Carisbrooke Castle

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Castle Hill, Carisbrooke, United Kingdom

Carisbrooke Castle Reviews

Vikram Vikram
309 reviews
The highlight was seeing the donkey draw water! May 07, 2016
Whilst I wouldn't rate this as the number one attraction of the island, I'd definitely recommend this as a nice way to spend a chilled evening. Located very close to Newport, the centre of the island, the Castle is a quick 10 minute bus ride and a 10 minute walk up the hill. I will strongly recommend that you ask at the co-op near the bus stop on how to get to the Castle as the footpath isn't marked clearly and one ends up taking the normal road (which is both circuitous and a waste of time).

The Castle contains a museum, and pitches itself as the "only public museum in the UK funded by a member of the Royal Family". Whilst this maybe a crowning achievement, the highlight to me was the Castle itself. It's a classical English historic motte-and-bailey castle best known as the place Charles I was imprisoned before his much publicised trial.

On reaching the castle, an English Heritage site, I made my way through the souvenir shop purgatory and onto the main attraction. Normally this is where I'd say I hate the touristy knick knacks on sale but they were giving out free samples of locally (as in, Isle of Wight) produced wine and various jams (including some garlic flavoured ones, Isle of Wight prides itself on having England's only true garlic farm!) so I didn't mind the free samples AT ALL! Plus I was a bit peckish despite having lived on ice creams and flapjacks all day (poor me, I know!).

On passing through the main gate, one can visit the restored Chapel (nice, nothing great) and the onwards to the museum. It considers itself separate from the Castle although admission is free, voluntary donation. There wasn't a whole lot to see here but there was a lot of focus on one mezzanine room which contained a window from which one could get a view of the Chapel (or something like that). Again, nothing that really stood out to me.

The highlight though was the Well's room with the famed donkeys. They have several donkeys on the site, and in barns (see selfie!). Every day, for about 10 minutes every 2-3 hours, these donkeys are brought out to walk on the circular wheel which in turns raises water from a well on the ground to the Castle. There was also a nice sign explaining why they went with donkeys and not horses for this job. There is a demonstration every few hours for which people really queue up (and I mean really queue up). I was fortunate in that I got a fairly close looksee and it was kind of fun to watch. The donkey too looks like it was having fun!

There's a tearoom in one of the old buildings but it isn't that impressive. Likewise, I heard the Keep had some amazing views but I skipped as I'd walked quite a bit and too bored to walk some more.

Overall, I'd say target about an hour, 1.5 at most to visit this Castle. It's nice, chilled out and does have history. That said, you can die a happy death even if you didn't visit it!
The visitor entrance to the Castle
Stood outside the entrance and too…
View of the Castle and gardens fro…
This is one of the attractions of …
7 / 7 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
monkeymia79 says:
That castle is impressive. Just love that selfie with the donkey.
Posted on: May 27, 2016
spocklogic says:
A bit o bites and drink before touring the castle - Bravo! Gotta love free samples sometimes...
Posted on: May 27, 2016
Paulovic says:
Well written so far!
Posted on: May 27, 2016
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photo by: Vikram