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Castles in Cornwall

Discover our pick of fort and castle ruins to visit, all from many centuries ago.

St Michael’s Mount

Cross the iconic causeway to reach this ancient island fortress.

St Michael’s Mount was once a monastery, a twelth century priory built by the same order of monks who owned Mont St Michel in Normandy. Later it became a military castle and then a family home to the St Aubyns. Now owned by the National Trust and open for all to explore and enjoy, just make sure you check the tide times before visiting.

Photo: Mike Newman for Visit Cornwall

Restormel Castle

Overlooking the main crossing point of the River Fowey, this circular shell keep castle is owned by English Heritage. Visitors can walk around the upper perimeter of these 13th century castle ruins, surrounded by beautiful countryside with views of the valley of the river Fowey. Built as a luxury retreat for its medieval owners.

Don’t miss the bluebells and daffodils in Spring!

Photo: English Heritage

Pendennis Castle

Set on the headland overlooking Falmouth and built between 1540-1542 by Henry VIII, this might fortress was designed to defend the country against invasion, later playing vital roles in both World Wars. Take in the magnificent views whilst exploring the keep and discover the display of weapons. Or follow the tunnels to find underground ammunition storage!

Photo: Visit Cornwall


Caerhays Castle
St Austell

Nestled in a sheltered valley, overlooking the tranquil Porthluney Cove.

Since 1370 this stunning building has been lived in by just two families, it was in ruins until the Williams family took over 150 years ago. The grand castle was built by well-known architect John Nash and garden created by J.C. Williams. Spectacular scenes await you here…

Book a castle or garden tour, take a coastal walk or explore the nearby beach.

Photo: Visit Cornwall

St Mawes Castle
St Mawes

Another of Henry VIII’s castles, now owned and managed by English Heritage. Built between 1539 and 1545 to defend invasion. A clover-leaf shaped fortress with sea views from the top of the castle keep. Take a trip on the foot ferry from Falmouth and enjoy the stunning scenery of the bay.

Photo: English Heritage

St Catherine’s Castle

Perched on the craggy cliffs of St Catherine’s Cove and built in the 1530’s to defend Fowey Harbour, this Tudor fort was modified in the 19th century during the Crimean War, then again during the Second World War. Explore the spectacular ruins, surrounding woodland and beyond, Ready Money Beach is just short stroll away! There is steep climb to access this castle and unguarded drops within the ruins, so take care.

Photo: English Heritage

If you’re looking to explore Cornwall’s castles this year, Perranporth is the ideal holiday base with easy access for all. Browse our selection of coastal holiday homes in and around Perranporth, Cornwall to find the perfect place for you. Click here to search.

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