England’s dark history, with tales of persecution, incarceration, punishment and execution, has been lived out over the centuries within the confines of Lancaster Castle.
And now, after almost 1,000 years as an imposing and impenetrable place of penance, the castle’s magnificent John o’Gaunt gates have been swung open to unlock a veritable vault of intrigue, interest and interaction for visitors of all ages.
Since HMP Lancaster Castle was decommissioned by the Ministry of Justice and the Castle returned to the Duchy of Lancaster in 2012, the focus has very much been on the preservation and restoration of the fabric of these historic buildings. The second key objective has been to keep the Castle open to the public and in particular to make it available to the people of, and visitors to, the city of Lancaster.
Lancaster Castle is open daily for guided tours, special events and group bookings. Visitors can enjoy the courtyard spaces, external views of the historic building, and cafe/giftshop without charge, but public access to the interiors of the castle buildings is by guided tour only.
You can contact us if you have any special requests or need any information you can’t see on this website.
We’re sorry but dogs are not allowed inside the castle.
We are open 7 days a week (except the Christmas/ New Year period) from 9.30am to 5.00pm, with guided tours running regularly throughout the day.
At weekends tours run from 10.00am until 4.00pm. (10.00, 10.30, 11.00, 11.30, 12.30, 13.30, 14.00, 14.30, 15.00, 15.30 & 16.00)
During the week tours run from 10.00am until 3.00pm. (10.00, 11.30, 13.30 & 15.00).
Tours last approximately 90 minutes.
Tour times may be subject to change. For further information on tour times and content it is recommended that you telephone the information desk on 01524 64998.
The gift shop closes at 4.45pm.
Tours operate from the café building in the castle courtyard.
- Adults £8,
- Concessions £6.50,
- Family £20 (Our family tickets are flexible: two adults and up to any two concessions or one adult and any three concessions)
Accompanying Registered Carers are admitted free. Young people under the age of sixteen must be accompanied by an adult.