One of my favourite parts of living in London is the relative ease of taking day trips outside the city. There are so many great places within easy reach- beaches, rolling hillsides, quaint English villages, and of course, castles.
In mid-July, keen to escape the city for a day, I headed to a town that sounded like the stuff fairy tales are made of by name, Arundel.
Just outside Chichester in West Sussex, Arundel is famed for its castle and cathedral. The town itself is lovely- situated beside the River Arun, it’s full of cute shops, good restaurants and cosy pubs. The river runs through town, making it a nice place to walk along on or take a boat trip down.
Upon arrival, I decided to wander the town for a bit before heading over to the castle. In need of a caffeine pick-me-up? Head to The Loft at Sparks Yard.
The main attraction of Arundel though, is of course, the castle.
Founded at the end of the 11th century, it’s one of the longest inhabited country houses in England. Originally build to protect Sussex from attack, the castle been home to the Dukes of Norfolk and their ancestors for nearly 1000 years.
Even from a distance, still on the train, I was awed by the castle. And, that awestruck feeling only intensifies as you get closer to it.
First stop inside the castle? The Keep. This part of the castle is almost 1,000 years old. Climb to the top for an incredible view of Arundel and the surrounding countryside.
Back in the castle, I started exploring the beautiful, grand interiors. From the church to the Grand Hall, it’s unbelievable how regal everything feels.
Wandering through the rooms, I learned the Norfolk family still uses them, which is almost hard to believe- the castle is so huge and grand, it doesn’t seem possible anyone could live there.
By and far though, my favourite room in the castle was the library. Sheer excellence.
When I finally left the castle, it was close to closing time so I spent the next ~20 minutes wandering the expansive gardens. It made me wish I’d been at the castle earlier in the day so I had more time to explore the grounds.
Post-castle, I popped in The Norfolk Arms for a bite to eat, and then grabbed leisurely pints at the Kings Arms and White Hart.
Have you ever visited a castle or palace in England? Which one is your favourite?