Restormel Castle

Restormel Castle, perched atop a verdant mound near Lostwithiel in the heart of Cornwall, is a striking example of a 13th-century circular shell-keep, offering visitors a unique glimpse into medieval Britain.

Although now a ruin, Restormel remains one of the best-preserved Norman motte-and-bailey castles in Cornwall, surrounded by lush countryside and offering panoramic views that stretch across the River Fowey valley.

Its historical significance, combined with its natural beauty, makes Restormel Castle a must-visit for anyone interested in Cornwall’s rich past or simply looking for a peaceful spot to enjoy nature.

Discovering Restormel Castle

The castle’s main attraction is its circular keep, which once housed luxurious private apartments and a chapel.

As you wander through the ruins, you can still identify the great hall, kitchens, and living quarters, imagining the castle’s grandeur in its heyday.

The site is also renowned for its spring display of bluebells, making it an exceptionally picturesque destination during the early months of the year.

Highlights of Restormel Castle

The Circular Keep: Explore the substantial remains of the circular keep, walking in the footsteps of medieval lords and ladies.

Panoramic Views: The castle’s strategic position offers breathtaking views over the surrounding Cornish landscape, ideal for photography enthusiasts and nature lovers.

Picnic Area: With its tranquil setting, Restormel Castle is the perfect spot for a picnic, allowing visitors to relax and soak in the atmosphere of this historic site.

Planning Your Visit

Getting There

Restormel Castle is located just outside the town of Lostwithiel, easily accessible by car with a parking lot situated close to the entrance.

For those relying on public transport, Lostwithiel train station is a short distance away, with local bus services or a pleasant walk leading you to the castle.

Admission and Opening Times

Managed by English Heritage, Restormel Castle has a small admission fee, with discounts available for members, students, seniors, and families.

The site is typically open daily from spring to autumn, with varying opening hours. It’s advisable to check the English Heritage website for the most current information before your visit.


Accessibility: The approach to the castle is via a steep, grassy slope, which may be challenging for those with limited mobility.

On-Site Information: Information panels are located throughout the site, offering insights into the castle’s history and architecture.

No On-Site Catering: There are no catering facilities at Restormel Castle, but visitors are welcome to bring their own food and drink to enjoy in the designated picnic area.

Maximising Your Experience

Wear Appropriate Footwear: The terrain around Restormel Castle can be uneven and slippery, especially after rain, so sturdy shoes are recommended.

Bring Binoculars: For bird watchers and those interested in wildlife, the surrounding countryside offers excellent opportunities to spot local bird species.

Visit Lostwithiel: Combine your visit to the castle with a trip to Lostwithiel, known for its antique shops, charming cafes, and the picturesque River Fowey.

Tips for Your Visit

Check Local Events: The castle and the nearby town of Lostwithiel host various events throughout the year, from medieval reenactments at the castle to local markets and festivals.

Respect the Site: Help preserve this historic monument by not climbing on the ruins and taking any litter home with you.

Photography: The unique structure of Restormel Castle and its scenic surroundings provide fantastic photo opportunities, but drones may be restricted.

Nearby Attractions

The Eden Project: Just a short drive from Restormel Castle, this global garden housed in futuristic biomes is one of Cornwall’s most famous attractions.

Lanhydrock House and Garden: This impressive National Trust property, with its Victorian country house and extensive gardens, is located nearby and makes for an excellent combined day out.

Fowey: The beautiful coastal town of Fowey, with its picturesque harbour, shops, and restaurants, is within easy reach and well worth a visit.


Restormel Castle offers a rare opportunity to step back in time and experience the tranquillity and beauty of medieval Cornwall.

Whether you’re exploring its historical ruins, enjoying a picnic against the backdrop of stunning valley views, or simply soaking in the peaceful atmosphere, a visit to Restormel Castle is sure to be a highlight of your holiday in Cornwall.

Its combination of natural beauty, historical intrigue, and serene setting makes it a perfect destination for families, couples, and solo travellers alike.