If you visit the historic town of Arundel, you cannot miss the stunning Arundel Castle as it stands out magnificently in the landscape. Arundel itself is a wonderful town to visit, with antique shops for browsing and quaint coffee shops to enjoy some cake. While you here the Castle is a must visit in our book!
Arundel castle is part stately home and part medieval castle. The castle is still home to the Fitzalan-Howard family, the Dukes of Norfolk and Earls of Arundel. It is one of the longest inhabited places in the United Kingdom, it was built in 1068 and has undergone many extensions and some restoration over the years. Many believe the castle sits on a hill; however, it was actually built on an artificial mound.
The oldest part of the castle is the medieval keep, and you can get a true sense of battles of old when you visit this part of the castle. There are huge stone walls, battlements and slit windows to fire arrows through at the enemy! You must (if you are able to climb the steps) walk along the walls and to the top of the round tower. There are fabulous views from the top, across the beautiful South Downs and out to the coast.
The main part of the castle is packed full of treasures and more of a grand stately home. There are wonderful stained-glass windows, incredible artworks, vast fireplaces and beautiful antique furniture. We would suggest taking your time in this part of the castle as there is so much to see and take in. You can almost imagine the castle in use and people sitting in the library enjoying a good book! The armory is fascinating with plenty of weapons and shield to investigate. It makes for a living history lesson if you take the children for the day.
Over the years the castle has seen some important visitors. Queen Victoria and Prince Albert stayed at Arundel Castle for three days in 1846. In celebration of their visit, special furniture was commissioned, this is on display in the bedrooms in the castle today. Empress Matilda visited the castle not long after it was built, and you can walk through the apartments in the Keep that were built for her stay.
Once you’ve toured the castle itself, you must take a stroll around the grounds. There is plenty to explore with beautiful flowers, pretty plants, and fabulous fountains. We’d suggest seeing Oberon’s Palace with shell encrusted walls and a special fountain with a crown spinning on water in mid-air! There is a lovely rose garden and you can walk around the moat as well.
A new tropical glasshouse was recently built at Arundel Castle. It’s a perfect replica of an original Victorian ‘Thomas G Messenger’ wooden pineapple house. Built with new durable materials, the glasshouse allows you to see pineapple and passion fruit trees, banana trees, coffee plants and a baobab tree.
Keep an eye on the Facebook page for Arundel Castle as they have some amazing Summer events taking place including Shakespeare plays and medieval battles. If you’re looking for other recommendations for days out in Sussex please get in touch as we are always happy to help. Please contact us on 07825 212834 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.