Carisbrooke Castle

Carisbrooke Newport PO30 1XY

One of the Isle of Wight’s star attractions, bang in the centre of the island, Carisbrooke is a superbly preserved, moated fortress with an original Norman keep and a great accretion of walls and other buildings. Perched on one of the island’s highest points, there are sweeping views from its battlemented walls. Most famously, this was the site of the imprisonment of Charles I before he was returned to London and executed in 1649. The king’s detention is the main subject of the castle’s museum, which also features exhibits from the time of Queen Victoria’s youngest daughter Princess Beatrice, the last royal resident of the site. Start a tour with the amusing and informative film in the Guardhouse (narrated by comedian Phil Jupitus, a local boy). Two must-sees: the famous castle donkeys that work a treadle to raise water nearly 50 metres from the castle well; and the enchanting Edwardian-style Princess Beatrice Garden.

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