facilities in the castle are good, with clean toilets, a lovely shop, and plenty of picnic benches but no cafes, to buy food you need to head down into the charming village of Dunster, nestled below the castle. Do take a few minutes to look at the ancient Yarn Market on the main street, then literally take your pick of eateries of all types and price brackets. Alternatively take a walk through the National Trust grounds to the river Avill, and follow along its banks for about 10 minutes, a pleasant walk which will take you past the lovers bridge (you will know why its called that when you see it!) and lead you Dunster Water Mill, a historical mill with a tea room with plenty of indoor and garden seating .As well as being a tea room , the restored mill is open to visitors if the castle has not quite fulfilled your history quota for the day (subject to an entrance fee).

 

 

More info: The National Trust Dunster CastleDunster Mill

 

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