Dunster Castle

Top choice in Exmoor National Park

Rosy-hued Dunster Castle crowns a densely wooded hill. Built by the Luttrell family, which once owned much of northern Exmoor, the oldest sections are 13th century, while the turrets and exterior walls are 19th-century additions. Look out for Tudor furnishings, 17th-century plasterwork and a ridiculously grand staircase. Leave time to explore the colourful terraced gardens, which feature riverside walks, a working watermill and views across Exmoor’s shores.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Exmoor National Park attractions

1. Watermill

0.12 MILES

Most of the original cogs, wheels and grinding stones continue to rotate in this working 18th-century mill. There's a picturesque riverside tearoom…

2. St George's Church

0.13 MILES

Dunster’s beautiful church dates mostly from the 15th century and boasts an intricately carved fan-vaulted rood screen. Just behind the church is a 16th…

3. West Somerset Railway

2.03 MILES

The steam trains of this vintage railway are a fine way to see the Somerset countryside. The 20-mile route runs from it's base at Minehead to Bishops…

4. Cleeve Abbey

3.98 MILES

Most visitors buzz straight past tiny, tumbledown Cleeve Abbey, but it’s one of the best examples of traditional Cistercian architecture in southwest…

5. Holnicote Estate

4.99 MILES

The 50-sq-km Holnicote Estate sweeps southeast out of Porlock, taking in a string of impossibly pretty villages. Picturesque Bossington leads to charming…

6. Bakelite Museum

5.36 MILES

The endearingly weird Bakelite Museum, 7 miles east of Dunster, houses the nation’s largest collection of Bakelite (otherwise known as…

7. Exmoor Owl & Hawk Centre


Catch the owl and bird-of-prey flying show (2pm), book your own hour-long private flying session (from £45), or have the kids hitch a half-hour ride on…

8. Porlock Weir


Porlock Weir's stout granite quay curves around a shingly beach, which is backed by pubs, fisherfolks' storehouses and a scattering of seasonal shops. The…