Castle Rushen – Why It Is One Of The Best Castles In The British Isles

Castle Rushen From Castletown Square By Castle Rushen, located in Castletown in the south of the island is the most complete castle ruin on the Isle of Man. It looks over Market Square to the south-east and the small but perfectly formed harbour to the north-east. The castle is among the best examples of a medieval castle anywhere in the British Isles. As a modern visitor attraction it has several of the facilities you would expect such as on site toilets, gift shop etc

On gaining entry to Castle Rushen you are immediately faced with 2 options. You can either walk around the outer area which is mainly grass complete with various ye olde wooden buildings. This outer area has several cannons and stocks and it’s also possible to walk around the curtain wall. The other option is to head over the drawbridge for the main inner part of the castle. Each room within the main castle building has been updating to reflect a certain period within the castles history. On a sunny day it’s nice to be able to spend some time outside but on days when the weather isn’t so great the main part of Castle Rushen provides ample shelter making it a more suitable site to visit than the other main castle on the island, Peel Castle. So if the weather is looking a little dodgy then a visit to Castle Rushen may be a better bet than Peel Castle. As mentioned above the castle is in very good condition and gives an amazing opportunity for insight into times gone by.

Castle Rushen - Why It Is One Of The Best Castles In The British Isles 2Castle Rushen has a long and interesting history, it has changed hands between the Scots and English and served many functions for the Isle of Man, including in the 18th century acting as a prison. All this is detailed in great detail by the various guides that operate within the castle though so I don’t want to go in to too much detail here, it’s far better experienced first hand! Climbing to the very top battlements also gives fantastic views of Castletown.

As a site to visit Castle Rushen is easily accessible but there are some limitations. There are a large number of buses that go through Castletown (Look for number 1 and 2 routes), the traditional steam train stops in Castletown or if you prefer there is parking very close by in the town square. As part of the Story of Mann entrance for adults costs £5 and £2.50 for children. It must be said that as you would expect for castle ruins the site is not easily accessible for the disabled or very old. Castle Rushen has plenty of stairs to walk up and down so please keep that in mind. Whilst the lower levels can be seen, to get the most from Castle Rushen you really need to be able to travel further into the building.

Once you’ve finished in Castle Rushen, Castletown has several pubs that serve traditional pub lunches. There is the harbour to visit which has the Boat Museum by its north entrance. However a lot of people prefer to just grab a sandwich or picnic and head for the gardens which surround the castle.


  1. How many stairs in Castle Rushen?
    I was told 122 -but – my knees are killing me – there had to be more

  2. Around the 120 figure is what I’ve always been told. Maybe it’s not the number but the height of some them that is the killer!

  3. Does anyone know any good pubs around the castle rushen that me and my friend can go for dinner?

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