Walmer Castle, Royal holiday homeand where the Duke of Wellington departed
Yay another English sunny day, this meant only one thing, Gary and I were venturing off to the Kent coast. We combined two of our favourite pastimes, discovering more about our historical past and visiting the seaside. This time it was Walmer Castle.
Kent undoubtedly has its fair share of castles scattered around the county, particularly along the far east shoreline.
Armed with our English Heritage cards, we jumped in the car, picnic onboard and travelled off to the coast to uncover the intrigue behind Walmer and Deal Castle.
Dover Castle we were saving for another day.
Where is Walmer Castle & How to get there
- By Train
You can catch a direct train from London St Pancras to Walmer Station. Additionally, if you also wanted to visit Deal Castle, this is on the same train line and the stop before to Walmer.
- By Car
Walmer Castle is very close to Dover Castle and Deal Castle, so why not combine all three. Head down to the Kent coast along the M2 & A2 and follow the A258 to Walmer. If you are, an English Heritage member parking is available at all the castles.
Henry VIII’s defencesProtecting UK shores
The threat of invasion from Spain and France led to three castles (Walmer, Deal & Sandown) being built and earthwork defences in between.
King Henry VIII wasn’t taking any chances to ensure his British turf was protected.
We have a new little book on our shelves that we delve into when we're heading to the coast.
Packed full of historical facts, and broken down into the different counties of England. It tells tales of the history of the shoreline that surrounds our country.
Available in Kindle & Hardback editions, it's an excellent addition to anyone's collection who loves the English seaside.
Walmer Castles Bastions & CannonsPicturesque fortress on the Kent coast
Immediately we arrived at Walmer Castle, I was struck at how picturesque and beautifully maintained the fortress was.
This magnificent ancient castle is now preserved by the meticulous people at the English Heritage.
Visitors are welcomed to tour Walmer Castle at their own leisure and pace. As you stroll around this low-lying stronghold, there are friendly faces to stop and ask any questions you wish.
Within Walmer Castle, there’s so much to discover. Not only are you able to wander around the Keep, but there are also four circular commanding bastions to head out upon with cannons strategically pointing out across The English Channel.
Another area of Walmer Castle I particularly enjoyed was its surrounding deep moat that encircled the citadel.
The moat is no longer full of water and discouraging anyone who comes near, it is all laid to lawn and lovingly planted out all the way around for everyone to enjoy.
Walmer Castle, a comfortable retreatFrom working citadel to a pleasant home
A position not to be sniffed at, as many distinguished people including the Duke of Wellington, Sir Winston Churchill and the late Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, held this post.
Therefore, Walmer Castle was to evolve over the years and was refashioned into a comfortable home.
Kent coastal road trip
A scenic coastal road trip around the shores of Kent, UK
RoyaltyVisits from Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother
English Heritage Membership
If you plan on visiting multiple English Heritage sites, you may want to consider an annual pass. You’ll be amazed at how much you will save, just click on the banner below.
Free parking is available on site.
Arthur WellesleyThe Duke of Wellington left his boots
The Duke of Wellington was made Lord Warden in 1829 and claimed Walmer Castle was his favourite residence. Wellington died at Walmer Castle on 14th September 1852.
A state funeral was held for Wellington on 18th November 1852, an honour only given to a few British subjects. He is buried at St Paul’s Cathedral in London.
Kent rural road trip
A road trip around the Kent countryside
Walmer Castle's beautiful groundsPitt the Younger
William Pitt the Younger held the post of Lords Warden of the Cinque Ports from 1792, until 1806.
Pitt the Younger’s niece, stayed with him at Walmer Castle for three years from 1803. It was during this time that she transformed the simple kitchen garden into a beautiful formal landscape garden, that can be seen today.
Where to stay near Walmer
- The Royal Hotel – Located on the seafront of Deal offers incredible views across the bay. The 18th-century charming hotel is a perfect base for exploring Deal and touring the Kent coast.
- The Waterfront Hotel – Overlooking Deal pier this historic family-run hotel offers a delicious breakfast ready to sustain you for a full day ahead.
Need a car?
Walmer Castle's Kitchen GardenA harvest to be proud of
If you're intrigued by Kent's weird and wonderful history, or all unusual stories around the county, then take a peek at "Kent's Strangest Tales".
You won't be able to put it down, you can pick it up for your Kindle or in good old paperback.
The Queen Mother’s GardenA Tranquil escape in a fortress
Map, guides and more
When you’re nurturing the seed of a road trip, plotting your destinations across a paper map just brings the adventure to life. Whether it’s the touchy-feely aspect of the map or the rustling sound of mastering the art of origami while trying to fold it away, I’m not too sure. Nonetheless, the good old Ordnance Survey guys and gals always come up trumps.
Take a look at the vast array of maps you can choose from.
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