Fun for families at Compton Castle

A view of the Knot Garden at Compton Castle, Devon

This small fortified manor house is packed with fun things for families to do, from searching for squirrels, trying on medieval costumes and playing garden games. A visit is sure to keep your little-ones entertained. Please remember to supervise them at all times.

Spot the squirrels 

See how many squirrels you can spot in and around the castle as part of the children's trail. The squirrel is significant to Compton Castle as it was the name of the ship Sir Humphrey Gilbert sailed to colonise Newfoundland in 1583 in the name of Queen Elizabeth I. Older children can find out all about the history of Compton with a history trail.


Try on medieval costumes

A group of Compton Castle's volunteers have been busy creating authentic costumes for children to try on when they visit. Find out about how clothing showed what social class you belonged to, and the differences between men and women's outfits of the time.


Picnic in the orchard

Whatever the time of year, a picnic in the orchard is a must-do on your visit. In the spring lunch under the blossom of the apple trees, in the summer soak up the sunshine and race around the trails mown into the long grass, and in the autumn look for apples ripening on the trees. 


Make a daisy chain
Girl and boy laying on grass making a daisy chain
Make a daisy chain

Tick off one of your 50 things to do before you're 11¾

Our list of 50 things to do before you're 11¾  will set you on your own adventure. At Compton you can:
  • Make a daisy chain
  • Hunt for bugs
  • Set up a snail race
  • Run around in the rain


Play games on the lawn

The smooth lawn in front of the castle is the perfect place for a game of croquet or quoits, a traditional game where you throw hoops and try to land them on the markers. 


Take part in the Big Butterfly Count

24 July - 2 August, 10.30am-4pm. Normal admission prices apply.

Can you help with The Big Butterfly Count by finding a quiet spot and seeing how many butterflies you can spot in 15 minutes? Butterflies love sunny spots and long grass, so the orchard is ideal for butterfly spotting. You'll be able to pick up a basic butterfly ID sheet and map with some of the best spots to sit and count butterflies marked on it. Once you've found a good butterfly spotting spot, take 15 minutes and write down all of the butterflies you see in that time. Please return your recording sheets, etc. to reception before you leave.