English Heritage: St Mawes Castle
Henry VIII built this St Mawes Castle for use as a coastal defences and it's one of the best preserved historical sites of its kind. One of a chain of forts built between 1539 and 1545, it faces Pendennis Castle across the River Fal – both were used as defence against France and Spain.
Highlights of a visit to St Mawes Castle include the gun room, where you can see the 'gunners' at rest; the oubliette, where prisoners were kept captive and, if the name is anything to go by, forgotten about; the audio tour, which takes in the history and importance of the castle, and the amazing sea views from the top of the castle.
The castle has two car parks – an upper one and a lower one – with ample space, priced £3 per car per day. The site isn't suitable for coaches, but minibuses are allowed.
There is a picnic area in the grounds with plenty of bench seats, toilets near the visitor entrance, and a play area (although ball games are discouraged). Dogs are allowed to enjoy the castle grounds, as long as they are kept on a lead.