Visiting Old Wardour Castle

Old Wardour Castle is found in the South West corner of Wiltshire, approximately 20 miles west of Salisbury. Located in the beautiful Cranborne Chase, this rural castle is surrounded by gorgeous countryside which we very much admired as we drew close.

The approach is along a fairly narrow lane, and once navigated, we parked up in the free on-site car park which is of a good size. From the car park, the castle is quite well hidden so we walked up the path to the entrance in eager anticipation.

The castle was built in the 1390s and today is managed by English Heritage. Click here to read more about Old Wardour Castle’s history. When we got to the entrance we were greeted by very friendly staff who gave us a lovely overview of the castle’s history. We picked up a guide book and an audio guide that is available as part of the admission and proceeded into the castle grounds.

There was something mildly familiar about the castle which we couldn’t quite put our finger on, but without much further thought we followed the main path which leads to the Banqueting House which is a separate and beautiful building constructed in the middle of the 1770s.

We then turned our attention to the castle itself which is quite a ruin but enough of it is intact to really explore the interior and get a sense of the scale of this magnificent castle. As we looked around, the layout did feel like quite a maze with lots of corridors, rooms and staircases. The top of the castle can be reached via a spiral staircase in the east tower which is the portion of the castle which is in the best condition. Once there, after quite a lot of steps, you do get some marvellous views of the surrounding area and really get a sense of how tall the castle is. Looking out to the North West, New Wardour Castle can be seen in the distance, which is a manor house built in the 1760s and 70s as a replacement due to the damage Old Wardour had received during the English Civil War.

Dotted around the castle and its grounds are information boards which reveal different aspects of the castle’s history. The audio guide can also be activated from the boards to give additional information which we found to be very informative.

The final part of our visit involved visiting the grotto. An information board near the grotto revealed that Old Wardour Castle was used to film the Loxley Castle scenes in the epic ‘Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves’ film. We instantly realised why the castle was familiar as the film is one that we remember very well.

Date of visit 22nd October 2021

Postcode SP3 6RR

Click below to watch our video exploring Old Wardour Castle

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