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Banwell Castle


Visited June 2010

Location Banwell, North Somerset
Entrance Fee None (but open to tea-room & B&B guests only)
Railway Station          No
Parking Yes
Facilities Toilets, Tea-room, Restaurant







Banwell is a village in North Somerset, situated South West of Bristol and about 20 miles from the airport. It has good road links but no railway station and the buses tend to stop at every other village en-route so I guess car is king for a visit to this particular castle. It is actually a folly dating back to the 1840’s when a London solicitor bought the land and had a grand, castellated mansion built for his family. It was built in the Gothic Revival style which was the fashion at the time with those who felt inclined to show off their wealth. The castle then changed hands several times over the years until the present owners bought it in 1988 and now run it as a B&B , restaurant and tea-room. As is the case with many castles these days it is also registered as a wedding venue.


As we were on a quick visit with the children during half-term we went for the tea-room option.  We walked right through the downstairs of the castle to the terrace and plonked our selves down, but did not see anyone  to give our order to. The tea room seems to be run on a very casual basis, if you see the owner you give him your order, but he is not constantly ‘on call’ for cream teas- when we did find him he was coming down the stairs with a pile of sheets from the bedroom in his arms so he was obviously tending to the B&B at the same time!! This actually worked out quite well for us as once we had our delicious Somerset cream tea (it was worth the wait!!!) we were then left in peace to enjoy it, without someone hovering around to make sure you did not use up the tables for too long. The terrace was delightfully shady on a hot day and had fantastic views to enjoy over a cup of tea. The terrace led onto  a lawn which the children played on and hunted for the peacock which they could hear squawking (if this is the right word for the noise a peacock makes).






After our refreshments we took a walk around the grounds, there were some interesting walkways leading to the gardens. As the castle is not that old it was not a ruin and is in fact still a family home, and this made an interesting contrast to previous castles we have visited which were very old and ruinous. It was also good to see that the castle is being used in several different ways which allows people like us, the great unwashed public, to be able to have access to it and enjoy the history and architecture of the building.






It is certainly a different experience to Starbucks but I would guess the ambience is more unique at this quaint castle tea-room than a massive chain of coffee shops.   Get out there and enjoy your warm scones in historical settings!!!


Banwell castle is also the venue for Hawk-walks if birds of prey are your thing.



More info:  Banwell Castle Hawk Walk

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