We joined the National Trust over a year ago now and I am so glad we did, as we often now visit places that we may not have thought to before. Recently when we went to Butlin’s, we also visited the National Trust’s Dunster Castle in Somerset.
We were lucky with the weather when we visited, as it was an absolutely gorgeous day. Dunster Castle is only 5 minutes or so away from Butlin’s Minehead itself, so it is perfect for a visit if you are staying there.
It was quite busy when we arrived, but there was still plenty of places to park, and parking a bit further away meant we got to enjoy the views as we walked towards the castle more. It really is such a stunningly beautiful place.
The actual castle itself isn’t huge, but there are plenty of rooms to look around and enjoy and the views out of the window as you walk around are just breathtaking. Can you imagine living somewhere like this, where the first thing you see in the mornings are these types of views?! What a dream that would be.
As per most National Trust houses, there was of course a shop, cafe and easily accessible toilets. It is also located so closely to Dunster village that you can take a stroll around there and have lunch if you wanted to. Dunster is what I would describe as a proper chocolate box village, it really is gorgeous with lots of old buildings and rich in history.
When you walk around the castle, there was plenty of information to read on the history of the place, making it easy to imagine living there in olden times. In one part that we investigated around the side, there was a sign explaining that where we were stood, there was a pit below. A pit that they dropped enemies/criminals in to and then left them to it.. to die.
Nice hey? I can’t imagine you would want a mistrial back in those days, or to annoy the wrong person. The Game of Thrones fan in me liked that they included gory details. History isn’t history if you only write about and include the happy parts and before you start laughing, don’t worry I do know that Game of Thrones isn’t a factual historical programme.
The gardens around the castle are beautiful and there were various walks that you could go on, we mostly sat on a bench under some trees and took in the scenery though, whilst the boys polished off flapjacks from the cafe. There are a lot of wheelchair and pushchair friendly paths around, making Dunster very accessible.
My favourite part of our visit. was that they had a falconry display on for half term. We got to watch some magnificent birds flying around above us. I never cease to be amazed at how well-trained these birds can be, and the people doing the display were brilliant. We learnt a lot more from them in half an hour, than I have at any other show we have been to.
Of course my phone battery had died by then, so I didn’t manage to get any bird photos, other than the photo of the tent above – unless you count this one of a seagull at Minehead… a bit different, but hey it has wings and feathers.
I definitely recommend visiting the beautiful Dunster Castle, even if just for a walk around the stunning grounds.