To take advantage of a nice, sunny day off; we decided to head out for the day, to visit Pendennis Castle. An English Heritage site, not too far from Falmouth.
Pendennis is a fun day out, with lots of sunny open space, great views, and lots to explore! From Tudor history, to “modern” wartime history. You can find more information on the English Heritage website, including prices and opening times.
Pendennis is a Tudor castle built in the 1540s, and still used in WW2, when modern armourments were placed. Though never needed in sieges, it is an interesting look at history, well preserved! Used as a fort in the 18th and 19th centuries, renovated and reused throughout its history. Interestingly, we were told by a volunteer, that the castle could STILL be used by the armed forces today! Staff would be notified to clear out the castle!
Pendennis is twinned with St Mawes, which also stands on the river Fal. The sister castles are opposite each other. They stand across from each other on the estuary, due to the distance cannons could reach when fired into the mouth of the river. Therefore needing one either side for full protection!
Acting as a fort; a barracks; and an artillery base, with a large part to play in modern wartime; the castle has a rich history to explore, across several buildings.
You arrive in a gatehouse area, after a short walk from the car park. There is a bookshop as well as a wartime exhibition; the artillery exhibit; a large and well-stocked on site cafe. As well as the castle and gardens! You will also find a gift shop with a range of local gifts, historical toys and memorabilia for all ages and more!
There is plenty of parking. I would describe the terrain as moderate; though the historic winding staircases throughout the castle would be an issue for those with limited mobility. Our visit was free, (parking ON SITE also); as we are members of Cornish Heritage. Of course this is also the case for English Heritage members of course.
As a bonus when we arrived we found a meeting of Rolls Royce and Bentley car clubs, so of course snapped some pics in the sunshine!
The castle is fun to explore! We managed to meet the tour, which I’d recommend if you’d like to learn more of the extensive history of Pendennis Castle. You can also walk around by yourself if that’s not your thing.
We enjoyed the wartime exhibits too, and it was interesting to join in the tours as there are some fun additions and access, as part of the tour, you don’t get to see when you walk around separately.
From barraks to guns, things to see are varied and interesting!
We really enjoyed the day. Volunteers and guides were really knowledgeable and friendly, and we enjoyed exploring the castle, as well as the extras.
Have you visited any of Cornwall’s castles? Do you have any other favourite places to explore? Let me know in the comments, or I’m always up for a chat on Twitter (and other socials below).Follow me on social media