We have been members now of National Trust for some time. This year I wanted us to explore more of what they have to offer so I set us a challenge as a family. To go to twelve new properties. The first on the list was Bodiam Castle, which was convenient as our other challenge as a family this year is our ABC of Castles. Now I know we probably won’t get to see twenty six castles this year as it would mean finding one every other weekend. But if we could get half way through that would be amazing.
So what did we think of Bodiam? Well quite simply its stunning. It was a good castle to start with although I am not sure all of the others on the list will measure up. Its very picturesque setting in a large lake, perfectly symmetrical. It looks exactly like imagined a castle would look growing up. Monkey reaction to it when we first saw it would suggest he feels the same way. They have a smallish carpark, and I can imagine at other times of the year it would be easily full by mid morning. Overflow parking is provided on the field in front of the castle at busy times.
There is a short walk from the carpark to the castle. There are no facilities in the castle but there is a cafe and toilets by the entrance. You walk past an old World War Two pillar box which was the source of fascination for a number of young children. There was also a lot of ducks that wanted feeding. The paths were quite muddy because of the time of year we visited but easily enough to navigate with a buggy. You walk around the castle and enter from the back across a bridge.
Its possible to go up two of the towers. Of course that was the first thing which Monkey wanted to do. Having the buggy Hubby went with with Monkey initially and had a look around. There was a medieval table set up in one of the rooms which sparked an interesting conversation. Of course we had to have the obligatory photo where you take a picture of each other!
While Monkey explored I found a safe corner to let Kipper run around. Naturally at the age of twenty months he found the gravel much more interesting than the actual castle itself. In one of the rooms they were reading stories by candlelight, we did attempt to listen in. However Kipper is not a sitting still type of toddler which meant we didn’t stay long.
Monkey found another tower to climb this time I went up with him to look at the views. The castle itself is not very big and the perfect stop over if you are visiting other properties in the area. There is plenty of grassland around it ideal for picnics. Plus a little museum to have a nose around. It was the perfect place to spend a couple of hours looking around and pose for some photos on the wooden thrones in the centre.
Things you need to know:
- The castle is open from 11am to 4pm. Please note that weekdays from 3 Jan – 2 Mar and 29 Oct – 30 Nov, entry to the castle is by guided tour only. So its worth checking the daily opening times here on their website.
- Entrance is free for National Trust members. Adults cost between £10.80 with gift aid, a child £5.40. A family ticket costs £27.00
- Address – Bodiam, near Robertsbridge, East Sussex, TN32 5UA
- Other places nearby include Scotney Castle, Batemans and Sissinghurst Castle.
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