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Yarmouth Castle (Isle of Wight)

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Quay Street / Yarmouth / Isle of Wight / PO41 0PB

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      12.04.2013 00:57
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      Nice enough but don't make a special trip

      As an English Heritage member, I get in to EH-owned properties for free, so I made sure to browse the website before my trip to the Isle of Wight to find out where I could go. As well as Osborne House and Carisbrooke Castle, I resolved to visit Yarmouth Castle. Begun by Henry VIII as part of his coastal defences but not completed until after his death in 1547, the castle looks out on the Solent and the Hampshire coast, keeping an eye out for any suspicious invaders.

      *Location and Access*
      Yarmouth Castle is perfectly positioned for car users: the car ferry arrives at Yarmouth very close by, and there is a car park here too (pay and display). Those using public transport can also arrive on the Yarmouth ferry, or take the Southern Vectis service 7 from Newport.

      The castle is currently open at weekends only. The summer opening hours for 2013 are not yet on the website, but based on my experience last year the castle will be open on several, but not all, days in the week.

      *A Brief Summary*
      Yarmouth Castle was the first new-style 'arrowhead' artillery bastion built in England. It was used in the sixteenth century by the military, and contains recreations of how the rooms were used, as well as a brief exhibition about the wrecks which have occurred on the treacherous stretch of sea just outside the castle. It is conveniently located within the small town of Yarmouth, a quaint town with several lovely stone buildings and lovely views.

      *My Experience*
      I visited Yarmouth Castle when I stopped off at Yarmouth on my open top tour bus. It didn't take me very long to look round at all, as there is comparatively little to see here compared to Carisbrooke and Osborne.

      Downstairs, I wandered in and out of the rooms once used by the military. One room had been recreated as a kitchen, and was very atmospheric, while another was labelled as an artillery store. Upstairs, there was a wooden gallery with a few interesting panels about the history of the castle, which I found interesting to read, while a room next door displayed some of the interesting items picked up from shipwrecks.

      The outdoor area certainly did have, as promised, stunning views over the Solent. Luckily it was a fine day and I enjoyed sitting out for a little while.

      I did enjoy my visit to Yarmouth Castle and am glad I went. I wouldn't recommend making a special trip to see the castle, as there isn't really a great deal to see, but if you are in Yarmouth anyway then it's definitely worth a look.

      *Facilities*
      Inside Yarmouth Castle itself, there is a picnic area and a small shop selling souvenirs, cold drinks and ice creams. There are no toilets on-site but there are some public toilets very close by. There are several cafes and pubs in the town too if you want something to eat.

      *Accessibility*
      Assistance dogs are welcome at Yarmouth Castle. Wheelchair users can only access the ground floor as there are only steps leading up to subsequent floors.

      *Prices*
      English Heritage Members: Free
      Adult £4
      Concession £3.60
      Child (5-15 years) £2.40

      For more information about Yarmouth Castle, see the website:
      http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/daysout/properties/yarmouth-castle/

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