Bodiam Castle, England
Inside the Walls of a Medieval Castle
When I imagine a medieval castle, Bodiam Castle is exactly how I picture one. They say that there are only a few buildings that can rival its magnificent settings and I could not agree more. Located on a grassy estate, its solid fortifications are surrounded by a large moat (filled with huge fish) and the only access is by a long bridge positioned at the back of the castle.
The 14th-century medieval castle is in the county of East Sussex, England, and was built in 1385 by Sir Edward Dalyngrigge with permission from Richard II, ostensibly to defend the area against French invasion during the Hundred Years War.
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The castle itself has been sold to various people over the years and was eventually Bodiam Castle was donated to the current owners, The National Trust, by Lord Curzon, who have maintained and opened it to the general public.
Entering the Castle
As I walk across the bridge into the entrance of Bodiam Castle, I notice straight away how the castle is made to look larger and more formidable from the outside than it actually is. Most of the inside is now ruins and should only take you an hour or two to explore (not including the outside garden). Both the entrance and the corners of the castle are defended by towers and topped by crenellations.
You can still climb up the towers and overlook the inside and outside of the castle. If you listen closely when going from one tower to the next, you can hear the bats that live within the castle walls. Don’t worry though as the bats are more frightened of you than you of them.
As I am about to leave, I close my eyes for a minute to listen to the medieval singers (who are there during the spring/summer period) playing in the grounds while children dressed up as knights and princesses run around giggling, and for a second I forget that we are in the 21st century.
How to get there
- It is about a 2hr drive (about 60miles) from central London to Bodiam Castle
- It is a mission to get here via public transport (around 3 & half hrs) and you will need to change serval times.
- I would suggest hiring a car for the day (zip car we used to use if you live in London)
- Take a day tour to Bodiam Castle.
- The car park and entrance is free to National Trust card holders
- There is not much shelter available and the English weather can be unpredictable so take an umbrella or coat.
- There are only toilets available near the entrance of the car park and the car park is about a 5-10 minute walk away
- If you have time, visit the pill-box, which you will pass on your way from the car-park.
Would I recommend it
I am a big fan of castles and palaces, not only because they are a great day out but you get to learn about history, whilst at the same time, escape for a little while, transporting yourself back in time with your surroundings.
Bodiam Castle is one of those places that does exactly that and would appeal to both adults and children alike especially climbing up the castle towers and exploring the walls together.
Also during the Spring/Summer months, the castle arranges various activities inside the castle and within the outside gardens, which I think is an added bonus for both adults and children.
It is a great idea to see the outside actives used to educate children to keep them interested and focused instead of being on their ipads and computers. And it is good to see such organisations as the National Trust and English Heritage safeguard these amazing places for future generations to explore and be educated by history.
Thank you for reading this article, I hope it helped you to decide on what day trips to take outside of London. It is truly a beautiful place. If you are interested in discovering more of England you can read my post about Pembroke Castle and Hampton Court Palace
If there is anything more you would like to know, please do not hesitate to message me with your questions. Otherwise, you can get more information from the Bodiam Castle site.
Have you been to Bodiam Castle? Please feel free to share your experiences in the comments below, I would love to hear about it.🙂
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Disclaimer: I paid to go to Bodiam Castle, England. All views are my own and based on my own experience.