Sussex is a hugely popular tourist destination. One of the reasons why this is the case is because there is so much to see and do. The county is steeped in history and culture and this is something that fascinates many. If you are planning on taking a trip to this popular location you should definitely consider incorporating at least one castle into your plans. Sussex has a reputation for having many amazing castles that are well worth visiting. In this post we will provide you with further details on some of the best. So, keep on reading to find out everything you need to know
Arundel Castle & Gardens
This medieval castle is a true sight to behold. A trip here allows you to explore almost one thousand years of history! Arundel Castle was built towards the end of the 11th century. The motte is the castles oldest feature. However, the building you will witness is largely the result of a restoration project that was complete in 1900 by Henry the 15th Duke of Norfolk. Thus, you can witness pieces of history that stretches over many, many years and a whole host of occupancies. There are also the stunning gardens to witness, and a lovely coffee shop and gift shop to enjoy.
Herstmonceux Castle & Gardens
Herstmonceux is definitely one of the most beautiful castles in the whole of the country, let alone just Sussex. Herstmonceux castle is situated within beautiful parkland and Elizabethan gardens 600 acres worth to be precise! However, the star of the show is undoubtedly the spectacular moat. If you want to experience the romance of renaissance Europe and the history of medieval England this is definitely the castle for you. Hopefully you will be able to visit on a nice day and thus see the Secret Garden, the Folly, 300 year old Chestnut Trees and Woodhenge in their true splendor. Guided tours are also available and there is a delightful coffee shop for you to grab a bit to eat called Chestnuts Tea Room. It costs £6.00 for an adult ticket to Herstmonceux Castle, whilst it is £3.00 for children under 16 and children under 5 are free. Group tickets and discounts are available.
Bodiam Castle is another great choice for those that have a taste for the romantic and picturesque. This castle is also moated and dates back to the 14th century. The castle is truly stunning and boasts the likes of a portcullis, battlements and a spiral staircase. Not to mention the historic landscape the castle is set in the heart of. There are enough ruins intact to truly get a taste for what happened at this castle. Moreover, there are seasonal events held throughout the year. Thus this is something that is worth keeping an eye out for. You can buy group tickets and family tickets, however if you are paying separately the standard charge for an adult is £7.20 whilst a childs ticket is priced at £3.60.
Next on the list of the best castles in Sussex is Amberley Castle, a breath taking castle that was erected as a 12th century manor house and then in 1377 it was fortified. Today Amberley Castle is actually a luxury hotel. The 900 castle remains open for you to explore, with a portcullis and a 60-foot high curtain wall enclosing it. However, behind the castle is a magnificent hotel, which you may wish to spend the day at. Why not book a meal at the restaurant? Or, why not enjoy a game of golf? This will really make you trip to Amberley Castle one to remember. A lot of people like to stay in self-catering cottages when visiting Sussex and they will then experience a day or a night at the Amberley Castle and Hotel, rather than spending their entire trip here.
Lewes Castle & Museum
What about a trip to Lewes Castle & Museum? Not only is the castle itself spectacular, but it stands on the highest point of Lewes and thus there are magnificent sights to behold. There is a lot to love about this Norman Castle, which is approximately 1000 years old. You can explore the castle grounds and next door there is a Barbican House, which is actually home to the Museum of Sussex Archaeology. It is definitely worth taking a trip inside of here and watching the story of Lewes in the mini-cinema. This will take you through Lewes from prehistoric times to the medieval era. Unlike a lot of castles, Lewes Castle is actually open during the colder months, except from on Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Years Day and Mondays in January. Tickets are £3.60 for children between the age of five and 16, whilst an adult ticket is priced at £7.00. There are family and group tickets available as well. You can also buy a combined ticket with the Anne of Cleves House if this is another attraction you wish to visit.
Pevensey Castle has a remarkable history that actually stretches back over 16 centuries! It began life among the toughest Roman Saxon Shore forts in the 4th century. It is astonishing to think that two thirds of these towered walls still actually stand. In 1006, this was the place whereby the army of William the Conqueror landed. After this conquest, approximately a century later, a powerful gatehouse and great square keep was built to turn the place into a full-scale Norman castle. Just before the great siege in 1264 the towered bailed wall was constructed in the 1250s. As you can see, there is a lot of history to experience when taking a trip to Pevensey Castle. Prices are great as well! A childrens ticket is priced at £3.10, which is for those between the age of five and 15 years old. It costs a mere £5.20 for an adults ticket. Please note that Pevensey Castle is only open on the weekends during the months of November through until the end of March.
Last on the list is Bramber Castle, which is located in West Sussex. This is a Norman Castle that was founded in 1075 by William de Braose. The towering wall of the keep-gatehouse dominates the earthworks here at Bramber Castle. It is an astonishing sight to witness. One of the great things about this attraction is the fact that dogs are welcome. Thus if you are planning on taking your pet on holiday this is definitely a good option. This is also a site that is completely free to visit! So, if you are holidaying on a budget you cannot go wrong.
Hopefully you now have a much better understanding of the diverse array of castles you can visit when enjoying a holiday in Sussex. You are assured to have a great time no matter which castle you take a trip to. It is advisable to visit the official website of each attraction before you make your visit, so you can discover more about the opening and closing times and such like. This is especially important if your are planning on visiting during the winter period, as such attractions often close for periods.