Carisbrooke Castle
Carisbrooke Castle
4.5
Saturday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
About
An Elizabethan artillery fortress, a king's prison and a royal summer residence. Carisbrooke is a quintessential romantic castle. Here you'll find loveable donkeys, a fascinating museum and an Edwardian garden. Your can also experience hundreds of years of history with entertaining events in the summer.
Suggested duration
1-2 hours
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  • Lee
    Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom147 contributions
    Stunning Views
    Returned to the Isle of Wight and this was a must on our visit list. The castle is great and the walk around the wall have some amazing views. The cafe was great and picked up some gifts in the shop. I would highly recommend a stop if you are there.
    Visited April 2022
    Traveled as a couple
    Written December 19, 2022
  • Dannybless
    Bournemouth, United Kingdom21 contributions
    I just don't get it for the money
    I'm assuming that this feels much better value if you're already English heritage members. Overall for face price tickets to find out half way round the museum is closed (no mention when buying tickets) there really isn't a huge amount to see or do once you're in. Sure the grounds are impressive but for the £££ it's really not worth it. We did it in an hour and didn't fancy the cafe so value for money was off. Shame but I think there's much better attractions with more to offer. Certainly wouldn't put this down as a must see venue.
    Visited December 2022
    Traveled with family
    Written December 30, 2022
  • nigel b
    120 contributions
    Fantastic half day out
    If you like Castle's then this one will not disappoint. We visited in February so it was very quiet. Plenty to do if you don't mind walking up and down steps eg Ramparts. The highlights included the Chapel and the Well where you get to see a demo of a donkey (real one) operating the bucket lift mechanism via a giant tread mill. It should be noted that the donkey appeared to thoroughly enjoy the experience and the company of the visitors. There is a good shop where you can sample the liquid goods on sale eg Ginger wine. Plus there is a cafe. A great place to visit for all the family.
    Visited February 2023
    Written February 10, 2023
  • Philmex1
    Southampton, United Kingdom1,734 contributions
    Great to be back!
    Our first visit in a few years. Lovely welcome from the staff on duty. Fantastic views on a clear day and so photogenic. One of my favourite places on the Isle of Wight. Do check the English Heritage website for opening hours. We went during half term week, when the Castle is open most of the time, but during March 2023, it is closed Monday and Tuesday.
    Visited February 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written February 17, 2023
  • mouikey
    87 contributions
    Brilliant and historical day out
    Overall we had a fabulous time at Carisbrook Castle. We went during their Easter event which, even in the rain was great fun. Lots of free car parking available and both inside and outside activities and exploring. We always love seeing the donkeys but this time they weren’t working due to the event. My daughter loved the jousting practice and the fantastic duo who showed us various sleight of hand games. The cafe had a good and varied menu, but can get busy at peak times, especially when it rains. All the staff (bar one sadly) were helpful and friendly and willing to give information about the exhibits. We particularly enjoyed the earthquake computer (but it’s tucked away in the museum so do look it out). Really worth a visit especially if you’re EH or CSSC members
    Visited April 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written April 15, 2023
  • 902mavis
    Swanage, United Kingdom22 contributions
    Interesting place to Visit
    Very interesting castle, it has been kept very authentic. reasonably priced to go in for these type of places. Nice cafe and shop. Loved the chapel, beautiful ceilings and windows. They have done an excellent job with the museum. Only downside was the donkeys! I don’t feel there is any need for them, put on a display about how they use to work, but don’t keep the poor things there. I’m sure they are well looked after, but two looked very sad and very thin. On the whole interesting place to visit.
    Visited May 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written May 5, 2023
  • BundyClub
    Bundanoon, Australia541 contributions
    Good to go, make sure you get the right bus.
    The castle is located above the town of Carisbrooke near Newport. We caught bus line 6 from Newport and got off at the Castle Hill stop this was a mistake as it involved quite a long uphill walk. We should have caught a line 12 bus (which we caught back) - still an uphill climb but not as far. The castle visit itself was well organised, well signposted. The museum was very interesting. The walk around the castle walls(you can almost go all the way around) gives unrivalled views over the town and countryside. The water wheel demonstration by the donkeys was very interesting and the care shown by the handler to the donkey admirable.
    Visited May 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written May 7, 2023
  • Charli M
    Coventry, United Kingdom142 contributions
    Interesting place
    Lovely day out - dog also enjoyed a run in the nearby meadow. Interesting history here, though a shame that King Charles’ cell has been renovated and the original window replaced. But a lot of his and his family’s artefacts still remain. Also got to see a very hungry and impatient donkey at work in the well house.
    Visited May 2023
    Traveled solo
    Written May 21, 2023
  • DillonM1905
    Laramie, Wyoming433 contributions
    Awesome Castle on Wight
    This is an awesome castle. The castle grounds and fortifications are quite extensive. You can walk the ramparts almost all the way around the castle. There is a shrine to Charles I who was housed here before his execution and a nice museum associated with the castle and region within the residences. We have seen a lot of castles and this one is truly worth the stop. EH is getting very expensive though - even have to pay for parking, what a pain.
    Visited May 2023
    Written May 23, 2023
  • Andrea
    Tidworth, United Kingdom1,089 contributions
    Interesting castle
    We are members of English Heritage and my partner was excited when he saw this castle advertised on the ferry over. Really interesting and we enjoyed our visit. You can walk on the ramparts and look over the whole castle. They have donkeys at the castle who are very well looked after and only do demonstrations for 6 minutes a day (& not if it’s too hot). Donkeys have been resident at the castle for hundreds of years and used to work the well for a fresh supply of water. We had a look around the chapel, the museum and Princess Beatrice’s garden. We took a picnic with us. We also treated ourselves to some Tipsy Wight vodka.
    Visited June 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written June 22, 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

4.5
2,220 reviews
Excellent
1,213
Very good
771
Average
171
Poor
48
Terrible
17

Graham P
Richmond, UK55 contributions
Sep 2020
The property is steeped in history and I was excited to visit the castle which is managed by English Heritage. A fairly hard sale to join English Heritage was made upon arrival, which we refused. The castle is well presented and other than walking up the gate tower on arrival, walking around the garden, the surrounding wall of the castle climbing up to the main tower and observing a couple of donkeys by the cafe, that was it. Other than some display boards, you are not fed any more information booklet or map on arrival. I do not expect headphones in a Covid 19 era, but felt for the ticket price the services offered were lacking. The small cinema with seats and screen was "out of use" so any information that may provide us was not available. The Chapel updated by Princess Beatrice was locked and the most important part - the museum was closed as it only opens at the weekend. If this is an example of what English Heritage offer then I am not interested in becoming a member.
Written September 25, 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.

Paul D
Birmingham, UK144 contributions
Sep 2020
We had visited Carisbrooke many years back and really enjoyed the experience, but having recently joined English Heritage, decided to come here as our first visit as members as we were holidaying on the Isle of Wight. We prebooked our tickets on line as required and made use of the free parking that goes with the membership. As it was our first time and only had our tickets on our phones I knew we would have to show these on the way in, however the 'gentleman' on reception was extremely unhelpfula nd quite rude the way he spoke to us, treating us as if we had the plague when trying to get our tickets scanned. I know Covid is here but its hard to stand too far back when you are trying to get your phone in the right position to get your ticket scanned. A little patience and a friendlier greeting would not have cost him anything. I was beginning to wonder if all English Heritage sites would be like this, but happily our experience and the friendly greeting we received the next day at Osborne was reassuring. Carisbrooke itself although still interesting is suffering a bit because of Covid. The grounds are still well kept and expansive, but the donkey experience in the mill doesnt currently take place and not everywhere was open inside. There is a one way system , but many people were complletely ignoring this paricularly in the climb up steps to the keep. a no entry sign was largely ignored and was unsupervised. Perhaps the unfriendly receptionist would be better posted here! (after going on a customer service retraining course preferably!) Is it still worth a visit, yes if its your first time, but I wouldnt say its one of the top places to see on the island at the moment.
Written October 5, 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.

Peter M
Oxford, UK347 contributions
Mar 2020
As you approach it all looks a bit dilapidated, not surprising for something over a thousand years old, but once inside the place really comes to life with good information, displays and very helpful guides/volunteers. The museum is excellent, although not part of the English Heritage faction of the site. I felt it very expensive considering how few delicate artefacts exist within the castle, and unlike very large mansions it is only a shell of a building. To pay £3.00 for parking on top was as steep as some of the armpit walks.
Written March 17, 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.

Damascus
31 contributions
Oct 2021 • Couples
Awful Halloween haunted night paid £17 each for 40 minutes. Had someone telling us a story about a graveyard and then learned off staff it was the site of an old cafe.
Couldn’t go inside due to covid - no drinks or food put on.
Wasn’t scary or that informative - felt £34 could have been spent better
Written November 8, 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.

Katie
Portsmouth, UK48 contributions
Jul 2022
The entry fee was reasonable at only half the price of Osborne! It is a good hour and a half's walk just around the outer curtain walls and non-museum buildings. I myself spent a good 45 mins in the museum while our family group rushed through in 25 ish minutes, so you can easily eke out the time spent if you really wish.

That is not to mention the outer defence walk with the cannons; we went on the hottest day of the year in July 2022 so decided not to do that as it was already 12:30pm.

Plenty of parking available...most people were ignoring the pay-to-display sign so we did also, and really the charge is not needed considering the sheer number of spaces (we came out at peak time and it was still pretty much only half full). You could make more money by improving the cafe (which was adequate for coffee but was otherwise limited) and removing the parking charge altogether.

Great castle for those who enjoy castles and Charles I.
Written July 21, 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.

Eric B
Great Wakering, UK29 contributions
Sep 2020
Visited the Isle of Wight in mid-September and one of our set days was a visit to Carisbrook Castle and Osbourne House. When we arrived at Carisbrook we found that it would have been helpful to take along an IT wizard as I had real trouble trying to book online from the car park, not at all sure why this had to happen as there were at least four people manning the reception area. It also cost us £3 to use the car park (not part of the admission fee). We were about to purchase the parking ticket when a car pulled beside us and offered their ticket, the person in the car told us that they pushed their disabled friend in a wheelchair the three or four hundred yards uphill to the entrance only to be told that they must book online and were refused entry. It wasn’t the fact that there were too many people there as a friend was able to book for us while in the car park. Not good customer care.
Once inside the castle grounds we found that the museum and house was closed, something that we were not told before entry or indeed before payment!
So we paid just to look at some ruins.
We had planned to visit Osbourne House but this really put us off the visit as that is run by English Heritage as well.
To sum up we had a wasted day and wasted money and we will not be visiting English Heritage again.
Written October 19, 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.

laneypops83
London121 contributions
Oct 2020 • Couples
We visited during the day and again for the spooky evening event. The storyteller was telling kids stories during the day and was the guide for the evening event. Very engaging for both adults and children.
Booking online is essential during COVID restrictions. Tea room is takeaway only and has quite a queue when it rains.
Written October 28, 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.

Phiip P
Leighton Buzzard, UK309 contributions
Oct 2021 • Couples
This is one of the better castles I have visited. You can walk the battlements but be careful the steps are uneven and could be very tricky if wet, you also have to like heights. There is a lot to see here the keep can be entered and even the walls here can be climbed up yet more stone steps. The bowling green out the back is also worth a look with more earth battlements and some cannons. There is a small museum in one of the rooms that’s worth your time and also the donkeys will amuse younger visitors. There is the usual well stocked shop and plenty of car parking but be aware there is a fee unless you are an English heritage member. It’s definitely worth a visit and I would highly recommend it
Written November 7, 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.

Wendy
Bath, UK3 contributions
Aug 2020 • Family
Despite the site having the pre booking we actually found this helped with less visitors at one time. My family loved the donkeys and helpful staff on hand to answer the questions the children had. The walks and views totally amazing. Castle smaller than expected but clean tidy and well presented. A warm welcome from a blonde lady at entrance who was helpful and signed us up to be members. Nice friendly man on toilets.
Would visit again next holiday
Written September 7, 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.

Janice B
22 contributions
Oct 2020
Excellent day out. Views from the walls excellent. You can see for miles. Very interesting visit. Best to go on a day the museum is open, as it's got lots of interesting things to see. Also, book before you go. At the moment you can't get in unless you have pre-booked. Would highly recommend. It is much bigger than you realise once you're in there and you need to allow a good 3 hours for your visit to take in the museum as well.
Written October 21, 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.

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