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Doyden Castle

Port Quin, Cornwall

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Many people dream of living in a castle, high up on the cliffs, regally surveying the ocean or stepping out through Gothic archways onto the springy turf and looking down from their citadel onto the valley below. Happily, the National Trust has made this dream a possibility and Doyden Castle is about as close to a fantasy destination as you could imagine. In fact, despite its crenellated tower and arched windows, this building is neither a true castle nor a folly. It was built in about 1830 as a kind of pleasure house by an infamous and wealthy bon-viveur from Wadebridge called Samuel Symons. Here he would entertain his friends to nights of feasting, drinking and gambling (the ample wine-bins in the cellar survive to this day). Its chequered history only adds to the dramatic experience of staying in this little fortress on the edge of the cliffs.

The popular beaches of Rock, Polzeath, Port Isaac are all within 4 miles.

The cottage's layout

Ground floor
sitting/dining room with open fire.
First floor
double bedroom (with 6' bed which can also be a twin on request).
Other floor
Cellar floor: entrance door to kitchen/diner, utility room, shower room, separate lavatory.
Visitor notes

Heating: Night storage heating, eco electric radiators and convector heating included.

Approach to cottage: The partly walled track to the Castle is quite narrow in places, please take care. Arrival in daylight is advised.

Parking: Access by car to unload/load; at other times please park at Doyden House, a five minutes walk away.

Accessibility: The stairs within the castle are quite steep.

Logs/Charcoal: The fire will be laid for you on arrival with enough fuel to get you started. Pre-ordered fire starter kits and additional pre-ordered logs will be left in the cottage for guests upon arrival. Further purchases can be made by calling the Holidays Team during your stay.

Fire starter kit - 1 x bag eco-logs, 1 x net of eco kindling, 1 x box of eco-firelighters for £11.

Further supplies of eco-logs at £4.50 per bag, eco kindling £3.50 and eco-firelighters £3.50.

Offers: Free admission to Tintagel Old Post Office subject to seasonal opening hours.

Short breaks bookable within 4 weeks of the start date all year at this cottage.Further details provided upon booking.

Local Suppliers: Guest discount offered to National Trust guests by outdoor activity providers Cornish Rock Tors and Outdoor Adventure

Hazards for children

Due to the close proximity of the cliff and the sheer drop we feel that this hazard makes the cottage unsuitable for children.

Cottage details
Let starts
Min stay
Dogs allowed
Cottage ref
Acorn rating What's this?
  • Open fire / stove
  • Beach nearby
  • Coast nearby
  • Romantic
  • Remote location
  • Unique
  • Dishwasher
  • Freezer
  • Telephone
  • Television
  • Tumble dryer
  • Washing machine
  • Double bed
  • Microwave
  • Radio
  • If you would like a copy of the access statement for this cottage please call the booking office on 0344 335 1287
  • Hazards for children


Things to see and do nearby

South West England
Two women drawing a huge sun on the sandy beach at Kynance Cove, Cornwall. © John Miller

The South West region is probably England's most well-known holiday hotspot, being home to some of the most famous seaside resorts. Pretty villages and harbours in Cornwall, many with sweeping sandy beaches, such as St Ives, Polzeath and Port Isaac to name but a few, give way to sophisticated seaside resorts in Devon and Dorset which include Bournemouth, Torquay and Ilfracombe. The history of this region is unrivalled; Wiltshire's spectacular downland and the stone circles at Avebury and Stonehenge, through Hardy's Dorset, dramatic Dartmoor and gentler Exmoor, to the mining landscapes of Cornwall and West Devon, which are now recognised as being of international significance, having been awarded World Heritage Site status in 2006. The Trust protects 370 miles of the coastline in Devon and Cornwall and, wherever you are in the two far western counties, you're never more than 25 miles from the sea. As well as this peninsula, the Trust also cares for much of the countryside in Gloucestershire, Somerset, Wiltshire and Dorset and a wide array of fascinating properties to visit and explore. Not surprisingly, perhaps, this area is also home to the widest selection of National Trust holiday cottages.

North Cornwall
The view from Doyden Castle, Port Isaac, Cornwall © Mike Henton

The north coast is where the tremendous force of the Atlantic Ocean crashes against the mighty cliffs of Cornwall. With waves incessantly beating against the rocks below, the coast path provides some of the best walking in Europe and dramatic views.

North Cornwall also boasts several fine, sandy beaches, with the same massive rollers providing some of the best surfing in the country. The Trust has 22 holiday cottages and apartments in this wonderful part of the county including three at Park Head, a remote headland just a mile to the north of Bedruthan Steps but only six miles from Padstow, and three at Pentireglaze, close to the sandy beach of Polzeath. Further round the coast are the dramatically situated Doyden House and Castle and the picturesque hamlet of Port Quin. Port Isaac, Port Gaverne and Boscastle are all charming villages with lots of atmosphere and perfect as holiday bases.

Cottage location
Current cottage
Holiday cottage
National Trust
place to visit
Cluster of pins Shows number of grouped pins. Zoom in to see individual pins
  • South West Coast Path
  • Wadebridge
  • Bird watching
  • cycling
  • fishing
  • golf
  • horse riding
  • walking
  • coasteering
  • kayaking
  • surfing.
National Trust places to visit
Tintagel Old Post Office
Tintagel Old Post Office One of the Trust's most delightful medieval buildings, enhanced by a cottage garden
Carnewas and Bedruthan Steps
Carnewas and Bedruthan Steps Dramatic coastline with views over massive rock stacks
Boscastle Picturesque harbour and village on the north Cornish coast
Lanhydrock Magnificent late Victorian country house with extensive servants' quarters, gardens and wooded estate
Trerice Elizabethan manor house with fine interiors and delightful garden
Lawrence House
Lawrence House Beautiful Georgian town house

Visitor comments

Comments from past visitors

  • Linda Prentice
    • March 2015
    • Notts
    Perfect place

    Location. Scenery second to none. The beautiful building tons of history. Lovely lovely place. Absolutely perfect. Can't wait to go again. Only minor problem the toilet stairs need more head room. But still a perfect place.

    • February 2015
    • England
    Wonderful position

    The Castle was in perfect order when we arrived. On the day of departure we saw the caretaker, who was a lovely lady, and thanked her for helping to make our stay perfect. Have walked past Doyden Castle on the Coastal path many times and have always wanted to stay there. It is in the most wonderful position on Cornwall's lovely North Coast.

  • Anonymous
    • February 2015
    • --------------
    Excellent cottage

    Cottage in excellent order when we arrived - and warm! A "castle" on top of a cliff in North Cornwall is special for anyone, I imagine.

  • David Knowlton
    • October 2014
    • USA
    Fairy tale castles exist!

    We absolutely loved our stay at Doyden Castle, it was much more than we had hoped for. The castle is well appointed with a well stocked kitchen. Very clean and tidy inside and most importantly: a very comfortable bed. I booked Doyden Castle for my wife's 50th birthday celebration. It was fun doing the 457 day countdown from booking until we arrived. She really summed it best: "Fairy tale castles do exist". It is a stunning, romantic, secluded place to stay. The views are amazing out of every window. The weather was warmer than we planned on, should have packed lighter. I would return here without question, but for two weeks next time. This was the most relaxing vacation we've ever been on.

  • Anonymous
    • April 2014
    • -------------------------------------
    Unique experience

    Staying in a castle was a unique experience. The views were outstanding. Nothing could have been any better.

  • Mary Buxton
    • March 2014
    • Derbyshire
    A castle all of our own!

    It was so different. A castle all of our own! The feeling of pleasure we had every time we entered.

Stayed at Doyden Castle recently?

We welcome your views on Doyden Castle and these can be provided via our online survey.


What it will cost

Prices include:

  • VAT, Linen, heating and electricity (except where shown in the cottage details)
  • We cannot accept website bookings more than 15 months in advance. Please call 0344 335 1287 or email to enquire about future bookings and reservations.
  • The National Trust reserves the right to move cottage prices up or down and to alter date breaks. We also reserve the right to charge supplements for cottages for specific dates covering special events, e.g. Rosetta Cottages on the Isle of Wight during Cowes week. We will notify you of any special event supplements at the time of booking.

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