If you like to plan family days out.. then Arundel Castle Siege is definitely one to add to your list of “things to do” with the kids. Actually.. any of the Arundel Castleevents are fabulous – simply because the grounds and castle itself are so very impressive and gorgeous to enjoy. The Castle Siege however, traditionally held on the second Bank Holiday weekend in May is particularly fabulous and impressive for kids. The reenactments are incredibly well done – so realistic and interesting and with so many facts to find out. The people there are PASSIONATE about there area of expertise and have so much information to share with visitors. From how to make arrows, to secrets of potions and gold needle work. You cannot second the knowledge of the people there. Really bring history to life!
Disclaimer: we were invited on a “press trip” to Arundel Castle. However, the views expressed here are our own and the fact that the kids shouted a resounded YES when asked “if they wanted to go again”, says it all!
It is a fabulous day out that can be enjoyed on so many levels – here we would love to share some highlights of our day out!
Arundel Castle Siege
The beginning of our day. A lovely view of Arundel Castle as you first approach the grounds!
We decided to quickly visit “Castle Keep” first. It had BEAUTIFUL views of the castle, with interesting rooms to explore (including puppets to really bring it to life). We adored all the narrow staircases, and portcullis mechanisms that you could view.
Plenty of gorgeous photo opportunities too!
Once we were done with the Castle Keep, we headed out to the realistic Castle Siege in the main grounds. As mentioned above, the volunteers manning the tents could not be matched for knowledge and enthusiasm. Really bring history to life for the kids.
The grounds themselves are beautifully laid out with “wild gardens” to support and attract local wildlife. Making it a simply stunning visit.
A detail in the Collector Earl’s Garden!
As well as the beautifully aesthetic (and organic) Kitchen Garden. Where we spotted lots of herbs, fruit and vegetables.
Ah yes.. there is always time for a family selfie! So important to capture those family days out!
After this we were JUST in time for the first of two “real life battles”. The battles outcome are not orchestrated or rehearsed and often reflect the cheering of the ground. When we came last year, the Brits won.. this time the French put a valiant fight and won! It is amazing to see people in full armour fighting. How hot and heavy that must have been. It includes cannon blasts and the archers too.
After this we went back to Arundel Castle to look at the Castle Rooms and Bedrooms. It is not permitted to take photos in this area.. so you will have to take my word about how stunning the interior of the castle is. The family still live there and it really is a beautiful “living castle” and incredibly well presevered. I think my daughter and I loved the GORGEOUS Library the best. Oh how you want to grab a book, snuggle up by the fire with a nice cup of tea (or hot cocoa) for a good old read…..
Finally, on our way out we visited the small but beautifully fragrant rose garden in full bloom. What a gorgeous end to our visit.
Though we have been before to Arundel Castle, what I found on this visit, is that there is always more to enjoy and discover – e.g. last year we had lots of time for the story telling sessions, but didn’t manage to visit the Castle Keep. This year it was the other way round. There are always new flowers and plants to discover, as well as nooks and crannies you didn’t notice before.
Less than 1.5hrs hours from London, if you are londonite like us, Arundel Castle really is well worth a visit. There is plenty more to do in the area, if you want to stay in a B&B like visit the Arundel Castle Museum and Wetlands Centre!