Wednesday 17 May 2017

Arundel Castle, West Sussex

Arundel Castle, West Sussex

At the weekend we were invited to visit Arundel Castle in West Sussex. The castle is just down the road from us and we often drive past, so we were very interested to have a look around inside! We visited on a Sunday and managed to find free parking a short walk away. Arundel can get busy on a nice day but there is quite a lot of street parking and several pay and display car parks in the town, including one right opposite the entrance. It took us around 3 - 4 hours to visit the castle.

It was such a lovely sunny day that we decided to begin our visit with the gardens. From the main entrance you first come to the Fitzalen Chapel and White Garden. The chapel was founded in 1390 and is the burial place of the Dukes of Norfolk. Then we walked through the gardens with their beautiful fountains, including the crown fountain where a crown is suspended in the air above a jet of water, fascinating to watch it bobbing up and down. There are also some lovely glasshouses which you can walk through and peek inside.

Arundel Castle gardens

Next we entered the castle, and started our tour with the Castle Keep. This is the oldest part of the castle and dates from 1068. You reach it by a short walk across the battlements, then once inside you can climb up and walk around the edge to enjoy some spectacular views across the downland and to the sea. 

Arundel Castle view from tower

Inside the keep you can see the entrance down to the dungeon, and the surrounding rooms have lots of information about the history of the castle, brought to life with models.

Arundel Castle courtyard

We went on to tour the Main Castle Rooms and the Castle Bedrooms. I couldn't take any photographs inside, but the rooms were stunning. I was really interested to see the bedrooms, it's fun to imagine what it would be like to stay for a few nights in the castle! There are some really interesting things to see, like enormous fireplaces, beautiful pieces of furniture and storage, and lots of weaponry. 

Arundel Castle West Sussex

We finished our visit with a slow walk back to the entrance through the gardens, admiring the lovely flowers and stopping for a quick climb in a clump of twisty trees. We had a really lovely visit, and I'd definitely recommend it!

I also made a short video of our day at the castle which you can see below, enjoy!

If you have a little more time in Arundel it's a lovely town to walk around. You can take a short walk up past the castle to Swanbourne Lake which is very pretty and a nice place to feed the ducks or hire a little boat. Just a bit further along is the Black Rabbit pub, where I've enjoyed several good meals.

We received a complimentary Gold Plus family ticket in exchange for a review. The Gold Plus ticket allows you access to all areas of the castle, and there are three other ticket options. You can find more information and prices on the Arundel Castle website.

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