Daytripper: Castle Drogo, Devon

Get switched on to castle life

What is it?

What is it?

Castle Drogo is the antidote to dusty old stately homes. An imposing fortification perched on top of Dartmoor, it looks like a medieval castle but was, in fact, built in the early 1900s and contains every mod con of its day.

Owned by the National Trust, the castle was created by Julius Drewe, a retail king who brought cheap tea to the British masses. Wishing to give the impression that he came from a noble family, he asked Sir Edwin Lutyens to design a suitable country pile.

The castle is built from granite and looks austere, but inside it is dressed to impress, with grand reception rooms furnished with exotic objets d'art – some authentic, some not. Upstairs, visitors can roam around the Drewes' apartments, while downstairs the servants' quarters offer a different view of Edwardian life.

The modern inventions that Drewe couldn't resist snapping up are very interesting: see the table football game in the library and the primitive Teasmade in the master's bedroom.

Where is it?

Castle Drogo, Drewsteignton, near Exeter EX6 6PB (01647 433306;, off the A30, between Exeter and Okehampton.

Something for children?

The castle has a children's guide and prize puzzles. There's lots of room to run around in the grounds and a small playground. Tiny ones will love the horse-drawn cart.

Something for grown ups?

Top gadgetry. The fun begins at the portcullis, which is operated by the flick of a switch. Other highlights include the prototype power shower and a flushing loo. Outside, there are great walks on the estate, with views over the Teign Gorge.

I'm hungry

There's a licensed restaurant in the house, a café by the car park, or use the picnic area.

Can we buy a souvenir?

The shop contains a variety of goods, not all to do with the castle, and a small plant centre for gardeners.

How do we get there?

By road: The castle is five miles south of the A30 Exeter-Okehampton road via Crockernwell or A382 Moretonhampstead-Whiddon Down.

By train: Yeoford station is eight miles away.

By bus: No 173 Exeter-Newton Abbot, Nos 174 and 180 from Okehampton railway station.

Will there be queues?

Opening times: castle 29 Mar-2 Nov, 11am-5.30pm daily except Tues. Garden all year, 10.30am-5.30pm.

Admission: adult £5.90, child £2.90, family ticket (two adults, three children) £14.70. Garden and grounds only: adult £3, child £1.50.

Disabled access: Reasonable access. A buggy service, wheelchairs and braille and audio guides are available.

Kate Simon travelled to Castle Drogo courtesy of National Car Rental (0870 400 4560;, which offers weekend car hire from £48.90. She stayed in Exeter at the Hotel Barcelona (01392 281000;, which offers weekend breaks from £209 per couple.

The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations

Fans hold up a scarf at West Ham vs Liverpool
footballAfter Arsenal's clear victory, focus turns to West Ham vs Liverpool
New Articles
i100... she's just started school
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Lewis Hamilton will start the Singapore Grand Prix from pole, with Nico Rosberg second and Daniel Ricciardo third
F1... for floodlit Singapore Grand Prix
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvHe is only remaining member of original cast
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
New Articles
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
New Articles
i100... despite rising prices
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    IT Administrator - Graduate

    £18000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: ***EXCELLENT OPPORTUNITY FO...

    USA/Florida Travel Consultants £30-50k OTE Essex

    Basic of £18,000 + commission, realistic OTE of £30-£50k : Ocean Holidays: Le...

    Marketing Executive / Member Services Exec

    £20 - 26k + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Marketing Executive / Member Services Ex...

    Sales Account Manager

    £15,000 - £25,000: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has arisen for ...

    Day In a Page

    Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

    Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

    Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
    Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

    Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

    The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
    The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

    Scrambled eggs and LSD

    Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
    'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

    'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

    Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
    Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

    New leading ladies of dance fight back

    How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam