Top Tips for visiting Fort Newhaven

Posted on March 17th, 2017

Down on the south coast and commanding a great position overlooking the sea and town, Fort Newhaven is a must visit for anyone with an interest in our war time history.  Built originally through fear of French Invasion in Napoleonic times, the Fort has undergone a number of war roles and is now listed as part of our English heritage. 

 

Top tips for visiting Fort Newhaven

 

We arrived on a cloudy and cold February day, despite this the views from the car park were rather impressive. We took in the surroundings, read the information boards and made our way to the entrance. I thought £25 for 6 of us to go in was very fair.

 

Arriving at Fort Newhaven for a family visit

 

No sooner had we entered into the fort than the children were given quiz sheets to work though and met by a local volunteer with a table full of war memorabilia for the children to examine.

 

Testing war items at Fort Newhaven

 

The poor volunteer looked rather taken back that Guy knew just how to operate the air rifle, I felt obliged to explain that we lived on a farm in Cornwall.

 

Guy testing the old rifle at Fort Newhaven

 

We joined one of the cinema viewings of the history of the Fort which was excellent and kept the kids enthralled.

 

Kids watching a film of the history of Fort Newhaven

 

There are a number of rooms leading off the main square each kitted out with different war time functions.  The children are all enjoying history at school and studying world war one so the visit felt like perfect timing.

 

The war exhibit rooms at Fort Newhaven

 

Interesting as the history was, it didn’t take the kids long to spot the playground. This was new since we came with our older children a few years ago and a welcome break from the educational aspect of the day and a perfect way to warm us up too.

 

Enjoying Play area at Fort Newhaven

 

 No visit to Fort Newhaven can be complete without a visit to the big guns. There are a number of paths, steps and tunnels that all interlink to the top. The kids took great pleasure in running up and down them, jumping in and out of the bunkers and around the guns.

 

The Guns and battlements at Fort Newhaven

 

Despite the murky day, the views from the top stretched for miles out to sea and inland.

 

Views from the top of Fort Newhaven

 

The sea looked a long way down. Yet there was a secret passage with more steps than I care to count to take you right down to the beach. Exploring down here was one of the highlights as the children were sure if they looked around hard enough they would find a door or window without padlocks where they could climb out onto the beach.

 

steps to beach level at Fort Newhaven

 

The secret entrance eluded them but they did discover a great spy game I may have to try and replicate at Coombe Mill. Coloured string was criss-crossed in a tunnel to represent electric wire and the challenge was to pass over and under the string without rattling the bells attached at either end. Fluorescent lighting added to the fun and kept them entertained for quite some time.

 

Testing the Spy Game at Fort Newhaven

 

For 3 almost teens who were quite indifferent to the prospect of a fort as a day out, they all reluctantly admitted that it was actually really rather fun and worthy of abandoning snap chat for a few hours!

 

 

Tips for visiting Fort Newhaven

  • Fort Newhaven is well signed on brown tourist signs as you enter the town

  • There is a height restriction to the car park, but our 9 seater mini bus just snuck under.

  • Family tickets work out best value and OAP rates are available too. I thought £25 for 6 of us was very fair.

  • It is worth checking the official website for any special event days.

  • There are toilets and a very adequate if not modern or glamorous cafe.

  • The steps make it unsuitable for wheelchairs and difficult with a buggy, though there are ramped alternatives to many of the key areas.

  • It is windy and exposed on the cliff top so dress accordingly even in summer.

  • I would say the Fort is most appreciated from age 8 upwards.

  • It is an educational day out but highly visual and a fun way to a little about our past.

 

 

Country Kids