Owned by the English Heritage, Yarmouth Castle was the last coastal defence built by the tyrannical Henry VIII, and it wasn’t finished until after he died in 1547. These days, the castle is used by visitors as a picturesque picnic spot, thanks to its elevated views across the shimmering Solent, and it’s a fun day out by the sea.
The rooms inside the imposing castle have been carefully furnished to demonstrate how they would have looked during the 16th century and there’s an interesting exhibition on the many unfortunate shipwrecks that have taken place in the dangerous stretch of sea that can be seen from the site.
Yarmouth Castle may have been the last of Henry VIII’s castle, but it was also the most advances, and visitors can still see the pioneering ‘arrowhead’ artillery bastion that was the first of its kind in the country when it was completed.
The castle is open to the public between 29th March and 31st October (including bank holidays) and assistance dogs are welcome inside. There’s a car park nearby (under five minutes’ walk), a shop and dogs are welcome in the grounds on leads. The picnic areas enjoy uninterrupted views across Yarmouth harbour and the Solent, so this is a beautiful vantage point.