Pendennis Castle

Pendennis Castle Family Guide

Enjoy a family day out at Pendennis Castle, Falmouth, a coastal fortress with unmissable sea views. Travel back to wartime Cornwall, climb to the top of the keep, and enjoy acres of green space at this historic gem.

Situated on a headland overlooking Falmouth, Pendennis is one of Henry VIII’s finest seaside castles. Winding stone staircases, atmospheric war rooms and action-packed events make it all too easy to imagine life here centuries ago. Plus, a Castle Explorers family trail guides you around the fortress.

Family Essentials

  • Food and drink: Our castle café offers a wide range of traditional treats – with regulars like Cornish pasties, freshly made sandwiches and homemade cakes. Gluten-free and dairy-free options are available, and we have a special lunchbox for our younger visitors.
  • Toilets: Toilets and baby changing facilities can be found near the cafe
  • Dogs: Dogs on a lead are welcome at Pendennis Castle. There is outdoor seating at the tearoom, perfect for dog owners.
  • Getting here: Free parking is available on Castle Drive, a short walk from the castle. You can also walk to Pendennis Castle from Falmouth town centre, 15 minutes away.

Things to see and do

  • The keep: Henry VIII's mighty Tudor keep is a maze of rooms and twisty staircases for the kids to explore, complete with the noise and drama of a castle under attack.
  • Guns and cannons: Don't just see history, hear it too. Between April and October (except on event days), the ‘noonday gun’ is fired using one of the original working guns from the castle's collection.
  • First World War Exhibition: Travel back to wartime Cornwall with our First World War Exhibition (found in the Barrack Block) which offers an engaging insight into Pendennis' varied history. 
  • Soft Play: Located next to the café, this is a perfect place to entertain little ones while enjoying a cream tea.
  • Acres of space: Enjoy a picnic in the grounds while the kids let off some steam, or grab a treat from the castle café. 
  • Panoramic views: Stir up your sense of adventure and climb the keep for unparalleled views over the Carrick Roads to St Mawes Castle. For wildlife lovers, the 360-degree views from the top of the keep offer a brilliant place for spotting the wide range of birds and animals around Falmouth.
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Tips for a great day

"Brilliant for all ages! There are lots of interactive things for children to do. Whether it’s climbing the keep’s windy staircases or enjoying the soft play."

      Jane (Historic Property Steward)

"My favourite thing to do is answering the phones in the Battery Observation Post!"

      Ted (Visitor, Aged 4)

Events at Pendennis Castle

From mighty clashing knights in our jousts to adventure quests spent exploring the keep and barracks, the regular programme of events at Pendennis Castle has something for all the family.

See what's on

Don't Miss

Go on a whole day adventure and, after visiting Pendennis Castle, catch the ferry to St Mawes and explore our picturesque sister castle.

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!

Find out more

More to explore

  • Family Membership

    Enjoy unlimited access to over 400 historic places across the country with family membership from £50.

  • History and Stories

    Explore this castle’s eventful history, from the time of Henry VIII to the Second World War.

  • Visit Tintagel Castle

    Tintagel Castle is a magical day with its wonderful location, set high on the rugged North Cornwall coast. It offers dramatic views, fascinating ruins and a stunning beach café.

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