Tattershall Castle is in the village of Tattershall, Lincolnshire. It’s approx 40 minutes drive from Lincoln and 40 minutes drive to Skegness. It is in the care of the National Trust. The castle was founded by Robert De Tattershall back in 1231. The large brick castle which stands today was started in 1434, which makes it quite unusual as castles were mostly made of stone. The great tower of Tattershall Castle is 40 metres high and you can walk all the way to the top, that’s a lot of steps believe me! You can even explore below ground level.
We have visited the castle many times. It’s a great place to visit as they have many events throughout the year which often make the castle feel like a very different place.
A Review of Tattershall Castle
It is free to park at Tattershall castle. The entrance to the car park is very close to the main entrance. You park near the church, that is next to the castle. It isn’t the biggest car park in the world, however, we have never struggled, even on event days, to find a space. You are free to look around the Collegiate Church of the Holy Trinity. It’s a nice church and we always pop in when we are there. Plus they sell hot drinks and cakes.
It never takes more than a couple of hours to visit the castle but on an event day you can certainly spend much longer there. We often take a picnic as there is no cafe on site (apart from a limited selection in the church and some refreshments in the shop).
If you are a National trust member you can often just walk straight into the grounds once you’ve picked up your day visitor sticker. The shop and ticket office are in a tiny building so on event days they try to minimise waiting time for National trust members. You arrive on site over a lovely wooden bridge that crosses one of the two moats. If you need to visit the toilet when you arrive then please do so before you cross the wooden bridge. The only toilets are housed here to the left and can be a bit of a walk once you are at the castle itself.
Once you have paid or shown your National Trust cards you are free to explore. If you are interested you can pick up a multimedia guide to guide you around the castle or you can join one of the guided tours.
The grounds that the castle now stands in aren’t particularly large. There is an old moat which often still has water in. They often have trails around the grounds for Easter and Halloween etc which are great for exploring. Also if you head around the back of the tower you will find a large sandpit for the kids (and adults) to play in. Which is somewhere that we often spend a lot of our time.
The tower itself has rooms and levels to explore above and below ground. There are 12 steps down to the basement. It’s very spooky down there and my son loves this part of our visits. The climb to the top has 149 steps in total. These are on a spiral staircase which you share with the people going up and down so beware if you are taking really little people. We’ve been visiting since our son was a toddler and we managed to carry him when he was too small to manage the steps by himself.
Each level has large rooms that you can explore. The rooms are mostly empty, except for a few information signs. There are some very impressive fireplaces and if you can make it to the top it really is a must as the views are well worth the effort. Plus it helps to have lots of floors to explore as you can rest between each level. Needless to say, there is no lift. The audio guide will help to bring these empty rooms alive so it is worth picking one up at the start of your visit.
As mentioned above they often have special trails on during the holidays for the kids. These usually involve finding clues to then later collect a prize. They often have crafts for the kids in the first floor of the castle tower. At Christmas, they have carols and a Christmas market. We have seen the War of the roses and the Sealed Knot re-enactment groups at the castle. They often have outdoor theatre events and much much more. Please keep an eye on their event page for forthcoming events.
It is nice to visit a castle that’s a little bit different and Tattershall Castle is certainly that. We wouldn’t have visited so many times if we didn’t like it so much. Day out with the kids doesn’t even list Tattershall Castle as something to do in the area, which seems a shame to us.
Please note that when the castle is open it doesn’t open until 11am. It isn’t open all year round so please check their website before you leave home. If you are not a member of the National Trust you will need to pay to visit. It is £7.27 for standard adult admission, £3.63 for a child and a family ticket is £18.18.
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