Plan your Visit

Lancaster Castle welcomes visitors of all ages for daily tours, special events, on group bookings, to buy Lancaster Castle memorabilia as gifts or just to enjoy delicious food and drink in our cafe.


You can contact us if you have any special requests or need any information you can't see on this website.

Opening Times

We are open 7 days a week (except the Christmas/ New Year period) from 9:30 to 17:00, with guided tours running regularly throughout the day. Box office opens 10:00-16:30.

During weekends tours run from 10.00am until 4.00pm.

On weekdays, during the winter months (November - February), public tours run at 10.30, 11.30, 13.30 & 15.00. We recommend that visitors ring ahead to check availability because this is subject to change.

On weekend days tours normally operate every half an hour from 10:00 to 16:00 (subject to there being no pre-arranged private tours) but there are no tours on the hour at 12:00 or 13:00. 

For further information on tour times and content it is recommended that you telephone the information desk on 01524 64998.

Christmas and New Year opening 2015/16

23 December 2015: 

 Open for tours

24 December 2015:


25 December 2015:


26 December 2015:


27 December 2015:

 Open for tours

28 December 2015:


29 December 2015:

 Open for tours

30 December 2015:

 Open for tours

31 December 2015:


01 January 2016:


02 January 2016:

 Open for tours

03 January 2016:

 Open for tours









Tour Information

Why not take a tour around the North-West's most significant historic monument. With origins dating all the way back to the Romans, this fascinating building founded in 1093 has been a centre for local justice for over 800 years.  Our knowledgeable and friendly tour guides will take you through the courtyard and into the building where you will be surrounded by one of the country's oldest and most iconic courtrooms: The Shire Hall. Hear tales of witchcraft, religious persecution, crime & punishment, and dare to be locked inside one of our dark prison cells. The tour finishes in C-Wing where you can view cells used up until 2011 before being 'released' to enjoy the rest of your day.

Please note: Lancaster Castle is still used as a Crown Court and until March 2011 was also a Category C prison.

It is possible to see a good portion of the Shire Hall complex by taking part in one of our guided tours. At present, only select areas of the former HMP Lancaster Castle are accessible to the public during the tours. 


  • Adults £8,
  • Concessions £6.50,
  • Family £20 (Our family tickets are flexible: two adults and up to any two concessions or one adult and any three concessions)

Accompanying Registered Carers are admitted free. Please note that young people under the age of sixteen must be accompanied by an adult.

Ask about our great deals on Xplorer Tickets for even better value

Due to the Courts being used for legal cases we regret that photography is not permitted anywhere in the Shire Hall / Crown Court complex. Photography is permitted, however, elsewhere in the castle.

Lancashire County Council Logo

Tours are run and managed by Lancashire County Council.

quality assured visitor attraction






Lancaster Castle (Shire Hall) is a Quality Assured Visitor Attraction

The content of the tours varies due to the pattern of use by the Crown Courts.

Weekends are not affected by court use of the castle and tours operate as normal.

Lancaster Castle is delighted to welcome children of all ages but we must remind visitors that it is a working building. All visitors are therefore asked to respect any requests for quiet made by members of staff. There are certain areas of the building where noise travels very easily and this can be disruptive to other people working on the premises.

In exceptional circumstances, the management reserves the right to ask people to leave the building if their behaviour is considered to be disruptive to other members of the tour group, LCC staff or other agencies working in the building.

Click here to read our full Access Statement

Read our Castle Stories

duchy of lancaster