Situated at the end of a long shale spit, this castle was first constructed by Henry VIII and then extensively enlarged, mostly by the Victorians, for use as a fort to defend approaches from the sea.
You can reach it either by walking along the spit from Keyhaven (a distance of a couple of miles, fairly heavy walking on shale) or via a ferry from Keyhaven which is quite reasonably priced and a nice enough little ride.
The castle itself is long and thin, built around two large grassy courtyards with the tudor castle in the middle. It was used right up to the 1950's. There are various cannon and some huge guns (WW2 vintage). There's also a set of display boards in the Tudor keep which show you the development and use of the fort over the years.
The best thing about the fort though is that it is absolutely full of nooks and crannies, stairs up and down, cellars, roof walks and views. Great fun to explore, I went with my children aged 10 and 16 and they had a whale of a time.
There's a small cafe and a gift shop too.
Well worth the entrance price and a good few hours exploring.
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