Things to See and Do
Welcome to Walmer 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.
- Gardens - The formal gardens, meadow and woodland walk will be open for visitors to enjoy with a new free flow route in place. The Glen is open for visitors to enjoy, with a one way system in place to aid social distancing.
- Castle – The castle interiors will remain closed.
- Café - The Glasshouse cafe will be open, offering snacks, treats and refreshments via a takeaway service. The cafe will close 15 minutes before our closing time. Our tearoom and glasshouse cafe are taking part in the Eat Out to Help Out scheme. Find out more here.
- Shop – The castle shop will be open, with a one way system in place to help guide you.
- Playgrounds - The play trail will remain closed.
- Toilets - The castle's new toilet facilities will be open. Additional hand sanitising stations will be available in various locations.
- Site entrance - The normal visitor entrance is closed. An alternative visitor entrance is in use, accessed via the grass overflow car park.
- Face masks - Face coverings must be worn in Walmer Castle's indoor shop, café, tea room and 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.
Experience the gardens in a new light as you explore restored, previously-inaccessible areas of the grounds as well as new interpretation throughout the castle's award winning landscape.
Relax in the sunken Glen garden, and wander through restored woodland paths. Discover panels and tactile displays exploring the work of the gardeners and showcasing what's growing in the Kitchen Garden.
Explore the Castle
Explore the castle with a multimedia guide, and hear previously untold stories of the castle and famous residents from its history.
Discover the Duke of Wellington in his role as Lord Warden, and explore exhibits covering his career, life story and the iconic 'celebrity' status he attained during and after his lifetime. Prime Minister, William Pitt the Younger, also lived here, and at this time organized opposition to Napoleon Bonaparte. Find out how he orchestrated England's defenses against invasion, as well as beginning the landscaping of the castle's grounds.
With the backdrop of the undulating cloud yew hedge, the double borders are full of colour throughout the summer months. The colour and planting scheme is inspired by the influential British horticulturist and garden designer Gertrude Jekyll.
The flat Kent coastline is frequently blasted by salty winds from the English Channel, yet protected by the castle and garden walls, the gardens flourish here.
See where the fruit and vegetables for the tearoom are grown and maybe pick up some ideas for your own garden or allotment.
The Kitchen Garden has grown produce for the castle for nearly 300 years. We use complementary planting methods and grow all the cut flowers here for the castle arrangements. See the seasonal highlights in the garden.
Step inside the adjacent greenhouses bursting with colour in all seasons. Nearby the moat garden also provides a great safe space for children to explore.
Queen Mother's Garden
The Queen Mother was Lord Warden for 23 years, and this contemporary garden was created in honour of her 95th birthday. The Queen Mother declared, "I have been given many presents before, but never a garden."
Nearby, the gardens have plenty more to offer. Explore the mature trees of the woodland walk, a haven for spring snowdrops, and autumn leaves. On the Oval Lawn, take time to read a book, or play with the giant garden games in the summer.
Natural Play Trail
Young explorers will enjoy letting off steam as they discover our natural play trail along the woodland walk. They'll love climbing into hollow tree trunks and giant nests, crossing wobbly bridges, conquering climbing nets and gazing up through the trees on leaf-shaped sky seats. They can even learn about wildlife by spotting sculptures of woodland birds dotted around the trail. Created by master designers Studio Hardie, the beautifully crafted play pieces complement the woodland landscape and let children take delight in the glorious outdoors.
Feel the Duke of Wellington's spirit living on in the bedroom. You can see the armchair in which he died and his campaign bed in this room.
The Duke of Wellington spent 23 years at Walmer Castle. In this anniversary year of Waterloo come and see how the room would have looked when he lived here. This year the room is freshly refurbished and conserved, taking inspiration from an early painting the decor and ambiance is now even more authentic.
See highlights from the collection at Walmer Castle.
Tea Room and Glasshouse Café
You have seen where it's grown, now come and try some of our fresh produce in the Lord Warden's tea room and Glasshouse Café. An always changing seasonal menu of snacks, lunches and home made cakes makes the tea room a perfect place to recharge after a stroll around the historic gardens, whilst the Glasshouse Café offers sandwiches, snacks and cream teas in the beautiful setting of the gardens themselves.
On select weekends in the season you can join us for Sunday lunch at Walmer, as we serve a traditional roast with all the trimmings alongside vegetarian/vegan options. Normal site admission applies. Booking not essential, but can be made by calling the castle on 01304 364288. Our phone lines are manned during our opening hours.
Walk to Deal Castle
If you have time why not take a walk or cycle along the seafront to Deal Castle? Like Walmer it was built by order of Henry VIII and is one of a chain of 'Device' coastal forts built locally, including Camber, Sandgate and Sandown.
Plan your visit to Walmer Castle and Gardens today.