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Things to see and do at Dunster Castle and Watermill

The marble chimney and interiors in the Drawing Room at Dunster Castle, Somerset
The Drawing Room at Dunster Castle | © National Trust Images / Bill Batten

With 1,000 years of history the castle and watermill at Dunster have plenty of great stories to tell. From a collection of painted leather hangings, the only one of its kind in the UK, to a working watermill, Dunster has plenty to see and enjoy.

Find out about the castle

A world-class view

Admire the scenery from the conservatory window with views that reach across to Exmoor and the Quantock Hills. You can also see hints of the old carriage drive.

Rare leather hangings

One of the glories of the castle collection, the Leather Gallery is dedicated to a leather hanging of European importance and depicts the love story of Antony and Cleopatra. The lights in the room have recently been changed to LED bulbs which bring out the intricacies and craftsmanship in this 17th-century work of art.

Two people visit the Leather Gallery at Dunster Castle, Somerset
Visitors in the Leather Room at Dunster Castle | © National Trust Images / Megan Taylor

Books galore

There has been a library at Dunster Castle since the 17th century, however the room you see today was created by Anthony Salvin in 1870-1. The wonderfully colourful wallpaper is embossed to simulate leather.

The Grand Staircase

The impressive Grand Staircase was built in 1680, with each panel carved from a single piece of elm. The intricate carvings depict a fox and stag hunt, some Charles II shillings, and a trophy of arms which commemorate Col. Francis Luttrell's' military career.

A working watermill

See the double overshot wheels in action and the water supplied by the leat from the observation platform. Learn about the history of the mill, through photographs, documents and historic items on display.

A miller in white coat and hat pouring a pan of wheat into a large wooden hopper at Dunster Working Watermill.
Milling wheat at Dunster Working Watermill | © Harriet Pinches

Venture upstairs to see the wheels turning from inside the building and where the grain is then ground into flour. Have a peek at the large collection of old machinery – one for the lovers of craft and groundwork and the traditional methods used through the generations.

From grain to flour

If you’re lucky, the team might be milling on the day you visit. The Watermill will be a hive of activity as the staff and volunteer team work hard to produce flour from grain in order to fulfil orders placed by local businesses.

Why not buy some flour to take home? There are many treats and gifts on offer from the Watermill shop. As well as flour produced in the mill, there are also tasty porridge oats and muesli which are mixed at Dunster (sorry, but it’s a secret recipe).

Exterior view of Dunster Castle and Garden in Somerset

Discover more at Dunster Castle and Watermill

Find out when Dunster Castle and Watermill is open, how to get here, the things to see and do and more.

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A view of Dunster Castle through the trees above the castle, Somerset

History of Dunster Castle 

Discover a thousand years of history at Dunster Castle. Follow its journey from a Middle Ages fortress to a Victorian family home.

A family of two adults and two small children (with their backs to the camera) in winter clothing walking along a path flanked by an array of plants and trees with brown and green foliage

Visiting the garden at Dunster Castle and Watermill 

Explore the highlights of the garden at Dunster Castle, which takes you around the world and through four different microclimates

The mechanism inside the working mill at Dunster Castle, Somerset

History of the working watermill at Dunster Castle 

Explore the history of the working watermill at Dunster and follow the historical milling process. Buy our organic wholemeal flour, available at the watermill and the stables shop.

Visitors using eco cups for hot drinks at Dunster Castle, Somerset

Eating and shopping at Dunster Castle and Watermill 

There are several places to enjoy a bite to eat and a drink during your visit to Dunster Castle and Watermill. Find out more about what each outlet has to offer.

Dunster Castle from the parkland

Dunster Castle and Village circular walk 

Enjoy the impressive architecture and houses in the medieval village of Dunster on this walk, which also takes in memorable views of Dunster Castle.

DistanceMiles: 1.4 (km: 2.24)
A view of the approach to Conygar Tower with the tower in the middle and surrounded by trees

Conygar Tower from Dunster Castle walk 

Enjoy a circular wander through tranquil woodland and discover an impressive folly built by Henry Luttrell to enhance the view from Dunster Castle.

DistanceMiles: 2.2 (km: 3.52)
A winter view over Exmoor from Grabbist Hill with tall conifers to the right and a footpath at the bottom

Grabbist Hill from Dunster Castle walk 

Enjoy this scenic walk to Grabbist Hill from Dunster Castle, which passes through ancient woodland and offers panoramic views over the surrounding area.

DistanceMiles: 2.5 (km: 4)
A view of Dunster Castle, Lover's Bridge, and Dunster Watermill from Bats Castle Walk

Bats Castle from Dunster Castle Walk 

This longer walk up to Bats Castle, a well-preserved Iron Age hillfort, offers memorable views over the Bristol Channel and across Exmoor as a reward.

DistanceMiles: 4.0 (km: 6.4)