Oakham Castle
Oakham Castle
4.5
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Monday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
About
The splendid Great Hall of Oakham Castle is one of the finest Norman Halls in England. The Hall is best known for its collection of enormous commemorative Horseshoes donated by members of the Royal Family and Peers of the Realm. It is also decorated with a range of 12th century sculptures. The grounds of the Castle are a peaceful oasis in the centre of Oakham.
Duration: 1-2 hours
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  • Joanne K
    4 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Lovely place.
    This is a lovely and unique place to visit. It also has a nice cafe, but I prefer to take a picnic as there are several benches dotted around. Staff inside the building are very friendly. Those expecting a castle may be a little disappointed.
    Visited August 2023
    Written August 11, 2023
  • pappaQ_Lds
    Wakefield, United Kingdom443 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Hidden a bit but worth it.
    Tucked away at the back of the town square this historical gem is well worth checking out. We’ll preserves example. Good information inside and helpful staff. Cafe and toilets on site.
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written September 2, 2023
  • ShaunH290
    London, United Kingdom2,684 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Essential Viewing!
    This Great Hall is essential viewing and deserves to be more widely known! We had not heard of it before we visited. The building is impressive and the collection of horseshoes is quirky but the history is worth knowing. You can park for free for two hours in the castle grounds car park - you just need to ask inside for a ticket. Well worth it - we could have saved money if we had known!
    Visited January 2024
    Traveled as a couple
    Written February 8, 2024
  • scarysara
    Welshpool, United Kingdom238 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    very interesting, absolutely worth a look inside
    very interesting, absolutely worth a look inside very knowledgeable and friendly volunteers The Great Hall of Oakham Castle is the finest surviving example of Norman domestic architecture in Europe. It was built between 1180 and 1190. The surviving structure is the impressive Great Hall of the Castle, where banquets and courts would have been held. The Great Hall is famed for its for its unique collection of over 230 ornate ceremonial horseshoes donated by Peers of the Realm (Royalty and nobility such as Dukes, Marquis’, Earls, Viscounts, Barons and Bishops). The exact origin of this custom is lost to the mists of time, but it continues to this day. The oldest surviving horseshoe was given to the Castle by Edward IV in 147
    Visited April 2024
    Traveled with friends
    Written April 22, 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles449 reviews
Excellent
248
Very good
154
Average
37
Poor
9
Terrible
1

LesGUk
East Anglia, UK733 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2021 • Couples
Looks more like a chapel than a castle but very interesting. Walls adorned with giant horse shoes presented to Oakham by various nobility/royalty over the years. It was also used as a courthouse until fairly recently and the court furniture can be seen set out inside. There is a small car park here and parking is free for 2 hours if you visit the castle and get your car parking validated.
Written August 15, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Malcolm G
Leicester, UK173 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2020
This great hall of the original castle holds an interesting display of horse shoes, yes, I did say horse shoes! But not the usual kind. Tradition has it that all members of the nobility who visit Oakham must leave a horse shoe behind to prove that they have been there. The horse shoes are displayed around the walls but not the ordinary kind as these are hand made to order, each one being made especially and large to say the least. You will find a horse shoe from Kings and Queens, Princes, Dukes, etc., The best part is that the visit is free, just one of the attractions in this wonderful old market Town. Visit on Market day, enjoy the Museum and the great small shops as well as the horse shoes.
Written March 6, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for taking the time to leave a review - we're really glad you enjoyed visiting!
Written March 10, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Julie P
United Kingdom1,857 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2021
It was definitely open on Saturday when we visited, although they have a backlog of weddings, so normal opening times may be altered. The building sits in what was once the bailey of the castle, which still has some of its outer walls, but not much else. Plenty of information boards.

Inside the building is an amazing, impressive collection of horseshoes. I think the oldest I found was from the late 1600s. It was also once the court. Attached is a small cafe serving delicious sandwiches, cakes etc. Some outdoor seating. Staff are all friendly and welcoming.

There's a small amount of free parking on site and a couple of nearby pay and display car park. Level access to the building. Toilets in the cafe.
Written August 24, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Elbee C
36 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2023 • Family
Wonderfully knowledgeable tour given by the amazing Jill! As soon as we entered the magnificent Norman Great Hall we were struck by the unique decorative horseshoes that adorn the wall, the first dating back to the 1400s, gifted by King Edward IV (Richard III’s brother!)
Jill was so enthusiastic as she led us around and showed us the court that is even used today for trials!
There was a little shop selling very reasonably priced gifts, free activities for youngsters like ‘spot the dragon’ and I-Spy, and a lovely cafe (which we didn’t drop into but definitely will next time!)
All in all, a fab hour, but we could have stayed much longer!
Written February 23, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Neil K
Lincoln, UK667 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2020
There is little left of the castle here, just a few crumbling walls but the great hall is remarkable and full of historic interest. It is well laid out so that you can easily keep socially distanced and the friendly staff make sure there are limited number of visitors inside. There are good clear information signs and a visit here would cover many areas of interest , including it being a court for over 800 years!
Written September 1, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for visiting and taking time to leaving a review Best wishes
Written October 16, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

LesleyScarborough
Scarborough, United Kingdom1,250 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2022
Oakham Castle looks, frankly, boring from the outside but we're so glad we visited it following a recommendation from a friend who said its cafe is excellent. We entered via the cafe and enjoyed two very good coffees. We'd had a hotel cooked breakfast so sadly couldn't manage any of the enticing-looking lunches or cake, alas. The toilets were clean and there were at least 6 of them to choose from. Then we walked into the castle's great hall (which is free to visit) and experienced its wow factor. Others have described the fascinating and unusual interior which was enhanced for us because we hadn't expected it, and we spent ages wandering around. The curator was friendly and happily answered my questions and I bought a couple of items from the little shop. I've visited a lot of castles in my 60-plus years but nothing like this one!
Written April 10, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Tim B
Spalding, UK2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2022
This was the venue for my daughter's wedding. It's a b beautiful little place close to the town centre. Staff here are extremely welcoming, hospitable and helpful. Catering for the event was provided by the on-site cafe and was excellent. NOTE: the cafe is open to all visitors (when not pre-booked for events) and the food is of the highest standard. Dogs are welcome inside but please see that they remain quiet and well-behaved.
Written June 1, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

gourmetflaneur
York, UK1,030 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2022
The castle walls have been reduced to mounds of earth with some rubble extant. But the hall itself is in excellent shape with the 19th Century court room furniture intact - a feature of its life that no doubt meant it was saved to this day. A rather strange collection of horses - evidence of the aristocracy wishing ot outdo each other in silly gestures. Very helpful staff.
Written March 27, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Paul R
Wellingborough, UK773 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Solo
If you go to Oakham castle expecting turrets, keeps, arrow slits and battlements you will be disappointed. However, this does not detract from the sense of history that the site evokes.
The castle is situated, conveniently, right off the market square.
At first glance the it just looks like a grassy, bowl-like field with an attractive hall at one end. In fact, the sides of the 'bowl' are formed by the partially eroded, raised earthworks that are largely what remains of the outer perimeter of the castle.
To picture the historic scene, imagination is required, helped along by the information boards dotted throughout the grounds. There are a couple of viewing platforms alongside the earthworks, providing a better perspective.
The great hall, by contrast, is in much better shape - a really attractive old structure in fact. Inside, more boards provide further information and the numerous horseshoes of varying size displayed around the walls make an intriguing spectacle (they are explained on one of the information boards).
There is also a pleasant-looking café and a small gift shop in the building.
All of this is free, so, if you're in town, why wouldn't you have a look?
Written February 20, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

David and Rebec... W
Hertford, UK27 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2022
A little curio of a place worth a brief visit. Helpful staff give a brief potted history then leave you to wander around. Still occasionally used as a court since the 13th century, you can still see the cell in the corner. A short walk from the high street and parking.
Written February 18, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Oakham Castle - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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