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“Impressed”
Review of Bodiam Castle

Bodiam Castle
Ranked #1 of 3 things to do in Bodiam
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: A majestic 14th Century moated castle, with ruined interior and splendid grounds. Take part in various medieval activities, all year round. Admission price covers entry to castle and grounds. Opening hours are 10:30 til 5pm or dusk if earlier. Please note that last entry to the castle is at approx. 3:20pm during winter.
Reviewed 26 July 2016

We're no history buffs but fancied a day in the next county exploring, and thought we'd visit Bodiam Castle which we spotted on the map. We also noticed the River Rother ran close by, and then found we could take a cruise from Newenden down to Bodiam - and we can't resist being near water. This was a lovely way to arrive, through the water meadows, and although the cruise is £11 per adult (45 mins journey each way), it does then avoid you paying the £3 parking charge at the castle! Nice cafe at the boatyard too for lunch - see my separate review if you would like to make a day of it as we did.
The Castle itself is impressive - pretty much all in one piece from the outside though more of a shell from inside. Good though that you can still climb the ramparts for a lovely view. The moat is impressive too - filled with ducks and the most gigantic carp!
Whilst we were there on Sunday, there were activities taking place on the half hour - at 3pm there was a talk about ailments in medieval times and how they diagnosed what was wrong, and then there was a demonstration of armour, how to wear it and what the aim of each component is to protect. Then there some stalls offering tasters of herbal teas brewed there from the fresh herbs and also a stall showing how they did tie dye from natural colourings. The talks were at a level that was both entertaining to kids and to adults, so quite an achievement and well done.
My only disappointment was a lack of Mr Whippy ice cream at the 2 refreshment locations (within castle grounds and by the car park) to make my perfect summer's day:-) But we did have some very nice local soft scoop cones - good salted caramel and fudge, and a choc mint, so all was not lost! £8 (without gift aid) is not cheap for the castle entry fee, but it's not too steep these days and we enjoyed our visit, especially with the extra entertainment laid on inside.

2  Thank Roundy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 25 July 2016

There was plenty of room in the car park when we arrived, and we began with a pleasant latte in the cafe and a look in the shop. This was well provided with knight like gifts and we succeeded in finding a present at our intended price, about £6. There were some lovely knight outfits for about two or three times as much, had you wanted to provide fancy dress. As NT members, we had free parking and admittance and walked up to the castle. There are lots of very friendly ducks, and we enjoyed watching them trotting along in a line. The castle is approached across a longish bridge that we remember from bringing our children thirty years ago. Inside, an excellent short film sets the scene and we very much enjoyed it. Walking round, the information panels are good too, and had we wanted, there were talks available on medieval life. The only toilets and the main cafe are back at the car park, a ten minute walk away from the castle. Lots of people had brought picnics, and having had our lunch at the cafe, I can understand why. NT cafes used to be a certain choice for a lovely lunch, but our quiche and salad was extremely ordinary and we both left it. Disappointing. I think they need to take a hard look at their catering. We had much better, cheaper at Michelham Priory and Leeds Castle, neither NT.

Thank Millie024
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 July 2016

What a gorgeous example of history and architecture. The structure is just gorgeous! I can't say it enough. The structure itself has a lot of well preserved areas. The front towers are still intact and you're aloud to go up them, the stairs are very steep and it's a bit dark so proceed with caution. But it's very doable. I wore my five month old son in a baby carrier and was very cautious but it was worth it to see what it would have been like. They also have a video playing in one of the rooms which was nice so you can learn a little more about the castle.

1  Thank Marissa S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 July 2016

£3 for parking, then entrance fees. Wasn't there for very long, staff weren't very helpful, shop was shut. tearooms were shut, not much to do when its raining. Good views and kept clean and tidy. Advised to get a national trust pass to save money which we have done now!

Thank jess1995x
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 July 2016

This castle looks like one from a fairy tale and is well worth a visit. Beautiful grounds and plenty of history to draw in. The kids enjoyed it and for us that helps massively!

1  Thank David R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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