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Pendennis Castle, Falmouth

(4.6/5 based on 1,100+ reviews on the web)
Pendennis Castle is one of the most impressive of the remaining Tudor forts, originally built by the dozens to protect King Henry VIII. Sitting atop a massive hill, the site showcases a panoramic view of the sea. An onsite gunroom, restored barracks, and castle tunnels give you a first-hand idea of life in military in the 1500s. On-site cafes offer coffee service, which you may enjoy in the manicured courtyards. Professional and self-guided tours lead you through acres of walking grounds. Be sure to check the local weather before leaving for the day. The area has a reputation for storms sweeping in from the sea. Pendennis Castle is just one of the many highlights you can arrange to see using our world travel planner, Falmouth Edition.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Being perched on top of the headland be prepared for a bit of a walk. My main thought was that here is a good example of how a defensive castle evolved through the centuries. Lots to see. 
  • Much larger than St Mawes castle across the bay, Pendennis was also built by Henry VIII. It was also used during WWII as part of Britain's sea defences and there are buildings and artifacts from that ...  more »
  • Visited this weekend. Spent over 2 hrs which for £8 a ticket each was good value. Our tour guide terry was informative and happy to chat about the castle after. So sad to hear how many artefacts have ...  more »
Google
  • I have mixed feelings on this review as had we had more time I may have come away with a different perspective. We arrived at 3pm on Saturday and figured we'd spend a leisurely few hours at the castle enjoying the sunny weather. It's worth noting that parking is a fair walk from the castle itself along an undulating path so take that into account if you're not steady on your feet. Of course disabled parking for badge holders is available at the castle itself. Once we'd made it to the castle itself I took the opportunity to sign us both up to English Heritage which given hindsight I'd have done at a later date. You see once we'd spent 15 minutes doing that we were told the castle was shutting at 4pm for a private wedding. No advance warning at the car park and nothing on the website so very disappointing to find out once we'd walked through the gates that we only had 45 minutes to rush around. It was clear that the wedding would take place in the castle itself as we had to dodge people setting up and vacuuming as we explored and cars were pulling into the grounds with wedding guests. It felt very much like we were invading a special day for the couple and couldn't relax and spend the few hours we'd planned walking the grounds. We did a quick tour of the barracks, side-stepped more wedding guests and made an exit. Had we known in advance time would be so limited and the attraction was being set up for a wedding later that day we'd have given it a miss and spent our money elsewhere. Surely it's not rocket science to put up a temporary sign at the castle car park giving notice that a private event was about to take place?!?
  • Lots of entertaining shows that go on all day. They have bird shows which showcase birds of prey and they show jousting. Had a brilliant time. Unfortunately it is quite a popular place and was a bit full.
  • Very interesting guided tour, lovely cafe and brilliant views. The midday gun fire was great too.
  • Great half day out for all the family. The castle itself is not very big but there's lots to see within the grounds and plenty of open space for children to run around. Great views over looking Falmouth and it's sister castle at St Mawes. Lots of history with these two castles. Together with the fortress at St Mawes, Pendennis guarded the port of Falmouth for over 400 years. The castle began as a gun fort in the mid-16th century. Bastioned defences were added in the 1590s following the threat of Spanish invasion and were periodically updated, notably during the Second World War when the guns again saw action.
  • Fantastic - great cafe and lots to see, ask before you go if you want to see a gun fired, sometimes they fire for special occasions so check if its happening on the day you plan to visit. Great views over the bay and out to sea.