Dartmouth Castle View

Top 5 of the best castles in Devon to visit 


Are you planning your next holiday in South Devon, but unsure where to start? Perhaps you've heard about the stunning coastal views and charming villages but wonder what else the region has to offer? If so, you're not alone. Many visitors to South Devon may overlook one of its most remarkable features: its wealth of captivating castles. If you're a history lover or simply enjoy exploring architectural marvels, Devon is the perfect destination for your next adventure. 
 
In this blog, we'll delve into the five best castles in Devon that are sure to enchant couples and families alike. From ancient fortresses steeped in history to romantic ruins nestled in wooded valleys, Devon's castles offer a glimpse into the region's rich past and provide a memorable experience for visitors of all ages.  

Castle Drogo, Devon

Number 5: Castle Drogo 

Perched high above the Teign Gorge, Castle Drogo is rich in historical intrigue. Designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens for Julius Drewe, this 20th-century marvel offers a unique blend of dramatic architecture and familial charm.

As the last castle to be built in England, Castle Drogo boasts a fascinating history that attracts visitors to explore its grounds. Owned and maintained by the National Trust, Castle Drogo invites guests to uncover the stories of remarkable women linked to its past, from political players to pioneering archaeologists.

Beyond its captivating history, the castle's gardens offer a tranquil escape, with craft activities for children and scenic views of the coastline. Located an hour's drive from Leonards Cove, Castle Drogo is a must-visit among the many castles in Devon for history enthusiasts and families seeking an immersive experience in the region. 

Berry Pomeroy Castle

Number 4: Berry Pomeroy Castle

One of the best castles in Devon, nestled in a secluded wooded valley, the Berry Pomeroy Castle exudes romantic charm and historical allure. Originally constructed by the Pomeroy family in the 15th century, the castle later underwent expansion by the Seymours, envisioning a grand Elizabethan mansion within its medieval walls.

Despite ambitious plans, the project remained unfinished, rendering Berry Pomeroy Castle a picturesque ruin that captivates visitors to this day. Managed by the English Heritage, this castle in Devon welcomes guests to explore its grounds and immerse themselves in centuries of history.

Wildlife enthusiasts will delight in spotting local fauna amidst the woodland walks, while the John Musgrave Trail offers stunning vistas of the castle from different perspectives.

Open daily, Berry Pomeroy Castle provides a serene setting for families and couples to enjoy leisurely strolls and discover the timeless beauty of South Devon's countryside, just a 40-minute drive from Leonards Cove. 

Compton Castle, Devon

Number 3: Compton Castle

Steeped in nearly 600 years of history, Compton Castle is a dramatic example of a fortified medieval manor house. Once the stronghold of the Gilbert family, this architectural gem features high curtain walls, towers, and a portcullis.

Managed by the National Trust, Compton Castle offers visitors a glimpse into the past with its well-preserved Great Hall and Sub Solar. Immerse yourself in the lives of former inhabitants as you explore the castle's interior and gardens, complete with a medieval-style knot garden, rose garden, and kitchen herb garden.

From traditional outdoor games to nature trails, there's something for everyone to enjoy at one of the best castles in Devon. Children can try on medieval costumes and imagine life in centuries past, while adults soak in the historic ambience of this remarkable estate.

Just a 40-minute drive from Leonards Cove, Compton Castle promises a memorable day out for history enthusiasts and families alike. 

Powderham Castle, Devon

Number 2: Powderham Castle

One of the most well-known castles in Devon, set on the banks of the Exe Estuary, Powderham Castle is a historic gem home to the Courtenay family for over six centuries. Originally built in 1391 by Sir Philip Courtenay, this magnificent estate has withstood the test of time, surviving the ravages of civil war and numerous transformations.

Being one of the best castles in Devon, visitors are offered a glimpse into its storied past through entertaining guided tours that bring its fascinating history to life. Explore secret passageways, stunning architecture, and even a haunted landing as you delve into centuries of heritage.

With acres of gardens and grounds to explore, including the tranquil Walled Garden and Woodland Garden, Powderham Castle provides a peaceful retreat for visitors of all ages. Families can enjoy meeting the friendly Powderham pets in the Walled Garden, while nature enthusiasts can marvel at the collection of trees in the Woodland Garden.

Powderham Castle promises an unforgettable day of discovery in the heart of Devon, an hour's drive from Leonards Cove. 

Dartmouth Castle

Number 1: Dartmouth Castle

A quick 10-minute drive from Leonards Cove, Dartmouth Castle has stood as a sentinel for over 600 years, guarding the bustling port of Dartmouth.

Built-in the 1380s, this historic fortress offers stunning views of the surrounding waters and provides a captivating glimpse into England's maritime past. As one of the best castles in Devon, Dartmouth Castle invites visitors to explore its ancient walls and immerse themselves in tales of maritime heroes and medieval intrigue.

Climb to the top for panoramic views over Dartmouth town, or venture into the lower floors to discover the castle's wartime history. In short, Dartmouth Castle is the perfect addition to your South Devon itinerary. 

Dartmouth Castle View

The top 5 best castles in Devon to visit

 
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