Bodiam Castle is one of the most stunning castles in England. With its moat, circular stone towers and battlements, the medieval structure appears to have come straight out of a fairytale. Investigate its rooms, climb up the towers for superb views and take part in a range of activities.
When the castle was first built in 1385, it was considered a masterpiece of military architecture. Note that although the castle’s exterior has been carefully renovated, much of the interior remains unrestored.
Take a moment to admire the castle’s impressive façade, which looks particularly striking when it is surrounded by early morning mist. During closer inspection, you’ll see big goldfish swimming in the moat that encircles the defensive structure. As you approach the massive oak doors of the entrance, observe the carving of a unicorn on the gatehouse wall. This is the badge of Sir Edward Dalyngrigge, the man who commissioned the castle’s construction.
Go to the gatehouse and study the castle’s original wooden portcullis. You can also see the murder holes on the gatehouse’s roof, through which soldiers poured scalding water, tar, rocks and other harmful materials on unwanted visitors.
Head up the castle’s steep spiral staircase, stopping to explore what’s left of the castle’s rooms. Visit the Well Room, which as the name suggests contains a well. Enjoy views of the surrounding Sussex countryside from the top of the towers. Save time to stroll around the grounds and see if you can spot some of the local wildlife such as woodpeckers, ducks and bats.
The castle hosts numerous activities and events throughout the year, such as falconry displays, archery lessons and guided tours by costumed characters. Visit the castle’s website to find out what’s going on during your visit.
To reach the castle, take the bus from Bodiam village. Drivers can park, for a fee, in the on-site lot. Bodiam Castle is open throughout the year, but hours vary by season. Admission charges apply.