Summer holidays at Bodiam Castle

This summer the people who lived and worked in the castle in 1385 will be brought to life through illustrations. Discover medieval clothes, what the castle would have looked like and how the rooms were used in a colourful display.

Step back in time

During the summer holidays, there will be fun for all the family as the Castle Steward patrols the courtyard and a Medieval Mop Fair gives children a chance to get a job at the castle with Sir Edward.

Explore the castle ruins at Bodiam Castle
Family visitors at Bodiam Castle, East Sussex
Explore the castle ruins at Bodiam Castle

New castle characters

This summer, the Middle Ages are reclaiming Bodiam Castle. After 600 years some of the castle inhabitants have returned in the form of 8 colourful illustrations by Scarlett Woodman, local artist and member of the conservation team.

The illustrations offer a great photo opportunity for the family and include characters such as an archer, lady and servant. There are also dressing up boxes for children to become the characters themselves.

Our Castle Characters display will continue throughout the summer holidays so there will be plenty to keep younger visitors busy. Look out too for the Castle Steward who will be patrolling the courtyard everyday over the school holidays; setting missions for children, telling the castle’s history and helping visitors join the National Trust in conserving and caring for this special place.

Climb the towers and see the castle from above
Family visitors at Bodiam Castle, East Sussex
Climb the towers and see the castle from above

Come and join our medieval workforce at the Mop Fair

A Medieval Mop Fair will also take place daily throughout the summer holidays. A Mop Fair was a chance to get a job and this summer children will have the opportunity to become one of the castle characters for the day as they complete activities to see if they can gain a job in the castle.

Activities on offer will include object handling including replica medieval armour, dressing up in costumes and enjoying some crafts.

The Castle Steward and Medieval Mop Fair will run 24 July to 4 September.

Bodiam Castle
A child takes aim at an archery target at Bodiam Castle in East Sussex
Bodiam Castle

Test your skills

Archers would have been key to the defence of the castle and highly skilled at their job. During the school holidays and at weekends from April to October, you can see how you might shape up to this important role by having a go at some archery practice on site.

  • Archery sessions run at weekends and during every school holiday from 6 April to 3 November 2019
  • Available daily from 11am-4pm
  • £3.50 for 6 arrows
  • Payment is made directly to the staff from The Hawking Centre who run this activity on our behalf
  • Suitable for 5 - 99 year olds
  • No need to pre-book
  • Normal admission charges apply.

Make it a day out for all the family

There's plenty of space at Bodiam to have a great picnic. Set down your picnic rug and let the children head off to explore the nature in the grounds before taking them into the castle to do some more exploration and listen to one of our storytellers as they weave their tales of time gone by.

Our Castle View Cafè is close to the castle entrance so you can retreat back to your picnic rug and enjoy a delicious soft scoop ice cream or hot cup of coffee. If you forget something from your picnic, then the Cafè has a range of sandwiches, paninis, hot and cold drinks, cakes and scones on offer. Oh, and the Cafè is dog friendly too so your four-legged friend can enjoy a treat as well.

Enjoying a family picnic
Enjoying a picnic
Enjoying a family picnic

Family friendly checklist

  • Baby-changing facilities are available in the toilets at the main car park. Please note there are no facilities near to the castle
  • During peak season additional toilets are available next to Castle Cottage close to the castle
  • Children’s guide available from visitor reception and the castle gift shop
  • Children’s menu, high chairs, and a baby bottle and food-warming facility at The Wharf tea room 
  • Pocket money priced toys and games on sale in the castle gift shop
  • Family-focussed events throughout the year

Hints and tips

  • Explore the towers, climb the ramparts and discover the masons’ marks throughout the castle ruins
  • See if you can find the wooden sculpture of Sir Edward Dallingridge in the grounds
  • Spot the ducks and fish in the moat
  • Ask at Visitor Reception for children’s trails and 50 things activities to make your visit even more fun!