Welcoming you back to Dunster Castle

A glimpse of the castle behind trees

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 have a small car park, therefore parking spaces are limited. 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. 

For a quieter visit, we would recommend arriving from 2pm. 

The National Trust car park is located 300 yards from the entrance.

 

What's open?

The castle, gardens, parkland, Watermill tearoom, pop-up cafe, shop, Watermill, crypt and reservoir are open daily from 10am. Last entry into the grounds is at 4pm and into the house is 3.45pm. You will need to allow time (15 minutes) to walk up to the house.

 

Refreshments 

The Watermill tearoom is open daily from 10am-4pm and the pop-up cafe at Tentants' Hall from 11am-3pm. If you are bringing your own lunch, there  the picnic area by the car park. 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.

Bikes, scooters and footballs are not permitted.

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. Please keep your dogs on a lead, under close control and pick up after them, using the designated dog bins across the estate. Water bowls for dogs can be found outside the visitor reception, shop and castle.

 

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.

Face coverings are recommended in enclosed or crowded areas. Thank you for supporting us to make this a safe experience for everyone. 

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. 

 

Accessibility

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 and subject to availability.

We have a powered mobility vehicle (Tramper) available for hire. Please call the main office on 01643 821314 to book for before visiting for either a morning or afternoon slot.

Accessible toilets are located by the shop and ticket office. We currently don't have accessible toilets at the castle.

The mobility buggy service is returning in September 2021 with limited availability (initially Tuesday and Thursday mornings in September). Please enquire to check if the service is running on the day of your proposed visit by calling the office on 01643 821314. 

 

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. 

 

Upcoming events

Percy the Park Keeper's winter wander trail at Dunster Castle

Sat 04 Dec 2021
10:00-14:30
This winter, treat your little ones to a world of adventures at Dunster Castle and Watermill on Percy the Park Keeper's winter wander trail. The trail will take place on weekend's in December and in the Christmas school holidays.