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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.


Best Lodging Options Near Brownsea Castle

See all 1,137 properties near Brownsea Castle
Haven Hotel CA $290
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 CA $164
    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 Mins to Sandbanks Beach Beach, Flat Sanitised Every Change Over
      3 Mins to Sandbanks Beach Beach, Flat Sanitised Every Change Over

      3 Mins to Sandbanks Beach Beach, Flat Sanitised Every Change Over

      Brownsea Rd, Poole, ENG
         
        0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Situated by the ocean, this historic apartment building is within 1 mile (2 km) of Sandbanks Ferry Terminal and Sandbanks Beach. Brownsea Island is 1.7 mi (2.8 km) away.

        Modern Apartment on Sandbanks Peninsula, With Private Garden
        Modern Apartment on Sandbanks Peninsula, With Private Garden

        Modern Apartment on Sandbanks Peninsula, With Private Garden

        Poole, ENG
           
          0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          This family-friendly Poole apartment building is located by the ocean, within 1 mi (2 km) of Sandbanks Ferry Terminal and Sandbanks Beach. Brownsea Island is 1.7 mi (2.8 km) away.

          Sandbanks Apartment. Beachwalk
          Sandbanks Apartment. Beachwalk

          Sandbanks Apartment. Beachwalk

          20 Brownsea Road, Sandbanks, Poole, ENG
             
            0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Situated by the ocean, this romantic apartment building is within 1 mile (2 km) of Sandbanks Ferry Terminal and Sandbanks Beach. Brownsea Island is 1.7 mi (2.8 km) away.

            1 Mansard Court - an Apartment That Sleeps 4 Guests in 2 Bedrooms CA $1,011
            1 Mansard Court - an Apartment That Sleeps 4 Guests in 2 Bedrooms

            1 Mansard Court - an Apartment That Sleeps 4 Guests in 2 Bedrooms

            3 Brownsea Road, Poole, ENG
               
              0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Situated by the ocean, this cottage is steps away from Sandbanks Ferry Terminal and Sandbanks Beach. Brownsea Island is 1.7 mi (2.8 km) away.

              3 Golden Gates CA $1,834
              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 CA $1,011
                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.