Carisbrooke Castle, Newport, isle of Wight, Hampshire
The views from the castle walls at Carisbrooke Castle are incredible; from the battlements of the Norman Keep higher up on the mound, they are even more so, rolling on for miles over the Isle of Wight landscape.
For those of you who didn’t know, Carisbrooke Castle is where King Charles I was held prisoner after the English Civil War, and you can play bowls on his perfectly even bowling green if you go there. Just make sure you see as much as you can because it’s all so lovely here; the grounds are gorgeous, whether you’re strolling along the moat, swanning around in the Princess Beatrice Garden, or enjoying a cuppa in the Castle Tea Room. There’s a chapel, a museum, and a shop too, and kids can have fun dressing up as Norman soldiers or Civil War troopers.
But the other thing! The other thing Carisbrooke is well known for is its donkeys! Donks have lived at the castle for centuries, and used to play their part in pulling water from the well. These days they live in comfort in their stables and graze a five acre field, but for a very, very short time, every day the castle is open, they are brought out to the Well House to demonstrate how they work the 16th century tread wheel to raise the water from the bottom of the well. Go and meet them, give them a stroke and a little tickle behind the ears.
Open: Daily 10.00am-5.00pm
T: 0370 333 1181 (English Heritage) All information correct at the time of writing