I don’t get much opportunity (read: none) to visit castles in Australia, particularly gorgeous and historic castles complete with full battlements and moats. So, when Dean found Bodiam Castle through a google search just a relatively short drive from Epsom, we decided to take a trip.
Even though things are a bit expensive on the pound from the Australian dollar, we were happy to pay about £10 per person to enter the castle and £3 for parking. We spent the majority of the morning wandering around the grounds and taking lots of photographs and enjoying the ruins. It’s a really nice area, but probably not a ‘whole day’ trip unless you also take a really long walk around the grounds and surrounding areas. Still for us, it was totally worth it.
I have to say, I really love castles. There’s something so interesting about the ruins and history of a place like that. Walking around inside what’s left of Bodiam Castle, you can almost imagine what it would have been like to live in that time period. Personally, I’m glad I live in the modern world, but it’s nice to stick your head back in the past now and then. Certainly, for photo opportunities Bodiam Castle is stunning, and I really enjoyed catching its many different angles. With the moat, the battlements and the many different spots to explore, Bodiam Castle is the place to be.
While we were at Bodiam Castle, we also did the official (and included) tour of the castle. It was actually really fun, the lady leading the tour was all geared up in medieval kit and very interesting. She knew so much about Bodiam Castle, and she was a hilarious motormouth. We loved it, and I’d definitely recommend doing the tour if you’re there. After the tour we took a walk all around the areas of the castle, starting outside the gates at the moat, and climbed up the towers and into the battlements. The tiny staircases drive me crazy and make me claustrophobic, but the view from the top is great.
When I read up on Bodiam Castle, after we had visited, and was surprised that quite a few people expressed disappointment about the fact that none of the roof of the castle remained. Personally, and as a photographer, I loved the fact that the roof wasn’t there. Even though English weather is particularly difficult, the day we visited was clear and we were able to see so much more because of all the amazing light shining down on the ruins. The colour of the stones, the many window spaces (Bodiam Castle was known for its many windows), the gorgeous architectural shapes, and of course that moat. It was just lovely.
If you’re visiting the south west of England, and you’re looking for a really stunning spot to explore, I would definitely recommend Bodiam Castle. There’s a lot to love about that ruin, even if its history as a defensive building is a bit sketchy and it probably was just the holiday home of some rich noble. Take the many windows, even though there’s no glass left, the ancient stones, the high battlements and the moat, and you’ve got a great hike, and a history lesson, that anyone can love.