Cornwall is a gorgeous area of England to explore. With its stunning coastline and the most beautiful places, there’s a whole heap of things to keep you busy on your trip to the west country. That being said, lots of people forget to visit the manors and mix of best castles in Cornwall that are dotted around the region.
This is exactly why I wanted to share some of my very favourite and best castles in Cornwall that you can easily pop into on your trip around here. The thing is, Cornwall is traditionally known for its stunning beaches like Watergate Bay. Though, you don’t need to be a total beach bum to enjoy the region. Cornwall is so much more than the beach.
We recently went to the most magical Cornish wedding of our friends. The wedding itself was so much fun (as all weddings should be) and we even got to explore some stunning castles whilst we were here.
Now, one of the greatest things about some manors and the best castles in Cornwall is that they are often supported by visitors who want to explore the beauty and heritage of these magnificent places. Typically donations or a small entrance fee keeps with the upkeep, meaning your visit is helping to preserve the property for future generations.
With that in mind, take a look, below, at some of the best castles in Cornwall to visit on your next trip. I’ve tried to include some that are dotted all across the region. This way, it doesn’t matter what area you’re visiting, you should be able to see at least one.
Take a look at some of the best castles in Cornwall to visit. Have the best trip!
1.) St. Michael’s Mount
This tiny little tidal island houses one of the best castles in Cornwall to explore. Once you arrive, make sure to have a wander around the grounds and learn more about the history of this place.
Take a short boat ride (or walk in low tide) from Mount’s Bay coast to the island. This castle even has its own restaurants that serve locally sourced seafood and lots of freshly baked scones. Yum!
Don’t forget to explore the rocky-side of the tidal island, the gardens themselves are home to some of England’s most exotic plants. Oh yeah, and keep your eyes peeled for the the giant that lives within the caves here. It’s a superstition that still carries on to this day.
2.) Trerice Manor
To be honest, this Elizabethan manor house is as close to an Alice in Wonderland experience you can get in Cornwall. They host some beautiful summer tea-parties in their gardens, alongside the chance to learn some pretty nifty Tudor games, like; Cornish kayles, jousting and slapcock.
It’s a pretty low-key affair that actually makes it so much more fun… especially when the sun is shining.
Afterwards, drive about 20-minutes to the St. Agnes Heritage Coast that has some gorgeous trails along the coastline. It’s a great way to work off the summer party cakes! 😉
3.) Tintagel Castle
Unfortunately, Tintagel Castle is now a ruin, but still worthy of a mention and a visit. It’s easily still one of the best castles in Cornwall you should visit on your trip here.
Now, synonymous with King Arthur, this castle and ruins are a great place to explore some legendary tales and folklore. Just make sure to pack your comfy walking shoes as the ground can get quite uneven and rocky.
Again, make sure to walk some of the gorgeous coastal routes that line this region. They really are stunning.
4.) Lanhydrock Estate
Now, technically this isn’t one of the best castles in Cornwall and more of a Victorian country house but it’s still stunning to see.
Once you’re here, don’t forget to check out the gallery ceilings. They’re incredible to look at, especially as they host a whole heap of pretty scary portrayals of beasts Yikes!
Also, if you fancy a little stroll (or a bike ride), head out onto the trails that surround the property itself. It’s really beautiful to ride the trails and see the bluebells at certain times of the year. Also, don’t forget to visit the servants quarters too – it’s really interesting to see the different parts of the house and how they were used.
5.) St Mawes Castle
Constructed by Henry VIII near Falmouth, St Mawes Castle is one of the best castles in Cornwall that you have to see. Entry costs around £7 (approximately) but it’s well worth it to wander around.
Once here, make sure to learn more about the infamous punishment tower, see the gun platforms and bastions and explore the grounds themselves. The ferry journey doesn’t take too long either.
6.) Pendennis Castle
Another of Henry VIII’s castles, It’s one of the best castles in Cornwall that was constructed by one of our most infamous monarchs. Once you’re here, make sure to take a wander around the grounds and explore some of the incredible histories that this castle has been witness to.
After you arrive, see the Tudor Keep, see the views across the coast and watch one of the jousting events that take place most years in the summer. This usually happens at the end of July but always check the website for confirmed listings.
7.) Launceston Castle
So, Launceston Castle is almost 1,000 years old and still one of the best castles in Cornwall to see, even if it is in ruins. Nowadays, you can actually still head inside the tower that was built a few hundred years later by Richard, Earl of Cornwall. It’s a stunning spot to see, especially on a glorious Cornish summers day.
Interestingly, the castle itself has held a few famous prisoners, too. For instance, the likes of George Fox (the founder of the Quakers) spent quite some time locked up here. Also, you can still stroll through the south gatehouse and see the foundations of the historic Great Hall.