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A Closer Look at Watermouth Castle & Theme Park

Date: 8th July 2018
Author: Sarah Twist
Publisher: Darwin Escapes
Park: Beach Cove Coastal Retreat
Local Area

Explore this beautiful castle, learn the history and have fun on the rides all around this Victorian Estate

Our own Beach Cove Coastal Retreat is only a 5 minute drive away from one of North Devon’s most popular attractions, Watermouth Castle & Theme Park. Travel back in time for a nostalgic day out when you visit Watermouth, then retreat back to our beautiful Beach Hut accommodation, which all sleep two and come with a hot tub for the perfect romantic getaway in Devon.

Read on for more information about Watermouth

The History of Watermouth Castle

The Basset family can trace their family back generations, having been mentioned in the Doomsday Book as arriving in Devon with William the Conqueror himself, and in 1825 Arthur Basset built Watermouth Castle for his wife, Harriet. The castle was thought to be a haven for smugglers with a labyrinth of tunnels, including the infamous Smuggler’s Tunnel, which was eventually blocked during the late 19th Century.

There were around 40 domestic servants who helped run the picturesque Victorian Estate, and you can explore the family apartments they lived in, as well as the dairy and kitchen they worked in.

The castle was used for a Convalescent Home for Army Officers in the First World War, and was also the Head Quarters for Pipe-Line-Under-The-Ocean during the Second World War. The Basset family eventually sold the castle in 1945, where it changed hands a number of times, and as such the castle and grounds had deteriorated. In 1977, Richard Haines and his family purchased the castle and poured a lot of love and hard work into it. They turned Watermouth Castle and grounds into one of North Devon’s most popular tourist attractions, adding endless family style entertainment too.

Vintage Rides & Attractions

Split into zones, you’ll love exploring the many rides and attractions at Watermouth. Including the Castle Treasures, which holds stunning suits of armour and classic handcarts to marvel at. Discover the Victorian era via the interactive displays, from antique pier machines and toys to a beautiful N. Gauge Model Railway. There are also room displays to explore, including a formal sitting area complete with master and servants, to fully stocked Victorian kitchen!

Take a trip to the Dungeon Labyrinths and visit the Hall of Mirrors or try your hand at some arcades games of years gone by. See if you can find your way out of the maze to explore the Smuggler’s Dungeon, but beware of strange doors! Take your seat at the Water Show Extravaganza, with the show originally built for the 1951 Festival of Britain on the South Bank of the Thames, it is synchronised to music to make a fabulous show for all.

Explore the Gnome Land Village and watch as they go about their chores, or try your hand at panning for gold, as well as meeting the Wicked Troll and the Watermouth Castle Giant. Have your world shifted by the Tilting House before enjoying a friendly game at the Indoor Soft Ball Cannon Shooting area.

Venture outside for the Merry Go Land and Adventure Land areas, where you can find endless rides, from the Mystical Water Gardens and Jumping Fountains to the mind-boggling Maze. The adventure seekers will love spinning around on the Cooking Pot Ride, and don’t forget the 100 metre Big River Ride, where you’re never sure where you’ll end up!

Opening Times & Prices

Adults & children: £14.50 / 10am – 5.30pm
As of 16th July, Watermouth Castle & Theme Park will be open 7 days a week until the end of August. For opening times throughout the year, please check their website for more information.

So on your next visit to our stunning Beach Cove Coastal Retreat in Ilfracombe, why not visit Watermouth Castle & Theme Park only a 5 minute drive away, for breath-taking scenery, a quirky tour of a Victorian Estate and some fun on the family style rides of a bygone era.

Photo Credits: Nigel Mykura,

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