Yarmouth Castle


Yarmouth Castle was finished in 1547. It was designed to protect Yarmouth harbour, and in conjunction with Hurst Castle on the mainland, it also defended the western end of the Solent against any invasion fleets. This was the last and most sophisticated of Henry VIII’s series of coastal forts, with a new square shape and the first ‘arrowhead’ style artillery bastion built in England. Yarmouth Castle has a long history of military use: it was garrisoned until 1885 and was used in both of the World Wars.

Information about your visit

Our number one priority remains the health, safety and security of all of our visitors, staff and volunteers. Our staff are still working hard to keep everyone safe and make sure you and your group have an enjoyable visit.

Please note that we are currently experiencing high volumes of enquiries about our education visits, so we might take a little longer to come back to you.

Important information to consider before you book:

  • To keep everyone safe we’re continuing to limit visitor numbers at some sites and in some indoor spaces. Please book as soon as possible to secure your preferred trip date and times.
  • In order to process your enquiry as quickly as possible, please ensure you have provided the following information, or have this information ready when you speak to one of our advisers: visit arrival and departure time; age range of the group; subject(s) to be studied; learning objective; number of learners and leaders; name of trip organiser; name of trip leader; SEND requirements.
  • Find out more about what to expect on your school visit and make sure you download our COVID risk assessments; download a free copy of managing education visits during the pandemic and if you're participating in a Discovery Visit download our managing Discovery Visits during the pandemic risk assessment
  • To make the planning process as easy as possible, make sure you check our Plan Your School Trip section at the bottom of this page, for updated information on the facilities at the site as well as our free resources.
  • You’ll need to book your visit at least 14 days in advance. Please check our terms and conditions for full details.
  • Although is it not a requirement, any teachers, parents, or students aged 16 years can check in via the NHS Test and Trace app, using the NHS QR code posters displayed at the site entrance. Please factor this into your travel/arrival time. For more information about how we are handling your personal data for NHS Test and Trace please visit this page.
  • Our staff are continuing to wear a face covering in our busy areas and indoor spaces, and we encourage you and your group to do the same where possible.

At some sites you might not be able to use our handling collections or costumes as part of a free self-led visit, but where we can provide hands-on items in a safe way we will. We’ve adapted our Discovery Visit workshops to keep you and your group safe at all times, but for certain sessions we’re still working on this – please check the Discovery Visit section and Facilities section on this page below for further information.

Curriculum links

Visit Yarmouth Castle to support your teaching in a fun and engaging way, and cover multiple topics across the curriculum.

  • KS1 History: Significant historical events, people and places in the locality
  • KS1 English and Drama: To speak clearly, fluently and confidently to different people. To listen, understand and respond to others
  • KS2 History: A local history study. A study of an aspect or theme in British history that extends pupils' chronological knowledge beyond 1066
  • KS2 Geography: Human geography: types of settlement and land use, identify the manmade defensive features of the site
  • KS3 History: A local history study. The development of Church, state and society in Britain 1509–1745. Ideas, political power, industry and empire in Britain 1745–1901. Challenges for Britain, Europe and the wider world 1901 to the present day
  • KS3 Geography: Understand the key processes in human geography; understand how human and physical processes interact to influence and change landscapes

Free self-led visits

Book a free self-led visit, and organise your day to suit your curriculum needs. Explore the castle at your own pace, spot the model canon and step inside the rooms to discover the recreation of how they were used in the 16th century. Visit the exhibition to learn about how and why Yarmouth Castle was built and about the many shipwrecks that occurred in the sea overlooked by it: a perfect theme for a creative project back in the classroom. Outside, look out over views of the harbour, and imagine how the scene might have looked different in the time of Henry VIII when the castle was first built.

Find out more

Plan Your Trip

We have a wide range of materials to support your visit and make school trip planning easy. Download our free resources to help you make the most out of your visit and create unique learning experiences before, during and after your trip.

We also offer free planning visits for group leaders once you have made a booking. Our Education Booking Team is on hand to advise and help you create the best possible school trip to suit your needs and area of study.

  • Facilities
    • PARKING: The car park is located 200 meters away from the site, adjacent to the Wightlink ferry port. Visitors will need to cross a busy road to access the site. It is a coin-operated pay and display car park that is not managed by English Heritage. A coach park is also located 200 meters away from the site. There is some limited free car parking in the town with a maximum of 1 hour stay.
    • LUNCH: You are very welcome to bring a picnic to enjoy in the grounds.
    • TOILETS: Unfortunately there are no toilet facilities on site. The nearest public toilets are less than 5 minutes’ walk away, next to the pier.
    • SHOP: There is a shop selling a selection of Yarmouth Castle souvenirs and English Heritage gifts. Please take your class in supervised small groups.
    • EXHIBITION: Displays inside the castle recreate how the rooms were used in the 16th century, and an exhibition about the many wrecks which occurred in ‘Yarmouth Roads’, the treacherous stretch of sea which the castle overlooks. Exhibition is located on the first floor, currently no disabled access 
  • Enquire now

    0370 333 0606

  • School visits

    We’re here to support your school trip planning this term. To start your enquiry, it's best to complete our online form. All bookings must be made at least 14 days in advance. Please make sure you check our terms and conditions ahead of your visit.

    If you’d like more information about a site or one of our workshops, get in touch to speak to your local Education Visits Officer.

    Please note that we are experiencing high volumes of enquiries about our education visits so we might take longer than usual to come back to you. We’re currently prioritising the most urgent enquiries with visit requests between now and end of October 2021.  If you are enquiring about a visit outside of that time we will respond as soon as possible. Thank you for your patience and please accept our apologies for the inconvenience. We look forward to seeing you soon.

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