Visiting the Castle

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, two small exhibition spaces, and the giftshop without charge, but public access to the interiors of the castle buildings is by guided tour only.

Weekend of 19th-20th January 2019

Please note that due to ongoing electrical works at the Castle, guided tours will be restricted to the Shire Hall complex at the Castle only on both the 19th and 20th January 2019. As a result there will be a reduced ticket price of  £5 per adult, £4 for concessions/children and £14 for a family ticket. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

Please also note that dogs are not allowed inside the Castle, assistance dogs are the exception to this rule. All areas are also smoke-free.

If you have any questions or queries, please contact the Tour Guides directly on 01524 64998.

Opening Times

We are open 7 days a week (except over the Christmas/ New Year period) from 9.30am to 5.00pm, with guided tours running throughout the day. Tours last approximately 60 minutes.

Tours operate from A-Wing (Male Penitentiary), where visitors can also explore our Prison Life exhibition and browse our gift shop. The shop and ticket desk are clearly signposted from the Castle Gatehouse.

The gift shop closes at 4.30pm.

Christmas Opening Times 2018

Monday 24th December:                 Closed

Tuesday 25th December:                Closed

Wednesday 26th December:          Closed

Thursday 27th December:               Open

Friday 28th December:                     Open

Saturday 29th December:                Open

Sunday 30th December:                  Open

Monday 31st December:                  Closed

Tuesday 1st January:                       Closed

Monday 7th January:                      Closed

Guided Tours

Lancaster Castle is one of the UK’s most significant historic monuments. Its origins date back to Roman times and it has been a centre of justice, incarceration and penal reform for almost 1,000 years. So there’s much to see and learn!

Our friendly tour guides will take you through tales of witchcraft, religious persecution, crime and punishment, rehabilitation and release throughout the ages. You may even get to stand in the dock, raise your left hand to be sworn in, and uncover the true meaning of being ‘sent down’. You can try out one of our medieval cells for size and marvel at one of Europe’s most extensive collections of heraldic shields.

Please note: While every effort is made to open these buildings up for public viewing, Lancaster Castle is still used as a Crown Court. If the Court is sitting, it may not be possible to view all rooms.

Ticket Prices:

  • Adults £8,
  • Concessions (children, students and people aged over 65) £6.50,
  • Family £20 (Our family tickets are flexible: two adults and up to any two concessions, one adult and any three concessions, or a group consisting of four concessions, all qualify)

Accompanying Registered Carers are admitted free. Young people under the age of sixteen must be accompanied by an adult.

Tours are limited to a strict maximum of 49 persons and tickets are sold on a ‘first come first served’ basis.

Private tours are sometimes permissible. This should be negotiated and agreed direct with the Tour Guides on 01524 64998.

If your enquiry is about a school visit or group booking please click here.

How to Find Us:

For information on how to get to the castle and where to park please click here.

Unfortunately we are unable to provide visitor parking on site. However, if you have a disability please call 01524 64998 to arrange access to the Castle.

Additional information:


Due to the fact that these rooms are still used as a working court, photography is not permitted anywhere in the Shire Hall / Crown Court complex. Photography is permitted in those areas of the castle not classified as court buildings.


For security reasons we are not able to store any luggage on site.

Restricted Mobility Access

Regrettably the tour route is not suitable for pushchairs or buggies. If your infant is able to walk, or you are able to carry your infant for the duration of the tour, there is a place part-way round the route where buggies can be left, on request, at your own risk.

Likewise, the tour route is not suitable for wheelchairs. Visitors with limited mobility should call ahead on 01524 64998 to discuss possible access. Our full access statement can be found by following this link.

Read our Castle Stories

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