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.
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