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.

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. You can find all our site-specific information and tools below, and for Covid-19 risk assessments and measures we’ve got in place please visit our what to expect page.

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. Visit our bookings page to start planning your trip!

  • 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 
  • Education Site Opening Times

    We offer free self-led education visits during school term time*

    *Free education visits are not offered on UK public holidays or during the operation of additional fee paying public events at English Heritage sites.

    • April-October: Monday-Friday 10-4pm
    • November-March: Monday-Friday 10-4pm
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