Set in the peaceful Wiltshire countryside beside a lake, Old Wardour Castle, was once one of the most daring homes in Britain.

Built by Lord John Lovell in 1386, it was intended to serve as a statement of Lovell’s wealth.

Wardour Castle passed through the generations of the Lovell family before being forfeited to Henry VI.

It was held by the Crown until 1461. It passed back and forth between the Crown and the Lovell family for many years.

Eventually it was modernised by the Arundell family after acquisition in 1547. It survived two sieges before abandonment.

In 1769 Henry Arundell commenced construction of New Wardour Castle.

Robin Hood

The castle was the inspiration for the one featured in the Kevin Costner film ‘Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves’.

Managed by English Heritage, today the castle ruin provides a great day out.

You can explore the grotto and the castle rooms, climb the circular stairs to the top where you can see for miles across the lake and surrounding countryside.


We explored the beautiful Nadder Valley on foot.

The valley’s undulating hills stretch from Wilton near Salisbury to Shaftesbury, and form part of the Cranborne Chase AONB.

Starting in Tisbury, the largest of the Nadder Valley villages, a 5,5-mile circular will take you southward to the magnificent Old Wardour Castle.

If you only have a couple of hours to spend, then an easy short 3,5-mile circular will take you from Old Wardour Castle to the new one.

New Wardour Castle is not open to the public, but you will be able to admire the Capability Brown parkland that surrounds it.

Images by Cool Places Britain

Cool Places to Explore: Shaftesbury | Hambledon Hill | Hod Hill | Win Green | Stourhead | Salisbury Cathedral.

Cool Places to Eat: The Royal Oak | Howards House | The Cricketers.

Cool Places to Stay: King John Inn.