The ultimate sandcastle – featuring everything you could ever want in a castle – has been built by English Heritage at Dover Castle ahead of a special sandcastle building weekend (21st/22nd July) at its castles right across the country, including at Carisbrooke Castle on the Isle of Wight. ­­­

English Heritage looks after 66 castles across England, more than any other organisation in the UK and it employs some of the country’s best castle experts to advise on their care and conservation. Now, that expertise has been harnessed to design the ultimate sandcastle and to inspire the public to support English Heritage’s #LoveCastles crowd-funding appeal to protect our nation’s amazing collection of castles for future generations to enjoy.

Roy Porter, English Heritage Senior Properties Curator and creator of the ultimate castle, said:

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“A castle is surely one of the most awe-inspiring sights but if you look closely, all is not what it seems.  These amazing structures are a brilliant mix of ages and types, reflecting changing threats and fashions over centuries.  Part of the fun of visiting them is using a Sherlock-like eye to tease out their secrets!

“By studying hundreds of years of trial and error by the real castle builders our ultimate sandcastle contains everything you’d like to see, with each element showing off castle-building ‘perfection’ from a different era. I hope people will be inspired to build their very own ultimate sandcastle this summer – and support English Heritage to care for all our real castles so that they can continue to inspire us all for centuries to come.”

English Heritage’s ultimate sandcastle features everything from strong defensive features such as curtain walls and inner walls, crenellations or ramparts, a drawbridge and a portcullis, as well as more decorative reflections of strength and power including a gatehouse and a striking great tower.

Over a special sandcastle building weekend (21/22 July) visitors will have the opportunity to create their own ultimate castle with workshops at 8 castles across the country – including Carisbrooke Castle. Join sand sculpture experts Sand in Your Eye for a fun and inspiring family master-class in sandcastle building. Have heaps of fun as you learn the secret recipe of the ultimate sand and water mix and very best way to build a sandcastle. Buckets and spades provided!

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Workshops run hourly each day from 11:00 (last one 16:00), and are available on a first come, first served basis for a £2 donation to the #LoveCastles appeal. The workshops are suitable for the whole family from age 5 upwards, with adult supervision needed for under 12’s – so grown-ups can join in the fun too! Under-5s will be able to get hands on with their own sand-table, open throughout both days for no additional charge.

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As part of its #LoveCastles season, English Heritage is also calling on the public to send in photographs of their own sandcastles and the charity is helping budding sandcastle builders by revealing its top tips for building a successful sandcastle.

To be in with a chance of winning a stay in one of English Heritage’s historic holiday cottages, amongst a host of other prizes, the public need only build a sandcastle, place a #LoveCastles flag (available by £1 donation at EH sites) on top and share their pictures on Facebook, Instagram or by uploading it onto the Castles webpage at

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