Friday, 12 March 2021

National Trust Bodiam Castle - Wider River Walk, East Sussex

I adore the National Trust, I make no secret of that and I've posted so many times about the sites we have visited. Bodiam Castle is probably the closest site to my home, so we have been there dozens and dozens of times. My husband and one of our daughters love to feed the ducks (with birdseed, no human food please), whilst I have a coffee and read my book. It works well. This is one of my husband's photos from a recent visit.

Bodiam Castle in East Sussex is a magnificent example of a moated castle, there are also wider estate walks to enjoy

You can read about our previous visits to Bodiam Castle, about the superb Living History events they put on in normal times and how it is fabulous for all ages. This post is about the wider area, if you park at Bodiam Castle you can take a 3KM river walk and enjoy some great views as well as time at the castle itself.

This is perfect at the moment, as you can't explore inside the castle right now, so it gives you somewhere extra to walk and make your visit really worthwhile, as the actual Bodiam Castle grounds are not very extensive. 

We are all being encouraged to book in advance before visiting any National Trust site at the moment as this allows the site to prepare and ensure that social distancing can be maintained. We have been to Bodiam Castle a number of times in the last year and we have always felt safe with sanitiser available, toilet entry being managed, the cafe having a one way system and card payments only and as the site is outside, you can keep a good distance from other people. 

I'll share with you some pictures from our river walk last week.

Bodiam Castle in East Sussex is a magnificent example of a moated castle, there are also wider estate walks to enjoy


Bodiam Castle - 3KM River Walk


Make sure you pack your wellies if you are going in the colder/ wetter months as it can be quite boggy by the side of the river. Higher up where we walked was much better.

Head down to the far end of the car park and follow the river along, you'll come to a fence and metal gate and it says it is private fishing, but the NT staff told us it was fine to carry on into the field and follow the river along. You get to a part when the high path by the river will bear to the left and you walk down to the pumping station.

From there you turn left again and walk back on yourself but through the fields on the dusty trail. Follow this right back into the car park again and then you can access the castle grounds from there, or head off if you were just wishing to take the river walk.

Bodiam Castle in East Sussex is a magnificent example of a moated castle, there are also wider estate walks to enjoy

Views back to the castle as we walked away from it. I imagine in a few short months that muddy field will be ripe with something growing.



Beautiful Winter sun making the water glisten.


Once you come away from the river, turning down towards the pump station, you then have to walk back on the path through the fields and we got to see these lovely horses.


It was a great and invigorating walk in the glorious East Sussex countryside and we saw lots of birds as we walked, as well as enjoying their birdsong.

Bodiam Castle in East Sussex is a magnificent example of a moated castle, there are also wider estate walks to enjoy

View of the moated castle, with the WWII pillbox in front of it, taken from the car park as we walked back to gain entry to the castle grounds.

There are quite a number of picnic tables and benches up by the Castle-view cafe, where you can get takeaway drinks and treats at the moment. I love their cheese scones, but when we visited last week I enjoyed spiced apple cake with clotted cream - yummy!

Bodiam Castle in East Sussex is a magnificent example of a moated castle, there are also wider estate walks to enjoy

Even though you can't enter into the castle walls at the moment it still looks magnificent and creates some wonderful photographic opportunities. 

Useful Information

Address: Bodiam, near Robertsbridge, East Sussex, TN32 5UA
Contact Number:  01580830196 
Email:  bodiamcastle@nationaltrust.org.uk 
Website: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/bodiam-castle
Opening Hours: Given the current situation check the website before travelling.
Prices:  Free to NT members and I believe it is £5 per adult and £2.50 per child during the time where the castle itself is closed, but this may change. 
Parking: The parking is included currently, but normally it is free parking for NT members, or £3 otherwise. Parking can get very full in busy times. 
Toilets: and baby changing facilities are available all year round by the Wharf tea room and portaloos are normally available by the castle in the summer high season
Dogs: On a short lead are allowed in the grounds, but not within the castle walls, except assistance dogs. Well behaved dogs are welcome in the Castle-view cafe
Accessibility: This is a very old site and as such, there is a lot of gravelled uneven ground, and within the castle walls, there are steps, ramps and trip hazards, so please be aware. Check the NT website for full details. There is a volunteer-driven mobility buggy service in the peak months, to get you from the reception/ car park up to the castle itself (but check if this is in use due to all the Covid changes in the last year).

Why not pin this post for later?

Bodiam Castle in East Sussex is a magnificent example of a moated castle, there are also wider estate walks to enjoy


 

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