Things to See and Do

Things To See and Do

Welcome to Pendennis Castle

We have introduced limits on visitor numbers to help keep everyone safe, and you won’t be able to visit without your booking confirmation. If you’re a Member, your ticket will be free, but you still need to book in advance. To book your visit, click here.

Although things might be a little different when you visit, you’ll still be able to enjoy exploring the places where history really happened. And you’ll still be given a warm and safe welcome by our friendly – if socially distant – staff and volunteers.

Please click here for more information about the safety measures you can expect when visiting as well as our FAQs

  • Castle Keep - The castle keep will be open with a one-way system in place. Entrance will be limited to small groups guided by a member of staff so you may need to wait. Please note, the keep is not suitable for dogs.  
  • Grounds - Our extensive grounds and viewpoints are open for you to enjoy.
  • Field Train Shed - The gun shed will be open to view. 
  • Barrack Block Exhibition -  The Barrack Block exhibition will remain closed. 
  • Battery Observation Post - This will be open as usual to view with tours available to book to the Half Moon Battery. 
  • Summer Explorer Quest - This summer, from 18 July, take your family on a free fun explorer quest with a historical twist. Download your trail map here and learn more below.
  • Cafe - The café will be open for light refreshments with a one-way system in place. 
  • Our café is taking part in the Eat Out to Help Out scheme. Find out more here.
  • Shop - The shop will remain closed. Visit our online shop for souvenirs and gifts. 
  • Toilets - There will be a toilet available on site. Additional hand sanitising stations will be available across the site.
  • Soft Play - The soft play area will remain closed. 
  • Disabled Parking - instead of disabled parking there will be a drop-off point for visitors to use. 
  • Face coverings - Face coverings must be worn when buying in Pendennis Castle's indoor shop and café and we recommend wearing them in all other indoor spaces. We won’t be able to give you a face covering, so please come prepared so you don’t miss out.
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Views across the Keep

Coastal Views

Dominating a high, rocky headland thrust out into the open sea, the great fortress of Pendennis has protected the entrance to the River Fal and its deep estuary, Carrick Roads, for nearly 500 years.

Pendennis offers breath-taking views over the town of Falmouth, nearby beaches and out to sea. Look out for sea-faring vessels of many kinds and a huge range of wildlife, birds and coastal creatures.

With so many vantage points to choose from you can always find a spot to admire the view, soak up the sun or sit and watch the world go by.

A gun on display in the Field Train Shed

Weapons of War

Marvel at the display of big guns in the Field Train Shed and learn about the awesome power of these coast defence weapons. The collection includes Tudor, Napoleonic, Victorian and 20th-century guns, each with information on how it would have been used.

Continue around to One Gun Battery – once home to a 'disappearing gun', then descend through the rock cut tunnel to the Half Moon Battery.

Half Moon Battery

Defending the Estuary

Follow the tunnels down to Half Moon Battery and discover the underground magazine where ammunition was stored during the Second World War. Imagine the drama as the big guns prepare to engage the enemy, and take a look around our camouflaged gun emplacements.

In 1943, the battery had a staff of 99, of which 36 were on the guns, with the remainder on searchlights and position-finding cells or employed in communications.

The Battery Observation Post

Scanning the Horizon

During the Second World War, the Battery Observation Post provided a round the clock watch to help keep Falmouth safe.

As you travel back to wartime Cornwall, discover how enemy ships were pinpointed on the horizon and the guns of Half Moon Battery controlled.

Be on the look out for approaching ships and listen in to conversations between the commander and his gun crews.

The Tudor Keep

Step into the noise and drama of a castle under attack in the castle keep.

A team of Tudor gunners can be seen in action with our new immersive installations; feel the fear and anticipation as the enemy approaches. Visitors can join the gunners on their race to the upper gun room, before testing their own skill (and nerve) loading an interactive cannon.

Climb the spiral stairs to the roof to experience its unparalleled views out to sea, and, with 360° panoramas, see why the castle's headland location was so strategically significant.

Guns and Cannons

Don't just see history, hear it too. Between April and October (except on event days), the noon day gun is fired using one of the original working guns from the castle's collection.

Dressed in authentic Edwardian uniform, a volunteer gun crew fire a rare 12-pounder QF (quick-firing) gun. The team has been specially trained to fire the gun and will give a short introductory talk before firing.

Watch our video about the historic guns and cannons at Pendennis Castle and find out about our vital conservation work.

Cafe No 6

A Bite to Eat

Our bright and airy cafe boasts a wide selection of meals freshly prepared here Pendennis Castle.

The menu includes both local and seasonal Cornish dishes and those with a historical Tudor twist, inspired by the castle's history as one of Henry VIII’s finest coastal fortresses.

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