Castle Acre Castle and Bailey Gate

Free Entry

Open any reasonable time during daylight hours.


Pye’s Lane, Castle Acre, King’s Lynn, Norfolk, PE32 2XB

Before You Go

Castle Acre, a tranquil rural village in Norfolk, boasts an extraordinary wealth of history. It is a rare and complete survival of a Norman planned settlement, including a castle, village, parish church and one of the best-preserved monastic sites in England, Castle Acre Priory. All this was the work of a great Norman baronial family, the Warennes, mainly during the 11th and 12th centuries.

Castle Acre Castle was founded soon after the Battle of Hastings by the first William de Warenne, a close associate of William the Conqueror. It is a superb and well-preserved example of a motte-and-bailey castle, and remains one of the most impressive Norman earthworks in the country.

The Bailey Gate is one of two stone gatehouses added to the settlement's massive earthwork defences in about 1200. The main road into the village still runs between its towers.

Read more about the history of the castle and Bailey Gate.

Before You Go

How to Find It: If not needing to use the Pye's Lane car park, the castle is best accessed via a footpath off Bailey Street (between The Old Red Lion and The Old Chapel) as this route leads straight to the castle's west gate and opens into the outer bailey.

Access: Access around the castle is over dirt paths that are bark chipped, and over grassy areas. The site can be slippery underfoot in wet weather so care is required. The path to the castle from the Pye's Lane car park involves a long set of steps. Access via the footpath from Bailey Street is step-free but can be muddy during wet winters around the castle's west gate. The Outer Bailey area is step-free but there are long sets of steps up to the Inner Bailey.

When visiting the Bailey Gate please be aware that the main road through Castle Acre village passes through it and visibility is limited as it on the brow of a hill and a bend. A pavement runs alongside the gate though for pedestrian use.

Parking: There is a small car park off Pye's Lane at the north east corner of the castle grounds.

Facilities: The castle and Bailey Gate are very close to the centre of Castle Acre village where there are a few shops and cafés, and a pub, mainly centred around the village green. Toilets can be found at Castle Acre Priory.

Dogs: Dogs on leads are welcome.

Plan a Great Day Out

If you're looking for things to do in the area, the monumental ruins of Castle Acre Priory are within half a mile of the Castle and Bailey Gate. Or, if you want to see some even more impressive fortifications, the solid Norman keep of Castle Rising Castle is only 11 miles away.

What you need to know

We've made some changes to help keep you safe, and things might be a little different when you visit. We may need to continue making changes as we follow continually evolving Government advice, so we recommend checking this information before your visit. Here's everything you need to know.

  • Do we need to Book?

    You don’t need to book your ticket in advance, but you will always get the best price and guaranteed entry by booking online ahead of your visit.

    If you are a Member and wish to book, your ticket is still free.

    Your booking is for the site/event only and does not guarantee a car parking space, which may carry an additional charge.

    Book Tickets

    Booking FAQs

  • How are you keeping us safe?

    Our staff are still working hard to keep everyone safe. We’re continuing with enhanced cleaning, using screens and wearing face coverings, and you’ll find hand sanitiser stations on site. You are now legally required to wear a face coverings in all our indoor public places, including our visitor centres, shops and in our cafes except when you are eating or drinking (unless exempt).

    You can also help us keep you and other visitors safe by not visiting if you have symptoms, tested positive, or have been asked to self-isolate.

    You can visit our reopening page for information on general safety measures we've taken to help keep you safe.

    General Safety Information

  • Do I need to wear a face covering?

    Face coverings are now legally required in all our indoor public places, including our visitor centres, shops and in our cafes except when you are eating or drinking (unless exempt).

  • Do I need a Covid Pass?

    No, you don’t need a COVID Pass to visit. Please don’t visit if you have symptoms of Covid-19, have tested positive or if you’ve been asked to self-isolate. We’ll always follow the latest government guidance, and if anything changes we’ll update this page to let you know.

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