Visiting Dunster Castle: what you need to know
In this article you’ll find everything you need to know about what's open and what to expect from your visit.
Arrival and parking
Booking is no longer required to visit Dunster Castle. We expect to be busy throughout the summer holidays, in particular during mornings and around midday. For a quieter visit, please consider visiting after 2pm. Parking spaces are limited and in poor weather we may suggest parking in the Dunster Steep village car park. Please check our website before travelling and follow the instructions of our staff and volunteers on arrival.
The National Trust car park is located 300 yards from the entrance.
Staying safe at Dunster
To help keep everyone safe, please follow social distancing and government guidance when you visit. And look out for signs while you’re here which will explain any changes to how you can access different parts of the site.
If you’re showing any of the symptoms of coronavirus, or if you've been in contact with anyone that has the virus in the last 14 days, please don’t visit.
Face coverings are recommended in enclosed, crowded areas. Thank you for supporting us to make this a safe experience for everyone.
The castle, gardens, parkland, pop-up cafe, Watermill tearoom, shop, Watermill, car park and toilets are open daily.
The pop-up cafe and Watermill tearoom are open 10am-4pm. If you are bringing your own lunch, there are tables and benches available in the picnic area by the carpark. Picnics can also be had on the Green Court, and the Keep Garden. Please can we ask that you take your rubbish home with you after your picnic. Thank you.
Bringing your family
Although there are no restrictions on bringing a pushchair into the garden and grounds, it can be difficult to traverse as often there are slopes and uneven stones or cobbles in parts.
Toilets are available by the ticket office and up on Green Court. Baby-changing facilities are available by the ticket office.
Bringing your dog
If you are visiting with your dogs, they are allowed everywhere except inside the castle and tea-room. Please keep your dogs on a lead and under control. Water for dogs can be found outside the visitor reception, shop and castle. There is plenty of shelter and seating for people who are accompanied by their canine family member around the site.
- Routes can be steep and feature numerous steps, slopes and uneven surfaces. Reasonable levels of fitness and stout footwear are required.
- There are designated Blue Badge parking spaces in the main car park although these spaces are limited.
- There is an accessible drop-off point at the ticket office.
- We have two powered mobility vehicles available for hire. Please call the main office before your visit to book one.
- Accessible toilets are located by the shop and ticket office. We currently don't have accessible toilets at the castle.
- Mobility buggy service is unavailable until further notice.
Exploring the garden
The garden is looking lovely, but it won’t be quite as you’re used to seeing it. We had almost no gardeners in the property for many weeks, while everyone stayed home and stayed safe.
We have a small team in now, but nowhere near what we’re used to, so the garden isn't perhaps as well-groomed as you might be expecting. There are some weeds and rough edges; please bear with us as we do what we can as soon as we can, and instead enjoy all the many other pleasures that our garden has to offer.
Gardeners will be working in the garden, please respect the social distancing guidelines around them and be aware that at times some areas may be closed for maintenance and to give the team space to work.
There will be no talks, tours, or opportunities for questions or advice at this time.
Visiting the Castle
The castle is open for you to explore and enjoy. Face coverings are recommended in the castle, unless exempt. Thank you for supporting us to make this a safe experience for everyone.
There will be no tours of the castle at this time but members of our house team will be available to answer questions.