Christmas at Bodiam Castle

The decorated arches of a giant Advent crown under which visitors pass on their way into Bodiam Castle at Christmas

This festive season we'll be taking a look back to medieval Christmas celebrations at this cold, dark time of the year. For families, we'll have candlelit storytelling, an advent trail and traditional Mummers' plays.

A medieval Christmas celebration

In medieval England the winter months were the hardest. The crops were gathered in, the land was hard and unworkable and keeping warm was paramount to survive the long winter days.

Visit the castle during December and experience what Christmas was like in the medieval period. Find out about the roots of our Christmas traditions and what Advent and Twelfth night would have meant to the residents of Bodiam Castle.

Walk up to the castle under our Advent crown, an adornment to most grand banqueting halls in medieval England. Stop at the cross point and look up and you'll see some traditional festive greenery under which you would have shown your host that you bore him or her no ill feelings, a tradition which continues to this day.

We'll be adding some decorations to the castle and using some sounds and poor light levels to help conjure up the atmosphere of the winter castle.

  • Daily from Saturday 2 December until Monday 1 January, 11am to close.
  • Free event, but normal admission charges apply.
  • Castle closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
Bodiam Castle
Mistletoe hanging from the centre of a giant Advent crown on the walkway to Bodiam Castle
Bodiam Castle

Medieval Christmas guided tours

If you visit the castle between 21 December and 1 January, you'll likely encounter our medieval actors who'll be on hand to guide you around the castle on a tour with a difference!

We'd love you to join in with playing some medieval games or singing a traditional song as you experience how important Christmas was in helping people to survive through the cold, dark winter months.

  • Daily from Thursday 21 December to Monday 1 January
  • 11am to 3pm
  • Free event, but normal admission charges apply
  • Castle closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day


Mummers plays

Enjoy the fun and spectacle of some traditional Mummers' plays, performed by Tonbridge Mummers in the castle courtyard.

The Mummers will be with us on Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 December with performances at:

  • 11.30am - a traditional Mummers' play featuring St. George and the Turkish knight with other traditional characters.
  • 12.30pm - a Hooden Horse play featuring a magical midwinter horse
  • 2.30pm - medieval carols and midwinter folk and wassail songs
  • Free event, but normal castle admission charges apply

Christmas lunches

 Every day from 1 - 23 December,  12.30pm-2.30pm

Treat the family to a delicious Christmas lunch in our festively decorated and refurbished Terrace Room.  We're offering a 2- or 3-course menu, which will be waitress-served so you can sit back and enjoy a hassle free celebration with your loved ones.

Booking essential, call 01435 884832

£19.95 2-course, £24.95 3-course adult, £10.95 set menu for children under 13 years

Bodiam Castle Christmas lunch menu 2016 (PDF / 0.71875MB) download

Children's Christmas menu (PDF / 0.7236328125MB) download