For most of the year, Jack and I spent months locked up, entertaining ourselves with home-based things – homemade afternoon teas, little walks, playing the Nintendo Switch (oh hello Animal Crossing!) But since lockdown rules have slowly eased, we have managed to fit in some more adventurous things and started doing what we do best again – exploring! Now I know we should all take our own initiative; consider how vulnerable we and our households are and take our own precautions on top of what the shoddy government have done for us etc, but for us we decided some outdoor based trips where we can socially distance would be a fab place to start!
We have since travelled to Kent for a little cabin break for Jack’s birthday (see those posts on the UK section of the blog!) and booked in some epic adventures so stay updated here on the blog and our YouTube channel to see what we get up to!
Watch our video on Arundel here
Entry Prices and Some History
The castle is slowly going through a phased reopening to ensure social distancing, so double check the website before your visit to make sure you see everything that is open. We could only enter the gardens on our visit so will be returning for the castle, but the gardens alone are mesmerising and make such a good day out! The surrounding village has some gorgeous places to eat, row boats in good weather and some lovely pubs and shops, so it’s easy to make a day out of. There aren’t a huge amount of hotels in the area but if you’re willing to drive you’ll find a decent amount of options!
Adult tickets to the gardens alone cost £10 each – £5 for a child. You can book tickets to the castle and gardens combined for £15 an adult and £5 a child also. New procedures make it super simple to get in, you just read a reference number and walk on through. They recommend you start near the new water feature area as it’s the furthest out, and then make your way through the walkways, nooks and fields, and walled gardens. They go on for a surprising amount of time and it’s really easy to spend a good few hours here; especially if you’re stopping to take some pretty pictures!
The castle has been owned by a whole host of royalty and has been damaged and rebuilt numerous times over the years. It was established on Christmas day in 1067 and so has seen almost 1000 years of history. Why don’t they make castles anymore? What a magnificent ole view. There are tons of spots to read up on the history and meanings behind each area so you can learn a lot as you go if you stop and take the time. If you’re interested in castles around the UK – we have so many! – check out our castles you need to visit in the UK post here.
What we got up to
They normally have tons of events, a coffee shop and other areas to explore throughout the year. This is slowly opening up now so there is already even more to do, but we mainly had a wander around the gardens on our visit. This was so worth it though and we had soo much fun looking around all the areas.
We started at the new water feature and looked at the wildlife who had already made home there, and the gorgeous view of the castle in the backdrop. We spent some time walking around the castle to see it from all the different angles, and then headed up the gardens (it’s pretty hilly!) to see the famous walled gardens. We ended up in a nook that was being treated as a one way system, so we hung around for a little bit to get the emptiest space possible and then set in exploring. We had the place to ourselves for most of our wanders here so it was really worth waiting for a gap. There are so many benches inside too so you can always stop for a break to hang behind if people do come in and get in those pictures you’re taking!
All the fountains and levels to the gardens are incredible, we loved all the arches and little buildings! There are orchard and fruit growing sections to the gardens along with a huge array of vibrant flowers (I’m obsessed with those peachy lillies!) and wildflowers. The cathedral stands tall over this area and it’s such a beautiful building to have in the backdrop. Ob-sesseddddd! The videos we took of this section are really stunning so have a watch of our YouTube video to see it’s gorgeousness in action!
What else to do in Arundel
Jack loves to get his claws in the photos haha!! The town of Arundel away from the castle is pretty quaint, but definitely worth seeing! Whilst the Castle is the main event to make your way over here, you should 100% check out the surrounding areas whilst you’re here anyway. The buildings are all panelled and crooked in the most charming way, mixed with brick, wood and olden features. The town crosses the river Arun and there are some lovely places to grab a drink and some food along the way at some pubs. The most coveted place to go here is a little further up the river – a couple of minutes in a car or a really stunning walk, perhaps 20-30 minutes worth. It is called the Black Rabbit and has a huge menu (think all the boujie gins and beer on tap!) and seats along the river.
There are plenty of handmade ice cream shops and bakeries with loads of options for vegans, gluten free diets and other requirements – which I often don’t see in smaller towns so was really impressed with. I had a mint aero brownies and my first mint chocolate ice cream in what had been way too long – living my best life. You can also hire boats along the river in different capacities – canoes, row boats and motorised boats. When we visited the river was quite fast flowing and despite the sunny weather the boats weren’t open, but if it was ever a little calmer it would be ideal!
Overall we had a lovely time here in Arundel and would definitely recommend coming for a day trip or a one night stay in the region to enjoy everything there is to offer!