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Due to coronavirus (COVID-19) travel advisories, some destinations may be unavailable for certain dates. Find out more.
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Brownsea Castle

Ride a ferry to a forested island. Observe colorful peacocks and playful red squirrels beside this grand castle from the 1500s.

Brownsea Castle is a majestic fortress of Tudor design, proudly overlooking the southeastern corner of a large island in Poole Harbour. It was initially constructed in the 16th century as a fortification to defend the southern coast of England from European attacks. Visit this stalwart structure to learn about British history. Then explore the rest of the pleasant island.

Study the impressive square blockhouse castle from the ferry as you approach the island. The castle has been renovated many times over the centuries, which is apparent from its mixed design. Note the gray, red and brown sections of the castle’s façade. A large British flag waves in the breeze atop the building.

Climb the steps toward the fortress for a closer look. The many trees and bushes planted around the castle create a welcoming green landscape. Stroll leisurely through the gardens and capture photos of the lush vegetation with the fortress in the background. The castle’s entrance offers views of White Ground Lake and Poole Bay, which lead into the English Channel.

Spot the island’s red squirrels clambering up the trees that surround the castle. Listen to birdcalls of herons, egrets, terns and avocets. Hike along the walking paths of the forest and look for a relatively tame peacock. Wait patiently for a magnificent display as it unfurls its tail feathers.

After early use as a fortification, the structure was converted into a residence by a British politician and architect William Benson. Some locals still refer to it as Branksea Castle, which was its archaic name.

Although the island is open for visits between April and September, the castle interior is always closed to the public.

Brownsea Castle looks out over the eastern coast of Brownsea Island. Regular ferries transport passengers from Poole Harbour to the small dock near the castle. From here, walk 1 minute west past the gardens to reach the castle entrance.


Top Hotel Deals

See all 1,143 properties near Brownsea Castle
Haven Hotel £279
Haven Hotel

Haven Hotel

     
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Nestled on the beach, this Poole hotel is just steps away from Sandbanks Ferry Terminal and Sandbanks Beach. Brownsea Island is 1.6 mi (2.5 km) away.

    Salterns Harbourside Hotel £99
    Salterns Harbourside Hotel

    Salterns Harbourside Hotel

       
      3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Situated on the waterfront, this hotel is 1.1 mi (1.8 km) from Compton Acres and within 3 miles (5 km) of Poole Harbour and Sandbanks Beach. Canford Cliffs Beach and Poole Park are also within 2 miles (3 km). Poole Parkstone Station is 28 minutes by foot.

      3 Golden Gates £1,054
      3 Golden Gates

      3 Golden Gates

         
        3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

        Situated near the beach, this cottage is steps away from Sandbanks Ferry Terminal and Sandbanks Beach. Brownsea Island is 1.5 mi (2.4 km) away.

        The Breaking Surf £486
        The Breaking Surf

        The Breaking Surf

           
          3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

          Situated near the beach, this apartment building is steps away from Sandbanks Ferry Terminal and Sandbanks Beach. Brownsea Island is 1.7 mi (2.7 km) away.

          Sandbanks Peninsula - DHH
          Sandbanks Peninsula - DHH

          Sandbanks Peninsula - DHH

          Flat 5, 46 Banks Road, Poole, England
             
            4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Situated on the beach, this apartment building is within 1 mi (2 km) of Sandbanks Ferry Terminal and Sandbanks Beach. Brownsea Island is 1.8 mi (2.8 km) away.

            Sandbanks Hotel £215
            Sandbanks Hotel

            Sandbanks Hotel

               
              4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Nestled on the beach, this Poole hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Canford Cliffs Beach and Sandbanks Beach. Bournemouth Beach and Bournemouth International Centre are also within 3 miles (5 km).

              The Canford £140
              The Canford

              The Canford

                 
                4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Situated near the beach, this inn is within 1 mi (2 km) of Canford Cliffs Beach and Sandbanks Beach. Bournemouth Beach and Bournemouth International Centre are also within 3 miles (5 km).

                Hampton by Hilton Bournemouth £85
                Hampton by Hilton Bournemouth

                Hampton by Hilton Bournemouth

                Upper Terrace Road, Bournemouth, England
                   
                  3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Bournemouth City Centre, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Bournemouth Lower Gardens, Bournemouth International Centre and Bournemouth Beach. Bournemouth Pavillion Theatre and O2 Academy Bournemouth are also within 3 miles (5 km). Bournemouth Station is 27 minutes by foot.