With its enviable position looking out over the Cornish coastline, Pendennis castle has been an important fortress in many battles. There's so much history here that it's well worth getting on to one of the free guided tours; when we visited, there were also a small number of rooms which could only be seen with a guide.
The castle was built at the order of Henry VIII, and along with its twin St Mawes on the opposite bank, its purpose was to prevent hostile French and Spanish ships from sailing up the river Fal and invading Britain.
Later, it was besieged in the Civil War, and refitted with modern guns to form part of England's coastal defences during the First and Second World Wars. Our guide told us that care of the castle was given to English Heritage only on the understanding that the government could still press it back into service at any time.
It goes without saying, then, that this is a particularly well-preserved specimen. Strolling between the gun towers (ancient and modern alike), it's easy to imagine the castle as a bustling hub of military operations. There are some evocative exhibits highlighting the daily life of the castle's soldiers, too.