Everything you need to know for a first time visit to Chirk Castle

Chirk Castle portcullis looking from the north

Never visited Chirk Castle before? Here is some useful information for your visit, and some suggestions of the things you might like to see and do whilst you’re here, whether you’re popping in for an hour, half a day or have a full day to explore.

When is Chirk Castle open?

In 2020 the gardens, Adam Tower, Dungeon, Cafe and shop are open 10am to 4pm all year, except for November weekdays, Christmas Day and New Year's Day. From April to September opening is until 5pm.

The Castle is open from 7 March to 1 November, November weekends (tours only) and from 5 to 31 December, except Christmas Day. In March and October opening is 12noon to 4pm. From April to September it is 12noon to 5pm. In December the castle is open 11am to 4pm. Last entry is 30mins before closing.

The estate is open all year for walking. There are toilet facilities open all year at Home Farm, by the car park.

How much does it cost to come in?

Admission to Chirk Castle and gardens is free for National Trust members and under 5s.

You can find prices for non-member admission on our website here. Off-peak prices are available during January and February, and November weekends, when the castle rooms are closed for conservation work. Peak prices apply at all other times.

As a charity, we rely on the income from memberships and admission to look after this special place for future generations to enjoy.

Car parks

The main car park is by Home Farm, next to the Ticket Office. It is free to park.

On busy days or when overflow parking is needed it may take extra time to get you parked up. Please follow the instructions of the staff there to help you find a space.

The Castle

Chirk Castle was completed in 1310. With over 700 years of history the many occupants have left behind lavish interiors and a beautiful and eclectic collection. The state rooms include a 17th-century Long Gallery, grand 18th-century saloon with rich tapestries, servants' hall, and the restored East Range, containing the library and 1920s style Bow Room showing off Chirk Castle’s connections to high society.

You can explore the castle free-flow at your own pace when it is open. There are room guides available in most of the rooms to answer any questions, or to tell you stories about the castle. There are also souvenir guidebooks available from the Ticket Office, shop or castle entrance.

From March to October there are also volunteer guided tours at 11:15am and 11:30am with tickets on a first-come basis. If you want to be sure that tours are running before you travel please contact the castle on 01691 777 701.

The Adam Tower and Dungeon is open all year. These rooms are unfurnished, but show off the most medieval character of the castle. This is a great place to find out more about Chirk Castle's medieval past, and to start your castle visit.

Assistance dogs only are welcome in the castle.

The Garden

The award-winning gardens cover 5.5 acres of manicured lawns, clipped yews, herbaceous borders, beautiful rose, shrub and rock gardens, and the wooded pleasure ground – perfect for a stroll. Don't miss the terrace overlooking the 18th century ha-ha at the bottom of the garden, with stunning views over the Cheshire and Salop plains.

The garden is open all year, except November weekdays, Christmas Day and New Year's Day. Seasonal highlights include Snowdrops in February, daffodils in March, Rhododendron in April, Bluebells in May, Roses from June to August, and autumn colour.

Please note that dogs are not permitted in the formal gardens or Pleasure Ground Wood. Assistance dogs are welcome.

The Estate

Chirk Castle's 480 acre estate is a great place to explore, with three marked walking trails taking you to all parts of the parkland. Walking maps and leaflets are available at the Ticket Office or on the website at the link below.

The estate is located within the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and is a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

There are regular guided volunteer walks of the parkland. Please see the What's On section of the website for dates. There are also regular Nordic Walking, beginner Running, and 10k runs each month.

Eating and drinking

The castle cafe is open 10am to 4pm daily, except November weekdays, Christmas Day and New Year's Day. From April to September it closes at 5pm.

The cafe serves a seasonal menu, including cakes, sandwiches, hot food, soup, drinks and snacks. If you would like to know what is on the menu, or you have any special dietary requirements please get in touch to let us know on 01691 777 701.

Please note the cafe is inside the castle, so you need to be a National Trust member ot have paid admission to use the cafe.

There is a seasonal kiosk at Home Farm. This opens at busy times of the year, but is not open daily. If you would like to use the kiosk please call to check that it is open on 01691 777 701.

The Shop

The main shop is at Home Farm by the Ticket Office. It sells a range of items including books, food, gift ideas, garden items, and toys. The shop is open 10am to 4pm daily, except November weekdays, Christmas Day and New Year's Day. From April to September the shop is open until 5pm.

There is a seasonal shop in the castle courtyard selling a smaller range of goods. This shop is open at busy times of the year, but is not open every day. If you would like to use the courtyard shop please call to check it is open on 01691 777 701.

Accessibility

Chirk is a 700 year old building, so access is not always straightforward. There is no wheelchair access to the upper floors, but there is ramped access to the East Wing and a virtual tour available showing the upper levels. If in doubt or if you have any questions before you travel please give us a call on 01691 777 701.

For more information please see the access guide avaialable here: Chirk Castle Access Statement 2019 (PDF / 0.4MB) download Chirk Castle summer activities 2019 (PDF / 0.2080078125MB) download

Fun for families

There is plenty to keep the whole family happy at Chirk Castle. Let off steam in the Wild Play area, try on arms and armour in the Adam Tower, spot the wolf cubs through the castle, or borrow one of our kids trails.

There are also regular events and activities for families all through the year, including our popular Easter Egg Hunts, Knights and Princesses weekend, and plenty of activies during the school holidays.

Dog Walking at Chirk Castle

We love to welcome dogs to the Chirk Castle estate, there is 480 acres of parkland waiting to be explored. However, please note that dogs are not permitted in the formal gardens, Pleasure Ground Wood or inside the castle.