Family at Pendennis Castle

Pendennis Castle
Family Guide

With a history spanning over 400 years, Pendennis Castle is one of England's finest surviving coastal fortresses.

Climb to the top of the mighty keep and look out across Carrick Roads to sister castle St Mawes, and delve into the wartime tunnels to discover impressive World War II gun batteries. Pendennis combines a rich and varied history with hands-on experiences for all ages.

Pendennis Castle

Family Essentials

  • Food and drink: The tearoom on the ground floor of the Royal Artillery Barracks offers unique Cornish treats, fresh sandwiches, homemade cakes as well as hot and cold drinks. There is outside seating for when the sun's out.
  • Toilets: Toilets and baby changing facilities can be found in the Royal Artillery Barracks building.
  • Dogs: Dogs on a lead are welcome throughout the site. There is outside seating at the tearoom, ideal for dog owners.
  • Parking: Free parking is available on Castle Drive, just a short walk from the castle grounds. Take the path, or adventure through the moat walk to reach the castle from the car park. Disabled parking is located within the castle walls.

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Great for all ages

"There are lots of interactive things for the children to do. They can run up and down the keep, up and down those windy staircases, and get a real hands-on history experience."

jane   Jane (Historic Property Steward)

Sequence of three images showing gun being fired at Pendennis Castle

Don't miss...

  • The keep: Henry VIII's mighty Tudor keep is a maze of rooms and twisty staircases for the kids to explore, including a recreated gun deck complete with the noise and drama of a castle under attack. Plus, from the open rooftop, enjoy unparalleled views over the Carrick Roads to St Mawes Castle and across the English Channel.
  • Guns and cannons: Located around the castle grounds are a total of 37 long-range guns, many used in World War II. Plus, from April until October (except on event days), hear the noon day gun fired by our specially trained staff.
  • Discovery Centre & Exhibition: The First World War Exhibition (found in the Barrack Block) and Discovery Centre (in the former Field Train Shed on the east side of the compound) offer an engaging insight into Pendennis' varied history, for all ages.

Things to see and do
St Mawes viewed from the water


A short distance away from Pendennis, across the Carrick Roads, sits her sister fortress of St Mawes Castle. These two coastal defences built by Henry VIII between 1539 and 1545 guarded the important Fal estuary anchorage from the threat of Catholic invasion.

Each castle offers views across to the other, but if you are visiting Pendennis on a pleasant day, why not take the ferry from Falmouth over to the neighbouring headland and experience another of the best-preserved Tudor artillery fortresses in England? Ferry services are available from the docks area down the hill from Pendennis Castle. The journey also offers unique views of both castles, only available from the water, so have your camera ready!

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