Muddy says: Stunning, riverside 14th century moated castle with a ruined interior offering a glimpse of medieval splendour from a bygone era and now a fantastic and fun-filled day out for the entire family
Our corner of England really does a good castle, doesn’t it? And Bodiam Castle is one of Britain’s most picturesque and evocative castles set in the heart of an historic landscape with stunning views from the top of the towers. Set on the border of Kent and Sussex near to the village of Robertsbridge, Bodiam Castle has been a brooding symbol of power for over 700 years and possesses all of the key ingredients for a archetypal castle – spiral staircases, battlements, portcullis and a surrounding moat with a ruined interior that will fire up anybody’s imagination.
There are also not many other castles where you can arrive in such style and how about one of these options for the ultimate day out with your family? Did you know that you can take the steam railway from Tenterden town to Bodiam station (operated by Kent & East Sussex Railway – seasonal timetables apply) or you could opt for the passenger ferry (April to September) from Newenden Bridge via Bodiam Boating Station? But don’t fear, there is a big car park too if you just want to arrive by a more traditional way.
For those who want to get out and about in the castle grounds, Bodiam Castle has an I-Spy trail to get the kids running around, looking at the natural features around the castle and burning off some energy. Dogs are allowed on short leads in the castle grounds and are welcome inside Castle View Café which has the most incredible views out across castle lawn down to the bridge across the moat to the castle, plus deckchairs are left out during the sunnier months if you wanted to bask in the sunshine.
The Wharf Tea Room is another option for visitors, which has a patio overlooking the river, and has been extensively refurbished over the past couple of years. Fresh scones are baked every day by its resident baker, Marilyn – need we go on? And of course there are plenty of picnic tables dotted around if you want to do your own thing.
Unsurprisingly, Bodiam Castle also makes for a fabulous backdrop for a wedding, especially for those brides who’ve dreamed of a romantic castle ceremony. After you’ve taken your vows and gained your own knight in shining armour, you can celebrate with your guests in the castle courtyard.
Finally, make sure you keep an eye on our Things to Do pages as the team at Bodiam Castle have their finger on the pulse when it comes to cool and cultural attractions to inspire you to visit – for all age groups. Half terms and school holidays always have a wide range of activities on offer – from archery, bat walks right through to storytelling, and rumour has it that Father Christmas often makes an appearance there too, so grab your sword and shield, and GO!