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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34 Comments

  1. This was an absolute favourite as a child. In summer they would sometimes have tour guides dressed as Medieval people, it was magical!

  2. Castles are always magical to visit. So many things to inspire one’s imagination. And it looks like you had so much fun visiting this one =)

    #countrykids

  3. What a great castle to start both challenges with, Bodiam certainly looks like a real fairy tale castle complete with moat and courtyard! Monkey and Kipper look in their element exploring, although it’s clear Monkey’s much more interested in the castle than Kipper. The views are certainly impressive too, I love the shot of Monkey in the alcove clearly he’s the king of the castle!

    Thanks for sharing with me on #CountryKids.

  4. Jade @ Captured By Jade Reply

    Bodiam Castle looks to be absolutely stunning – and definitely what I’d envision a castle to be as a child, as you say. Lovely captures from your day out.

    Good luck with your castle challenge… We’re hoping to visit a few this year, but nowhere near 26. Haha!

  5. Oh wow this looks like an amazing place to explore. I really need to get our family a National Trust membership! #CountryKids

  6. We love Bodiam Castle and didnt get round to take our boys yet – so thank you for reminding us about this iconic National Trust property ! Very instagramable so to speak and perfect for young kiddies like ours! How cute are your in their winter outfits ! #countrykids

  7. Tracey Peach Reply

    What a beautiful place! they look like they had lots of fun exploring everywhere

  8. Such cute photos! I have never been to this castle, one I will go to if I am ever in the area.

  9. jo liddement Reply

    Such a romantic looking castle. I remember going here as a small child with my dad in the 70’s

  10. Tracy Nixon Reply

    The castle is very attractive – I love to take the kids around castles – there is just something royal about them all!

  11. Lorna Ledger Reply

    Stunning to look at, love the towers, and the moat, nice that it has a cafe – would love to go one day, glad you had a nice time

  12. Sarah Holder Reply

    We have National Trust membership so we will paying a visit!

  13. Oh, it is stunning, isn’t it? When the children were younger, they were disappointed if the castles we visited had no roof. Not a real castle then, I guess! They are more appreciative now that they are getting a little older. This one is so beautiful it wouldn’t have disappointed them.

    Great post, lovely pics and really helpful information. Many thanks.

  14. Jeanette Leighton Reply

    Looks like a nice place and I don’t think I’ve seen a castle with a real moat

  15. Sarah Austin Reply

    Now this is what you call a proper castle! Definitely worth a visit!

  16. Alison Johnson Reply

    I love castles & this looks like a good one, although a little far for me to visit. We live quite near Kenilworth castle & Warwick castle although they are expensive to visit. I always remember looking round Conwy Castle on a school trip & I fell in love with castles then. I like the idea of setting a challenge to visit 12 new properties this year.

  17. Alison aligiraffe Johnson Reply

    I love castles & this looks like a good one, although a little far for me to visit. We live quite near Kenilworth castle & Warwick castle although they are expensive to visit. I always remember looking round Conwy Castle on a school trip & I fell in love with castles then. I like the idea of setting a challenge to visit 12 new properties this year.

  18. Kayleigh Watkins Reply

    Oh wow!! It looks like an absolutely fantastic day out, the castle is beautiful, I love taking my children to explore our history xXx

  19. Laura Kevlin Reply

    Aww cuteness, there’s nothing like exploring a castle with little ones 🙂 Last time I was at a castle was in Conwy 9 month pregnant with hubby and our then three year old! It was slow going but we made it all the way round 🙂

  20. Sylvia Paul Reply

    Never been here with it being so far from us but it looks like a great day out

  21. Natalie Crossan Reply

    These photos are lovely, looks like great fun – I love the national trust!

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