Come Rain or Shine
If the weather is not at it's best, or you just want to spot a few more things for your itinerary, then here is an excellent guide to help you.
Introducing Restormel Castle
Restormel castle is an absolute delight. Situated in a picturesque valley overlooking the river Fowey on the outskirts of Lostwithiel, it is a perfect spot for a Summer picnic or a spot of sight-seeing.
The 13th century castle consists of a circular stone keep within a surrounding area of motte-and-bailey design. This replaced an earlier wooden structure established after the Norman conquest, when William the Conqueror marched on Cornwall and built 4 major forts in the area, possibly to enforce control and taxes on tin mining. The castle overlooks the river Fowey that was a major trade route for tin mined upstream on Bodmin Moor that would have been brought to Lostwithiel for assay before shipment abroad. The castle was later used by Edward IV, the Black Prince, as a royal palace.
Planning a day out at Restormel Castle
The castle can be found at the end of a long lane that runs alongside the river Fowey. The site is accessed from a car park with an entrance leading to small English Heritage ticket office cum shop that sells souvenirs and ice-cream and then a straight path across the grounds of what would have been the bailey to the castle itself. The grounds are beautiful all year but especially in late spring when the bluebells can be seen in the under-croft of surrounding woodland. The keep is accessed via a solid path over what would have been the moat and leads through a ruined gateway into the central courtyard.
There are numerous information boards, but the guide book, available in the shop provides all the background to the ruin. Overall you should allow 1-2 hours for your visit, and take a picnic if the weather is good.
Other Local Features
Lostwithiel was once the county town of Cornwall due to it's vital role as a Stannary town. Nowadays, Lostwithiel is famous as being the antiques centre of Cornwall and is also host to a fine selection of pubs and restaurants.
Garden lovers may wish to find the Duchy of Cornwall Nursery that is is situated on the opposite bank of the Fowey with views to Restormel Castle.