Dunster Village Frequently Asked Questions

Welcome to our Dunster Village Frequently Asked Questions page!

Here, we aim to provide answers to common queries about visiting and exploring our charming medieval village nestled in the heart of Somerset. Whether you’re planning a day trip or a longer stay, find helpful information on attractions, dining options, local events, parking, and more. Discover Dunster Castle, stroll through historic streets, and explore the quaint shops and tea rooms that make Dunster a favourite destination.

Have a question not covered here? Feel free to reach out – we’re here to make your Dunster experience enjoyable and memorable.

What county is Dunster in?

Dunster Village is located in Somerset, located on the Bristol Channel coast just 2.5 miles south/southeast of Minehead and 20 miles north west of Taunton.

Is Dunster worth visiting?

Yes, Dunster Village is worth visiting! From all the history in the village of Dunster Castle, Dunster Dovecote, Dunster Doll Museum and more to the range of independent shops, resturants, pubs and tea rooms. The only issue you will have is trying to fit it all in one visit to Dunster!

When did the National Trust take over Dunster Castle?

The National Trust took ownership of Dunster Castle in 1976. When Geoffrey Luttrell died in 1957 his wife remained at the castle till her death in 1974. Then in 1976 her son, Colonel Walter Luttrell gave Dunster Castle and the majority of its contents to the National Trust, which today it operates as a tourist attraction. Today Dunster Castle is a Grade I listed building and scheduled monument.

Does Dunster have a beach?

Yes Dunster has a beach! Dunster Beach is only 1.5 miles from Dunster Village and the beach is a mix of sand and pebbles. From here there are beautiful views and walking access along the coast in both directions either to Blue Anchor or to Minehead.

Is Dunster Beach Sandy?

Dunster beach has a wonderful sand and shingle beach with plenty of parking in the pay and display car park. Located just a mile from Dunster Station and over 2 miles from Dunster Village, there is options to walk along the coastal path to Blue Anchor or the other direction to Minehead.

What shops are there in Dunster?

In Dunster village, you’ll discover a variety of shops catering to diverse interests and needs. These include Ashleigh Bishop Fine Art, Chatelaine Antiques, Dunster Living, Dunster News & Gifts, Exmoor Through the Lens, Home Coming, Humming Bird, Inspirations of Dunster, Jacobs of Dunster, Made in Dunster, Maurice Bishop Studio Gallery, Parham House Brides, Rainbow Gifts, Rohan Dunster, The 5 Quarters, The Chocolate House, The Crooked Window Gallery, The Deli in Dunster, The Little Box of Delights, Dunster Country Stores, and The Medieval Gallery. The range of independent shops that can be found on the shops in Dunster Village page.

Is Dunster a town or a village?

Dunster is a Village and a civil parish and former manor within the English county of Somerset. It is just within the north-eastern boundary of Exmoor National Park.

What is Dunster famous for?

Dunster Village in Somerset, is famous for the historic Dunster Castle, with origins dating back to the Norman Conquest, now a country house managed by the National Trust. Dunster also boasts a picturesque medieval yarn market built around 1609 and over 200 listed buildings and monuments.

When is Dunster Country Fair?

Dunster Country Fair will take place on Wednesday 27th July 2022 on the Dunster Castle Lawns with permission of The Dunster Estate.

When is Dunster Show?

The 176th Dunster Show will take place on Friday 16th August 2024 and will be held on the Dunster Castle Lawns adjacent to Dunster Castle.

Is Dunster beach car park free?

Dunster Beach is private property so you must use the parking machines to pay for your parking when you visit Dunster Beach. Parking for 1 hour is only £1.50 and all day parking is £7. If you contact Dunster Beach Holidays you can purchase a parking permit that works out around 20p per day for a year!

Is Dunster on the coast?

Yes, Dunster Village is only 1 and half miles from Dunster Beach and the sea of the Bristol Channel, so ideal for a paddle in the summer!

Who owned Dunster Castle?

Originally owned by the de Mohuns, it was sold to the Luttrell family at the end of the 14th century. The Luttrell family continued to live and own the property until the late 20th century, before handing ownership of Dunster Castle to the National Trust in 1976.

Is Dunster Castle free to National Trust members?

Yes, if you are a National Trust member you get free entry to Dunster Castle and free parking adjacent to the Castle.

How much is parking at Dunster Castle?

There is a pay & display in the car park where car park charges will apply for non-members at £5.50 per vehicle per day or £11 for motor homes. If you don’t have coins to pay, you can use the Paybyphone app on your smartphone, location code 806775. National Trust members park for free.

How much does it cost to visit Dunster Castle?

Tickets at Dunster Castle and Gardens for Adult costs £13, Child £6.50, Family £32.50 and 1 adult and up to 3 children is £19.50.

Can you take dogs on Dunster Beach?

Yes, dogs are welcome on Dunster Beach, there are many dog waste bins around the beach and car park also. Dogs must be kept on a lead on the grass near to the Dunster Beach chalets.

What time does Dunster Castle car park open?

Dunster Castle Car Park opens at 9am and closes at 5pm, be aware the car park will be closed and locked every day at 5pm and no overnight parking is permitted.

What was filmed In Dunster Village?

The episode of Agatha Christie’s Poirot named “The Cornish Mystery” was filmed in Dunster Village in 1990.
Alice Pengelley visits Poirot in London telling him she thinks she is being poisoned by her husband. When Poirot arrives in Cornwall the next day to investigate Mrs. Pengelley’s charges, he is too late, and finds her dead.

Was Poirot filmed in Dunster?

The episode of Agatha Christie’s Poirot named “The Cornish Mystery” was filmed in Dunster in 1990. Alice Pengelley visits Poirot telling him she thinks she is being poisoned by her husband. When Poirot arrives the next day to investigate Mrs. Pengelley’s charges, he is too late, and finds her dead.

What time does Dunster Steep car park open?

Dunster Steep Car Park is open 24 hours a day but charges start at 9am until 6pm.

How long does it take to go around Dunster Castle?

It takes about 1-2 hours to tour Dunster Castle and the grounds – giving you enough time to enjoy all of the sights and history of Dunster Castle and Gardens.

What time is high tide at Dunster?

We have that displays the Dunster Beach tides times and can be found here

What is near Dunster?

Dunster has a few neighbouring towns and villages such as Minehead, Timberscombe, Watchet, Bossington and Porlock. See our blog post – 10 Beautiful Villages to Visit Near Dunster

Is Dunster in Devon or Somerset?

Dunster is located in Somerset. Somerset borders Devon so this is why some people get confused over this.

Can dogs go to Dunster Castle?

Dogs are welcome all year round at Dunster Castle but not inside the Castle itself, there is plenty of space to explore around Dunster Castle Grounds as well as the River by the Watermill.

When was Dunster Yarn Market built?

The Yarn Market in Dunster was built in 1609 and was then repaired in 1647.

How much does Dunster Castle cost?

Tickets at Dunster Castle and Gardens for Adult costs £17, Child £8.50, Family £42.50 and 1 adult and up to 3 children is £25.50.

Is Dunster Show on this year?

Yes! Recently it was announced it will take place Friday 19th of August 2022.

Is Dunster Country Fair on this year?

Yes it will be taking place on Wednesday 24th July 2024.

Is there parking at Dunster Castle?

Yes, there is a pay & display in the car park where car park charges will apply for non-members at £5.50 per vehicle per day or £11 for motor homes. If you don’t have coins to pay, you can use the Paybyphone app on your smartphone, location code 806775. National Trust members park for free.

Do you need to book for Dunster Castle?

You don’t need to book but it is highly recommended to ensure you are guaranteed entry to Dunster Castle during peak times.

What county is Dunster Castle in?

Dunster Castle is located in Dunster Village in Somerset.

Who used to own Dunster Castle?

The Luttrell family purchased the castle from the de Mohuns in 1376, it was donated to the National Trust by Walter Luttrell in 1976.

How many chalets are in Dunster Beach?

Dunster Beach has 230 chalets on site.

Does Dunster have a train station?

Dunster Train Station is situated just outside Dunster on the route to Dunster Beach, with trains running from Minehead through the station to Bishops Lydeard and beyond.

Can dogs go on Dunster Beach?

Yes, dogs are allowed on Dunster Beach. The beach is dog-friendly and are welcome throughout the year.

Can I take my dogs to Dunster Castle?

Yes, you can take your dogs to Dunster Castle, but they are only allowed in the grounds and not inside the castle itself. Dogs must be kept on a lead at all times while on the property.

Can you park a motorhome at Dunster Castle?

Yes, you can park a motorhome at Dunster Castle. The Dunster Castle car park accommodates motorhomes, but space may be limited, so it’s advisable to arrive early or check in advance for availability.

Can you walk from Dunster station to Dunster Castle?

Yes, you can walk from Dunster Station to Dunster Castle. The walk is approximately one and a half mile and takes about 20-30 minutes, offering a scenic route through the village and its surroundings.

Do you have to pay for Dunster Castle?

Yes, you have to pay an entrance fee to visit Dunster Castle. The fee varies depending on the season and whether you are a member of the National Trust, who manages the site. National Trust members can enter for free.

Do you have to pay for parking at Dunster Beach?

Yes, you have to pay for parking at Dunster Beach. The site has two parking machines, one for cash and one for card payments.

Does Dunster Beach have toilets?

Yes, Dunster Beach has toilet facilities available for visitors.

Does Dunster beach have toilets?

Yes, there are toilets next to the kiosk by the start of the beach huts.

Does Dunster Castle have a cafe?

Yes, Dunster Castle has a café where visitors can enjoy refreshments and light meals.

Has Dunster got a beach?

Yes, Dunster Beach is located nearby, just over a mile away from the village. It’s a shingle and pebble beach that stretches along the coast near Minehead in Somerset.

How far is Dunster Beach from the village?

Dunster Beach is approximately 1 mile away from Dunster village.

How far is Dunster from the sea?

Dunster is situated about 2 miles (3.2 kilometers) inland from the sea. The nearest coastline is where Dunster Beach and Minehead are located, which are approximately 2 miles west of Dunster village.

How much does it cost to get into Dunster Castle?

Tickets at Dunster Castle and Gardens for Adult costs £17, Child £8.50, Family £42.50 and 1 adult and up to 3 children is £25.50. Prices may vary, so it’s advisable to check the National Trust website or contact Dunster Castle directly for the most current admission fees.

How much does it cost to park at Dunster Beach?

To park at Dunster Beach it is £2.50 for up to 2 hours and £4 for over 2 hours. These charges may vary seasonally or over time, so it’s recommended to check current parking fees on-site or on the relevant local authority’s website for the most accurate information.

How long is Dunster Beach?

Dunster Beach stretches along the coastline for approximately 1.5 miles (2.4 kilometers).

Where was Poirot: A Cornish Mystery filmed?

“Poirot: A Cornish Mystery” was filmed in Dunster Village. You can see many parts of the village in the episode like Dunster Yarn Market, The Luttrell Arms and The Chapel used as the county courthouse.

What medieval town is near Minehead?

Dunster is the medieval town near Minehead. It is known for its well-preserved medieval architecture, including Dunster Castle and the Yarn Market, making it a popular historical destination near Minehead in Somerset, England.

Who owns Dunster Castle now?

Dunster Castle is now owned by the National Trust. They manage the property and oversee its preservation, upkeep, and accessibility to visitors.

How many people live in Dunster?

Dunster has a relatively small population, with approximately 860 residents. This figure may vary slightly depending on more recent demographic updates.

What shops are there in Dunster?

In Dunster village, you can find a variety of shops catering to different interests and needs. The shops you will find include: Ashleigh Bishop Fine Art, Chatelaine Antiques, Dunster Living, Dunster News & Gifts, Exmoor Through the Lens, Home Coming, Humming Bird, Inspirations of Dunster, Jacobs of Dunster, Made in Dunster, Maurice Bishop Studio Gallery, Parham House Brides, Rainbow Gifts, Rohan Dunster, The 5 Quarters, The Chocolate House, The Crooked Window Gallery, The Deli in Dunster, The Little Box of Delights, Dunster Country Stores and The Medieval Gallery.

Is Dunster Castle English heritage?

No, Dunster Castle is not managed by English Heritage, it is owned and managed by the National Trust, which is a separate organisation. The National Trust relies on membership fees, donations, and visitor income to maintain and conserve properties like Dunster Castle for public enjoyment and education.

What was filmed at Dunster Castle?

Episodes of tv shows such as like The Famous Five, Mud, as well as George Clarke’s National Trust Unlocked and BBC’S Flog It have been filmed at Dunster Castle.

Where is Dunster station?

Dunster station is situated approx 1 mile to the west of Dunster village, providing a scenic and nostalgic travel experience through the beautiful countryside of West Somerset. Dunster Station is located in Dunster, Somerset, England. It is part of the West Somerset Railway, a heritage railway that runs between Minehead and Bishops Lydeard. The exact address is typically noted as Dunster Station, Station Road, Dunster, Minehead, TA24 6PJ, Somerset, England.

Where is Dunster Beach?

Dunster Beach is located approximately 1.3 miles from Dunster Village and can be reached by car, bike, or on foot

When did Dunster by Candlelight start?

Dunster by Candlelight began in 1986, initiated by Hannah Bradshaw and the newly reinstated Dunster Traders Association.

Is Dunster Castle accessible?

The main entrance has a slope, and there are alternative entrances for those with mobility issues. The grounds have some steep slopes and uneven surfaces, but there are paths suitable for wheelchairs and mobility scooters in certain areas. Some parts of the castle interior may have limited accessibility due to stairs and narrow passages, but there are volunteers and staff available to assist.

Is Dunster Castle disabled friendly?

Dunster Castle strives to be accessible to visitors with disabilities, though it’s advisable for visitors with specific accessibility needs to check with Dunster Castle directly or visit the National Trust website for the most up-to-date information regarding accessibility, facilities, and services available during their visit.

What is the history of the Luttrell family?

The Luttrell family’s lineage can be traced to Sir Geoffrey Luttrell, who lived during the reign of King John (late 12th to early 13th century). The family originally hailed from Normandy, France. The Luttrells acquired Dunster Castle through marriage in the 14th century. The castle, situated in Somerset, has been a significant residence for the family until 1976 when it was given to The National Trust.

What is the geology of Dunster Beach?

The beach pebbles that make up Dunster shingle ridge are primarily purplish-red or grey-green Devonian quartz-rich sandstones, dating back around 380 million years. Many of these pebbles feature distinctive veins or pockets of white quartz.

What does Dunster mean?

The name “Dunster” is believed to derive from Old English, combining the words “dunn,” meaning “hill” or “brown,” and “tor,” meaning “rocky peak” or “hill.” Thus, Dunster can be interpreted as “hill with a rocky peak” or “brown hill,” reflecting the village’s geographical features.

What does the name Dunster mean?

The name Dunster originates from the parish of Dunster in Somerset. The place name comes from the Old English word “Dunntorr,” which means a rocky peak.

Can you go into Dunster Castle?

Yes you can pay to tour Dunster Castle and Gardens, I highly recommend visiting here and exploring Dunster Castle and Dunster Watermill and the Castle Grounds.

Can you get married at Dunster Castle?

Yes, you can get married at Dunster Castle. The castle is fully licensed for civil ceremonies and partnerships, offering a historic and beautiful setting for weddings. It is best to  contact them.

Can dogs go in Dunster Castle?

No, dogs are not allowed into Dunster Castle, just the grounds outside.

Are there toilets at Dunster Beach?

Yes, there are toilets by the kiosk near the start of the first beach huts.

Can you swim at Dunster Beach?

The currents along the stretch of the coast are notoriously strong so swimming is not advised.

Can you walk around Dunster Castle?

Yes, some of the rooms in Dunster Castle are view only but most of the Castle you can walk around and see thea beauty for yourself!

What has been filmed in Dunster?

A range of tv shows and films have been filmed in Dunster but most noteable is Agatha Christie’s Poirot: The Cornish Mystery (Season 2 Episode 4). Alice Pengelley visits Poirot in London, telling him she thinks she is being poisoned by her husband. When Poirot arrives in Cornwall the next day to investigate Mrs. Pengelley’s charges, he is too late, and finds her dead.

Where was Poirot a Cornish mystery filmed?

The episode was filmed in Dunster, Somerset. You can see Dunster High Street, Chapel House in West Street as well as a number of shops and houses were used in this episode!

Where do residents park in Dunster?

Most Dunster residents have private parking but otherwise limited parking is available on the roads or car parks in Dunster Village. National Trust members can park for free in the Dunster Castle car park, which is off the A39 before the turn-off for Dunster Village. Non-members can also park in the National Trust car park for £2.50; be careful to check when this car park shuts as it is locked overnight.

Is Dunster Castle open to visitors?

Yes Dunster Castle is open to visitors, just check the National Trust website for opening times and any latest information.

Are dogs allowed on Dunster Beach?

Yes, dogs are allowed on are allowed on Dunster Beach all year round!

Does anyone still live in Dunster Castle?

No one lives in Dunster Castle anymore, in 1976 Colonel Walter Luttrell gave Dunster Castle and its contents to the National Trust, which now operates it as a tourist attraction.

Is Dunster Castle worth visiting?

Yes it is! With the Castle the main feature, the beautiful Dunster Castle Gardens and Grounds are just stunning to explore. Your entry fee also covers visiting Dunster Working Watermill which is also a great look-back into the history of Dunster Village.

Are dogs allowed in Dunster Castle?

No, not inside Dunster Castle just the grounds and gardens.

Does anyone live in Dunster Castle?

No one lives in Dunster Castle, today Dunster Castle operates as a tourist attraction by the National Trust.

Can you take dogs in Dunster Castle?

Dogs are welcome all year round at Dunster Castle but not inside the Castle, there is plenty of space to explore around Dunster Castle Grounds as well as the River by the Watermill.

Can you go in Dunster Castle?

Yes you can go into Dunster Castle! Dunster Castle and Gardens are open daily, last entry to the castle is 1hr 15mins before it closes and last entry to the gardens is 1 hour before closure. The Stables Shop, Watermill Tearoom, and parkland are open 10am to 5pm and the car park is locked at 6pm.

Is Dunster Castle free for National Trust members?

Entry and parking in Dunster Castle is free for National Trust members with a valid membership card, during normal opening hours.

How many chalets are on Dunster Beach?

Dunster Beach is a private site of 230 chalets. They are all owned by individuals and families and most are rented out during the holiday season.

Dunster Village

Who owns the Dunster Castle?

Dunster Castle is owned and operated by the National Trust. It is a Scheduled Ancient Monument and Grade I listed building.

How old is the Dunster Castle?

Dunster Castle has over 1000 years of history. In 1066, de Mohun William arrived in England. He constructed the timber castle on the site of the Dunster; however, by the 13th century, nothing from his structure remained because of weak structures other than a lower level gateway and iron-bound oak doors.

Who are the Luttrell family?

The Luttrell family purchased Dunster Castle in 1376 and lived and owned Dunster Castle for 21 generations and 500 years.

Why is Dunster Castle famous?

Dunster Castle is famous for its rich history dating back to the Norman Conquest. Also its transformation from a medieval fortress to a grand country house. The stunning hilltop location of Dunster Castle offers panoramic views, today is managed by the National Trust.

What’s in Dunster village?

Dunster village features historic landmarks such as the medieval Dunster Castle, the 17th-century Yarn Market, St. George’s Church and scenic streets lined with thatched cottages, offering a picturesque glimpse into England’s past.

How far is Dunster from the beach?

Dunster Beach is located just 1.5 miles from Dunster Village and the beach is a mix of sand and pebbles.

Is Dunster a town or village?

Dunster is a village and civil parish in Somerset, England, situated along the northeastern edge of Exmoor National Park.

Are dogs allowed at Dunster Castle?

Yes, dogs on leads are allowed everywhere except inside Dunster Castle.

Can you have a BBQ on Dunster Beach?

There is a designated area at the far right end of the car park, this is the only area for barbecues.

Where can I park for free in Dunster?

Parking on Dunster High Street is free, though spaces are limited and frequently in high demand. Members of the National Trust enjoy free parking at Dunster Castle’s car park, located off the A39 just before the Dunster Village turn-off.

How old is Dunster?

Dunster’s history traces back to Saxon times, with settlements believed to have begun around 700AD. Prehistoric earthworks in the surrounding uplands indicate even earlier human activity in the area.

How much to park at Dunster Castle?

There is a pay & display in the car park where charges will apply for non-members at £5.50 per vehicle per day or £11 for motor homes. If you don’t have coins to pay, you can use the Paybyphone app on your smartphone, location code 806775. National Trust members park for free.

Is Dunster Castle dog friendly?

Yes, Dunster Castle is dog-friendly. Dogs on leads are welcome in the grounds and gardens of Dunster Castle. However, they are not allowed inside the castle itself or in certain enclosed areas. It’s advisable to check specific guidelines and restrictions on the National Trust website or at the castle entrance before visiting with your dog.

How long do you spend at Dunster Castle?

Typically, visitors spend around 2-3 hours exploring Dunster Castle, its gardens, watermill, and enjoying refreshments at the café. This allows enough time to tour the castle interiors, stroll through the gardens, and take in the views from the grounds.

Is Dunster nice?

Yes, Dunster is considered a charming and picturesque village with a rich historical heritage. Visitors often find Dunster appealing due to its well-preserved medieval architecture, including Dunster Castle and the Yarn Market, as well as its scenic surroundings and quaint atmosphere. The village offers a peaceful and scenic escape, making it a popular destination for tourists exploring Exmoor National Park and the Somerset countryside.

How long does it take to go round Dunster Castle?

Visiting Dunster Castle typically takes around 1.5 to 2 hours to fully explore. This includes touring the castle’s rooms and exhibitions, walking through the gardens, and enjoying any additional activities or exhibitions that may be available during your visit. The duration can vary depending on your pace, interest in history, and whether you stop to take in the views from the castle grounds.

Who owns Dunster Beach?

Dunster Beach is privately owned. It is managed and operated by the Dunster Beach Holidays, which oversees the chalets and amenities on the site.

How old is Dunster village?

Dunster village has a history that dates back over a thousand years. It is believed to have been settled since at least Saxon times, around the 8th century AD. The village’s location and prominence grew during the medieval period, and its historic buildings and landmarks reflect its long-standing heritage.

What facilities are at Dunster Beach?

Dunster Beach offers parking, beach access, public toilets, a café for refreshments, chalet rentals, and designated picnic areas. It’s equipped to accommodate visitors looking to enjoy the beach, scenic views, and outdoor activities in the area.

What has been filmed at Dunster Castle?

Dunster Castle has been used as a filming location for various productions, including episodes of the TV series “Poirot,” based on Agatha Christie’s novel. Additionally, scenes for other period dramas and historical documentaries have been filmed at Dunster Castle, taking advantage of its picturesque setting and historical ambiance.

Who lives at Dunster Castle?

Dunster Castle is not currently inhabited by any residents, it is owned by the National Trust and is managed as a historic property open to the public.

Is Dunster Beach dog friendly?

Yes, Dunster Beach is dog-friendly. Dogs are allowed on the beach throughout the year, making it a suitable place for dog walking and enjoying the coastal environment with pets.

What is at Dunster Beach?

Dunster Beach features a shingle and pebble shoreline with scenic views. It offers parking, public toilets, a café for refreshments, and rental chalets for accommodation. Visitors can enjoy beach walks, picnics, and access to the nearby village of Dunster and its historic attractions.

Is Dunster Beach safe to swim?

Dunster Beach is not typically recommended for swimming due to its shingle and pebble composition, which can make entering and exiting the water challenging. Additionally, there may be strong currents and uneven seabed conditions. It’s advisable to check local guidance and conditions before swimming and to consider nearby beaches like Minehead for safer swimming options.

Is it safe to swim at Dunster Beach?

Dunster Beach is generally not considered safe for swimming due to its shingle and pebble composition, which can make entering and exiting the water difficult. Additionally, the beach does not have lifeguards on duty, and there may be strong currents and uneven seabed conditions. It is advisable to check local guidance and conditions before swimming and to consider nearby beaches like Minehead for safer swimming options.

What is Dunster Castle famous for?

Dunster Castle is famous for its rich history spanning over 1,000 years, its stunning location overlooking the village of Dunster and the Exmoor National Park, and its well-preserved medieval and Victorian architecture. Managed by the National Trust, it offers visitors a glimpse into the lives of its former inhabitants through its furnished rooms, gardens, and expansive grounds.

What time does Dunster open?

You can visit the village any time morning or evening. Dunster Castle and the shops in Dunster Village open around 10am daily.

What time does Dunster show start?

The Dunster Show gates open at 8am to 6pm.

What time does Dunster show open?

Gates open at 8am for Dunster Show.

What time does Dunster Country Fair start?

Dunster Country Fair starts at 10am and gates open at 8.30am.

What time does Dunster Country Fair open?

Dunster Country Fair gates open at 8.30am.

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