Somerset Houses & Gardens


The Garden at Dunster Castle, National Trust

Castle Hill, TA24 6SL


The result of 100s of years of planning, building and restoration a walk around the gardens at Dunster Castle takes you around the world and though four different microclimates.

The Garden at Dunster Castle, National Trust

The result of 100s of years of planning, building and restoration a walk around the gardens at Dunster Castle takes you around the world and though four different microclimates.

The South Terrace

With far reaching views across the Bristol Channel and Deer Park the present day layout of the South Terrace stems from the Victorian period. In the 1820s, at the behest of George Luttrell, the architect Salvin demolished the existing Thornhill Chapel which had been built on the south facade in 1721. A new wing was constructed in its place and the resulting South Terrace was formed. To reflect its history, the flower beds are planted in the Victorian style with spring bulbs giving a spectacular floral display and in summer there is an abundance of brightly coloured bedding plants. The area has a Mediterranean feel due to its fortunate micro-climate and this enables tender plants to thrive including the row of Chusan Palms. This part of the garden also contains the Orangery, (now renamed the Camellia House) where you can pick up take away coffee and snacks, the Swan Pond which is home to goldfishes and newts and the Lemon House.

The River Garden

A native micro climate the River Garden is a wild, wooded area. Green throughout the year during spring it is full of colour as the magnolia trees bloom. During summer the giant rhubarb reaches its peak in growth getting so big they make an unusual umbrella when caught in the rain. Home to some rare species including the Handkerchief tree was grown from seeds smuggled back from Australia by Alys Luttrell in her purse in the 1920’s.

Bridges cross the River Avil which runs through the garden and lead to walks on the wider estate. And at the end of the garden is the working watermill which produces over 6 tonnes of flour a year.

The Yew bank

There have been yews on this bank dating back to the eighteenth century when the original drive - The New Way - was commissioned in 1720 by Dorothy Luttrell. In those days, it was very fashionable to create areas of light and shade within a garden and yews were perfect in this respect for shade. However, over the years, the yews grew too large and they were coppiced in 2012 and are now kept within bounds.

The Keep

This area was originally the Upper Ward of the Norman Fortress of Dunster and, therefore, is the highest point in the Dunster landscape. In 1721, at the request of Dorothy Luttrell, the area was levelled and turned into a Bowling Green. To offer shelter and a dining area for the participants and the ladies, the Octagon Tower was constructed this now houses an exhibition exploring the history.

Facilities in addition to those listed below:
Baby changing facilities
Children's Trails
Courtesy Vehicle
Stair Climber
Trampers available to book


Opening Hours

21 March-30 October: 10am-5pm (last entry to the castle 3.45pm and to the gardens 5pm)
31 October-19 March: Castle, gardens, and watermill open at weekends only, 10am-4pm (last entry to the castle 2.45pm and to the gardens 4pm). Car park and parkland open daily 10am-5pm.


Free entry for National Trust members. 
Whole site:
  Gift Aid Standard
Adult £14.30 £13.00
Child £7.20 £6.50
Family £35.80 £32.50
Family (1 Adult) £21.50 £19.50
Car park charge of £5.50 per vehicle per day, £11 for Motor Homes, free for National Trust members.
Free parking in designated spaces for Blue Badge holders.
Under 5s can enter the property for free. 





        • Accessible Toilets

        • Baby Changing Facilities

        • Braille

        • Children's menu

        • Disabled toilets

        • Toilets

        Road Directions

        Nearest major road is A39. For sat-nav, use the postcode TA24 6NY

        Public Transport Directions

        Bus/Route No: 28 (Buses for Somerset) or Exmoor Coaster

        Route Description: 28 Taunton - Minehead (Approx. every 2 hours, Mon-Sun) 
        Proximity to Bus Stop: 100 yards
        Disability Access: No
        Nearest Mainline station is Taunton.


        The Garden at Dunster Castle, National Trust
        Castle Hill
        Dunster, Nr Minehead
        TA24 6SL
        United Kingdom

        T: 01643 821314

        F: 01643 823000



        Facebook: @DunsterCastleNT/

        Twitter: @DunsterCastleNT

        Instagram: @dunstercastlent/

        Get Directions

        [Error loading the control 'MemberECommerceCarousel', check event log for more details]

        Events Near By!

        More events

        Accommodation Near By



        Become a Member

        Read more

        Book a Conference

        Read more

        Visitor Information

        Read more
        Open Map
        Close Map