Dunster is a National Trust property situated on the North Somerset coast, about 45 minutes’ drive along the A39 from junction 22 of the M5. This is a slow road and it can take longer if you get behind a caravan or truck!
It’s an impressive building from the outside, and is surrounded by the medieval Dunster village. The grounds are extensive with woodland and riverside walks, although these could be difficult for people with mobility problems. Further, as the castle is built on top of a hill, there is a steep walk up to it from whichever direction, and no sign of regular buggy rides for those who need them. We took a woodland path to see the watermill, which has been restored, is now in working order, and mills flour regularly. You can buy some in the shop! Also near the mill is a tearoom serving meals, which is useful to know as the cafe inside the castle itself is very small and although its terrace offers excellent views over the Bristol Channel, there is limited food available there. On our recent summer visits to NT properties, we have noticed the emergence of outdoor garden/lawn games, mainly (but not exclusively!) for children, and as a result we are summoning up the courage to take our grandchildren to try them out!
The interior of the castle is interesting. It has a history stretching back to Saxon times and has been refurbished/renovated several times over the centuries. However, we felt as we have occasionally before, that major alterations and additions to such buildings often make it difficult to fully grasp the history of the house, and to get a feel for what has happened to it over time. As it stands, it is mainly a well-preserved example of a wealthy Victorian residence and as such worth the trip, but overall we were not as impressed as we have been with other similar attractions.