Watermouth Castle, Devon – fab family day out

watermouth castleTucked away on the northern coast of Devon is a beautiful castle dating back to 1825. It was built by Arthur Davie Basset for his bride Harriet, isn’t that so romantic?

Evidence of a labyrinth of tunnels leading to the harbour suggests it was a smuggling hotspot in years gone by. The last Basset abandoned the castle in 1945 and left it to deteriorate but in 1977 Richard Haines and his family bought it and turned it into one of the most magnificent tourist attractions in north Devon with entertainment for all the family.

We spent a day of our recent Whitsun break to Woolacombe enjoying the castle and its gardens for the cost of £46.00 for a family ticket. In our opinion it was money very well spent as there is so much to do for all of the family – even dad enjoyed the Longest Slide

watermouth castle inside

A trip through the castle with rooms showcasing life as it would have been; a castle employing around 40 staff with cooks, maids and butlers.

milkmaid milk

Then down to the dungeons where there is a fabulous display of early 20th Cenutry fairground games. Whilst the girls played the penny and 2p slot machines I stopped off at the mechanical palm reader, placed my palm on the plate, a rolling movement underneath my palm as the machine read my fortune and then out popped a tiny white card with my luck

palm reader

YOUR Hand denotes a very prosperous life; plenty of ups and downs, but you will smile through it all. You will be lucky in future over money matters and should choose first week in month for all important events. You are very just in your dealings and can be depended upon to do what is right. Your word is your bond.You are moderate in your desires and possess good intellect. Staunch in your friendship. Memory very good, and not likely to forget kindness

A sucker for the unknown and mystery I then had a consultation with Gipsy.

gipsy watermouth castle

I put my 10p in and twisted the knob to say I was a woman and the one to say my birthday was in April, Gipsy had this to say

You have been the focus of attention ever sine you came in here and have attracted many admiring glances – it’s no wonder some people get jealous.

If I could get out of this cabinet I would give you something to think about….

Today is your lucky day, I am telling you

and then I realised I’d turned the male birthday knob and not the female one but rather than have another go I held on to this good fortune slip as it made me smile.

the twins watermouth castle

Once out of the castle a short walk along a path then brings you to the fairground area which we all enjoyed. Merry Go Land,

merry go round watermouth castle

Adventure Land with Cooking Pot

cooking pot watermouth castle

and Snail Ride.

snail ride watermouth castle

We played Mini golf and visited Gnome Land, I think we were almost last to leave the place and could have easily stayed on longer.

mini golf

In fact there are even self catering flats to book both in the castle and in separate lodges dotted around this beautiful park with the most fantastic gardens that take your breath away. I would love to stay here one day.

If you’re in north Devon you may also like to visit The Big Sheep


  1. Gina Caro
    June 10, 2013 / 3:11 PM

    We haven’t been here yet. Looks good, I must put it on my list of places to visit

  2. June 10, 2013 / 5:24 PM

    What a fabulous little place, someone has really thought about the types of things that families with young children would enjoy!

  3. Mrs Fox
    June 12, 2013 / 1:23 PM

    I love your pictures, this is exactly the type of holiday in the UK that I love, probably because it reminds me of my own childhood. Looks like you caught the good weather tho, which is not what I remember from my childhood.

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