29 March 2016

Day Trips from London: London to Bodiam Castle


Bodiam Castle

Its been a while since I've added to my Day Trips from London series but over this Easter long weekend, a friend and I finally took a trip to Bodiam Castle. I love that living in the UK I can just go and see a castle, built by a Knight, that existed almost 400 years before Australia was 'discovered' by Captain Cook, complete with moat, just like that.

The original bridge actually was from this grassy patch to the island in the middle.

Bodiam is a 14th century castle that was built during the reign of Richard II. Originally belonging to the Dalyngrigge family, it passed through several hands before it was donated to the National Trust in 1925.


Main entrance - wooden portcullis and family shields above

The exterior of the castle is intact (or has been restored) and as I approached it, it was quite the sight. I can understand why the grounds were landscaped in such a way, it would have made quite the imposing and intimidating impression. It does give the impression that it is bigger than it actually is.


Over the bridge, through the main entrance with the original wooden portcullis (quite rare) and up a side staircase to the battlements and I could see the whole interior of the castle. Only ruins remain, surrounding the green lawn of the courtyard. But with the help of a map, fireplaces and the markings of where the upper floors were, it was easy to glean life when it was a fully functioning castle.

The arched door way leads to the Great Hall

Facing the main entrance from the courtyard

The arches from the Great Hall leading to the pantry, buttery and kitchens

All the little details...
Dont forget to look up - Parts of Bodiam had 3 floors.

Looking out from the Retainers Hall to the courtyard

Possibly my favourite thing about the whole castle was the back entrance. Supposedly used for 'informal' access to friends, services and the like. I like to think of it as an early equivalent to the kitchen door used by friends today instead of the main house door. Except I'm sure that most kitchen doors don't have murder holes as a precaution.

Murder holes

Oh, did I mention its a photogenic castle? It was so easy to take good photos of it from every angle, almost no effort required ;)



Tips for visiting Bodiam Castle

 

How to get to Bodiam Castle

I think that the best way to get to Bodiam Castle from London is to drive. But due to Easter car hire opening hours my friend and I ended up taking a train to Maidstone and hiring a zipcar to drive there which worked well too.

The National Trust site does give various public transport options.


Food & drink

Bodiam Castle has a cafe near the carpark which serves a couple of hot meals, sandwiches, tea, coffee and cake. It has both indoor and outdoor seating. Across the road there is a Shepherd Neame pub Castle Inn which can serve as another option. Otherwise, if youre driving, why not take a picnic and eat there?



Nearby


There is a steam train station nearby Bodiam Castle, if you are looking for a full day out check out the Kent and East Sussex Railway website.
Why not take advantage of the beautiful countryside and take a walk along the public footpaths? I saw a couple of stiles and marked paths so with a bit of googling found this map.


Not a bad way to spend a day away from the hustle and bustle of London don't you think?


10 comments:

  1. I've been to Bodiam Castle before and certainly a very interesting place to visit indeed! Lovely photographs captured here :)

    Laura xo

    www.shehearts.net

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  2. Ohh looks gorgeous! I love day trip ideas, I definitely want to visit here one day in the sunshine!

    Jasmin Charlotte

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  3. Lovely photos mon cher - of the castle and of your smile!

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  4. This looks like the most castley-castle I've ever seen! If that makes any sense haha. I've got to add it to my list!

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    1. I know exactly what you mean! I thought so too.

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