Situated between Dover Castle and Deal Castle, and located just outside of Deal. Walmer Castle and its gardens are not to be missed. Built during the time of King Henry VIII as part of the coastal defence line, and subsequently used as residence of the Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports, the castle has been remodelled over the years into a stately home, complete with landscaped gardens.
The famous Duke of Wellington was one such Warden who held the post for 23 years, and has two rooms dedicated to him which house various memorabilia from his time, including an original pair of ‘Wellington Boots’, his death mask, and the armchair in which he died. Also open to visitors are some of the rooms the Queen Mother used when she visited.
The battlements, even though only one storey up, offer good views of the beach and surrounding area, and of the gardens. The gardens themselves are a joy to walk around, and go back a fair way from the castle. Don’t miss the kitchen garden and greenhouse if you’re visiting in the summer, it was raining slightly when I visited, but it didn’t detract from the overall experience. There is a woodland walk which takes you all around the perimeter of the gardens which I recommend doing if you have the time.
I would thoroughly recommend visiting Deal Castle on the same day as Walmer, as Deal was built to roughly the same design, and has undergone fewer changes over time, so you can really get a feel for what these castles would have been like originally. It’s only a short drive down the road from Walmer, or, if you care for it, a 30 minute walk along the beach.
Walmer Castle Entrance
I think a lot of people miss this as it is just as you enter the castle. Don’t be one of those people!
Inside the Castle Walls
Unfortunately no photographs were allowed inside the rooms of the castle so I was only able to get exterior shots.
The Garden Side of Walmer Castle
The path goes all the way around the base of the castle, and makes for a nice circular walk.
Queen Mother’s Garden
The Main Gardens
Please visit the websites below for more information about Walmer Castle:
Main Wikipedia Article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walmer_Castle
Walmer Castle is operated by the English Heritage, and the cost of admission is detailed on their website. If you are planning on visiting a number of English Heritage properties throughout the year then it is advisable to buy a membership as it is more cost effective. Please click on the image above for more details.