We chose to go to Okehampton Castle as a convenient stop off point off the A30 on our way to St. Ives. It’s ideal for this as it’s only a mile or so off the main road so you aren’t wasting lots of time driving to your lunch spot.
What’s there? Okehampton Castle is basically a ruin, but it has enough walls standing to convey the atmosphere and give an idea of how the castle would have looked.
Our Visit: We deliberately kept our visit short, but you can see everything quite quickly as it’s a small site. You can get an audio tour, but we tend not to bother with these as my son doesn’t have the patience for these yet. There are a number of interpretation panels scattered around which give enough information to get an understanding of the layout of the place. It’s a steep, but short, walk up to the motte (the mound with the keep or main tower of the castle on it). From there there’s a great view of the rest of the castle and of the town and countryside beyond.
We did a tour of the castle at our own speed (fairly fast) and then had lunch in an adjoining field which had picnic tables. There’s a small shop and a toilet at the entrance. My son is very keen on knights and castles and he thoroughly enjoyed it.
Any Negatives? Not really. It’s a small unpretentious site with a limited amount to see, but entry is priced accordingly.
Price & Availability We’re English Heritage members so we got in free. If you are paying, it’s £3.70 and £2.20 for children over 5.
Overall A lovely little castle with nice views and a very convenient lunch stop for A30 travellers.