In our house, bank holiday weekends mean going off to explore! Arundel Castle has been on my to visit list for the longest time, it’s not super far from us so there’s not really an excuse as to why we haven’t been! Last Saturday, we decided to make the most of the tempermental sunshine and head to Sussex and finally cross the castle off our to do list!
So a little history for you, Arundel Castle is home to, and has been for hundreds of years, the Duke of Sussex. Set in sprawling gardens a stones throw from the ocean, it’s arguably one of England’s most beautiful heritage sights. I’ve been watching The Tudors on Netflix recently and it’s reignited my passion for British History, so I was keen to go see what the fuss was all about at Arundel!
The original castle was built in the late 11th century, so has been standing for around 1000 years – how crazy is that?! There have been additions and remodels since then, the most notable in the late 19th century, but there are still sections of the castle standing as they would have done a thousand years ago.
Since this was our first visit to the castle we decided to splurge on the Gold Plus tickets, which give you the most access. These weren’t cheap at £2o for an adult and £17.50 for a student (I weep for my lost student card), but we really wanted to nose around the inside of the castle, and on reflection I really think they were worth it!
We were able to explore the Norman Castle Keep, the fortress that protected the property. It’s a bit of a walk, with lots of tight, steep + narrow spiral staircases (as a super claustrophobe I struggled with these, but pushed on in the name of exploration), and is certainly not going to be any good if you’ve got reduced mobility, but all the huffing and puffing (and wishing my Iron levels were back to normal) was worth it to explore such a gorgeous building.
If you’re not much interested in history (or being nosy) you could definitely just buy a ticket for the grounds, but I loved peaking inside a real castle, looking at rooms that are still in use even today! Oh how the other half live hey! Inside the main castle, it’s living rooms and bedrooms, photos aren’t allowed, so forgive the lack of interior shots, but the gardens are really where it’s at!
We couldn’t have picked a nicer day for a stroll around the gardens, with tulips blooming everywhere your eye caught, blossom falling gently along the paths and the sun beaming down on us, it was a perfect spring English day in an English country garden. I loved the backdrop of the moody cathedral and imposing castle behind the flowers!
I’ve honestly never seen so many different types of tulips as at Arundel! Tulips blooming in every colour, with feathered edges, with pointed petals, everything you could possibly imagine! I could almost convince myself we were in the tulip fields in the Netherlands! I especially loved the fluffy pink ones above, they reminded me of peonies!
My favourite spot simply had to be the garden greenhouse! A white and glass paneled confection filled with beautiful blooming flowers in varying shades of pink and purple, it felt like I’d walked into an Instagram dream! I want a greenhouse like this in my own house one day, that I can fill with pretty pink flowers and the odd succulent or two for good measure!
I suppose what I’m trying to say is that whether you’re a history nerd like me, can’t resist a good tulip, or just fancy a picnic in a pretty location, Arundel Castle is worth a visit! Especially if you swing by Roly’s Fudge Pantry in town too for my favourite vanilla clotted cream fudge!
I love exploring British history!
What’s your favourite spot for a weekend explore?