A winter visit to Bodiam Castle

Bodiam Castle in East Sussex in a snowy winter setting

Visit Bodiam Castle during the winter months and enjoy the tranquility of its surroundings. Our castle guides will be offering tours on the hour to give you an insight to the medieval history of the castle or to talk about the men behind the conservation of this magnificent building.

Visit our medieval castle

The impressive and beautiful symmetry of Bodiam Castle with its massive towers and broad moat is the perfect example of a 14th century medieval castle. A great place to explore and imagine yourself back in the past and coming across the bridge for a magnificent feast in the great hall.

Guided tours for more of an insight

Outside of the school holiday half-term (9 - 17 February), our castle guides will be guiding visitors into the castle on the hour from 11am to 3pm. The tours will focus on the medieval history of the castle and the more modern conservation history of this magnificent building.  Our DVD on the history of the castle will be playing in the Castle Cottage exhibition area, where there's a chance to learn a bit more about the history of this magnificent building before starting the tour.  

  • 11am, 1pm & 3pm - The medieval history of the castle
  • 12noon & 2pm - The castle in the 19th & 20th century
Spiral staircase, Bodiam Castle
A view looking up one of the steep stone spiral staircases at Bodiam Castle in East Sussex
Spiral staircase, Bodiam Castle

Look and explore in the castle

Once inside the castle you'll have time to explore after your tour.  Climb up the steep spiral staircases to get to the top of the massive towers and be rewarded with the most incredible views across the Rother valley towards Ewhurst Green and east towards Newenden.  The views are ever changing with the seasons and the state of the river.

As well as climbing up, you can take a few steps down from the castle courtyard and see the well room. The water would have been used in the nearby kitchens, but only ale from the buttery would have been drunk at the table.  Perhaps you can see why? Before you leave this room, take a look up for a bird's eye view.

Take a seat on the dais and survey the great hall before you. Imagine looking up to the minstrel's gallery at the far end above the arches to the buttery, pantry and kitchen.  This room with its great vaulted roof and impressive arched window, probably glazed with stained glass, would have seen many a feast and celebration.

As you leave look up and see the murder holes above you in the gatehouse tower.  All manner of unpleasant things would have rained down on any unwelcome visitors in the past. There's also the remains of the iron-clad oak portcullis, thought to be among one of the oldest in England and above the studded oak doors are the badge and shields of the Dallingridge family.

Murder holes, Bodiam Castle
Murder holes in the gatehouse at Bodiam Castle in East Sussex
Murder holes, Bodiam Castle

Take a stroll around the grounds

A winter visit to the castle and grounds can be a magical experience as the cool winter light highlights some of the features of the castle and reflects the crisp blue skies in the moat. This is a time to stop and enjoy the magical images that are there for all to see.

For budding photographers the subtle shades of winter are a joy. So many angles and views from the banks of the moat or from down by the river, it is easy to while away half or even a full day behind the lens. Of course, if it snows then the castle's beauty is enhanced even more with the sun glinting off the white snowy blanket around.

In addition to the castle there's our WWII pill box stationed just below the moat off the path up from visitor reception. Stop here and look back to the river and see how the local troops would have had a bird's eye view of the bridge and across the valley to the approaching enemy. Although not as majestic as the castle, these small, sturdy fortifications are photogenic in their own way.

Winter trees
Winter trees in the sunshine
Winter trees