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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.


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Best Lodging Options Near Brownsea Castle

See all 612 Properties near Brownsea Castle
Haven Hotel $150
Haven Hotel

Haven Hotel

161 Banks Road, Poole, England
     
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Nestled on the beach, this Poole hotel is 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from Sandbanks Beach and 1.5 mi (2.5 km) from Brownsea Island. Shell Bay Beach and Sandbanks Ferry Terminal are also within 10 minutes.

    Sandbanks Hotel $171
    Sandbanks Hotel

    Sandbanks Hotel

    15 Banks Road, Sandbanks, Poole, England
       
      4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Nestled on the beach, this Poole hotel is within 3 mi (5 km) of Sandbanks Beach, Bournemouth Beach, and Brownsea Island. Bournemouth International Centre is 3.1 mi (5 km) away.

      Harbour Heights Hotel $167
      Harbour Heights Hotel

      Harbour Heights Hotel

      73 Haven Road, Sandbanks, Poole, England
         
        4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Situated near the beach, this hotel is 0.6 mi (0.9 km) from Sandbanks Beach and within 3 mi (5 km) of Bournemouth Beach and Bournemouth International Centre. Brownsea Island and Bournemouth Pavillion Theatre are also within 3 mi (5 km).

        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, England
           
          0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Situated by the ocean, this romantic apartment building is 0.2 mi (0.3 km) from Sandbanks Beach and 1.7 mi (2.7 km) from Brownsea Island. Sandbanks Ferry Terminal and Brownsea Castle are also within 15 minutes.

          Sandbanks Peninsula - DHH
          Sandbanks Peninsula - DHH

          Sandbanks Peninsula - DHH

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

            Situated in Poole, this apartment building is within a 10-minute walk of Sandbanks Beach and Sandbanks Ferry Terminal. Shell Bay Beach and Compton Acres are also within 2 mi (3 km).

            Live the Dream in a Deluxe Apartment, Bournemouth, Poole, Dorset, Parking, Wifi, Access to the Beach
            Live the Dream in a Deluxe Apartment, Bournemouth, Poole, Dorset, Parking, Wifi, Access to the Beach

            Live the Dream in a Deluxe Apartment, Bournemouth, Poole, Dorset, Parking, Wifi, Access to the Beach

            Poole, England
               
              0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Situated on the waterfront, this apartment building is within a 10-minute walk of Sandbanks Beach and Sandbanks Ferry Terminal. Brownsea Castle and Shell Bay Beach are also within 15 minutes.

              Holiday Inn Express Poole $87
              Holiday Inn Express Poole

              Holiday Inn Express Poole

              Walking Field Lane, Poole, England
                 
                3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in the heart of Poole, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Poole Stadium and Poole Harbour. Poole Park and Poole Old Lifeboat Museum are also within 15 minutes. Poole Station is 11 minutes by foot and Poole Parkstone Station is 29 minutes.

                Salterns Harbourside Hotel $124
                Salterns Harbourside Hotel

                Salterns Harbourside Hotel

                38 Salterns Way, Lilliput, Poole, England
                   
                  3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Situated on the waterfront, this hotel is 1.1 mi (1.8 km) from Compton Acres and 2.3 mi (3.7 km) from Poole Harbour. Poole Park and Sandbanks Beach are also within 3 mi (5 km). Poole Parkstone Station is 28 minutes by foot.