Standing above the village of Carisbrooke, this castle was built by the Normans and enlarged in Elizabethan times. It had its moment of historical glory when King Charles I was imprisoned here during the English Civil War; note the small window in the north curtain wall through which he tried unsuccessfully to escape. You can walk along the battlements and visit the well house, which still uses donkeys to draw water, and also explore the Edwardian-style Princess Beatrice
garden and a small museum devoted to Charles I and the English Civil War. The castle is about a mile southwest of the Isle of Wight's modern-day capital, Newport. From Cowes, take Bus 1 or 5 (1 from West Cowes, near Holmwood Hotel; 5 from East Cowes, near Osborne House) to Newport, from which you can walk (about 30 minutes) or pick up Bus 6, 7, or 38—it's about a 10-minute walk from the bus stop in The Mall, Carisbrooke.