Magnificent moat? Check. Towering turrets? Check.
Bodiam Castle has all the makings of a fairy-tale fortress. Beside the river Rother in East Sussex, it’s unknown whether Bodiam was built for military use or as a grand home for Sir Edward Dallingridge. An impressively well-preserved castle, it is now owned by the National Trust, and opens its doors to the public all year round.
The interior was destroyed during the Civil War and was left to deteriorate until its restoration in the early 20th century. Now, visitors can explore the spiral staircases, the original wooden portcullis and the gun-ports on top of the towers. Guests can wander round the gatehouse and discover the remains of the different living quarters.
Bodiam still retains many of its dramatic features from the 1300’s, leaving it looking elaborately intact. Although the interior is not as luxurious as it once would have been, thanks to the almost unspoilt exterior, the castle looks picture perfect. Hidden deep in the countryside, Bodiam is in the perfect location to defend the south coast.
The gardens were landscaped after the castle was built but none of the water features remain. Instead, the imposing moat is the only surviving feature, emphasising the impressive size and beauty of Bodiam. After taking a stroll around the landscaped grounds, stop for a cream tea in the Wharf Tearoom and be sure to explore the range of local produce in the castle shop. Bodiam Castle is one of the most famous of its kind in Britain. Its magical appearance makes it a favourite with children who can’t help but marvel at one of the finest facades of any surviving castle today.
Bodiam Castle, in the care of the National Trust since 1926, is just three miles off the main A21 at Hurst Green, midway between Hastings and Tunbridge Wells. Bodiam Castle, Bodiam, near Robertsbridge, East Sussex, TN32 5UA. There is a year around programme of events and activities.