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Family-friendly things to do at Bodiam Castle

Family playing on thrones in the courtyard at Bodiam Castle, East Sussex
Family playing in the courtyard at Bodiam Castle, East Sussex | © National Trust Images/Arnhel de Serra

Bodiam Castle is one of the most popular family attractions in 1066 country. Families visit to experience the feeling of walking over the bridge, through the gatehouse and stepping back into Medieval times as they discover this beautiful ancient monument.

Planning your family visit

  • You don't need to book in advance – tickets are available at reception.
  • Bodiam Castle has wide parking spaces, baby changing facilities by the car park, picnic benches and buggy-friendly paths.
  • Some areas of the castle are not accessible with a buggy or wheelchair – such as the spiral staircases to the top of the towers.

Family-friendly things to do in the castle

Children love spotting the 50-year-old carp in the moat, climbing the steep towers, walking across the battlements and running in the wide-open spaces. Their imaginations are sparked when they see the original portcullis, ancient stone unicorn, murder holes, gun loops and medieval bread oven. Children learn about Medieval life as they explore the remains of the Lord and Lady’s apartments and see where the servants would have slept on the stone floor of the castle.

Bodiam Castle offers the perfect outing for families looking for a fun day out, and for children learning about castles at school. Friendly staff and volunteers are on hand to answer any tricky history questions. Bodiam Castle has a natural beauty and the atmosphere is relaxed so you can feel free to explore in your own way at your own pace.

Family-friendly things to do in the grounds

In the historic landscape that surrounds the castle, have a go at archery on selected dates and meet characters from the 1400s, dress the knight and discover the medieval way of life in a medieval encampment on selected weekends. Throughout the summer holidays there's all the fun of the Medieval Fair. You can pick up an illustrated spotter sheet for each season with wildlife to look out for as you explore - just ask at visitor reception.

The Wharf Tea-room and Castle View Café sell children’s lunch boxes and a selection of drinks, light meals, home-made cakes and ice creams. Treat yourselves to a freshly prepared lunch or cream tea in the Wharf Tea-room beside the river or in the summer, bring your own picnic and rug and relax on the grass as you enjoy the breath-taking views of the Sussex countryside.

Child trying on replica medieval armour
Trying on armour at Bodiam Castle, East Sussex | © National Trust/Jennifer Coe

Family-friendly events at Bodiam Caslte

Bodiam Castle offers seasonal history and nature themed family friendly activities such as crafts, trails, quests, Medieval costumed characters, storytelling, and armour demonstrations. Bodiam Castle shop has a children’s section with books and quality castle-themed gifts such as swords, shields and dressing up costumes as well as pocket money souvenirs.

What's on 2024

Easter Storytelling
14 April, from 11.30am to 2.30pm

Be enchanted by tales of dragons, knights, and castles this Easter.

Demonstrations by Call to Arms
18 May, 8 June, 9 June, 7 September, 12 October, from 10.30am to 3.30pm

Be transported back in time and onto the Medieval battlefield with expert demonstrations. 

Have-a-go Archery
25 May to 2 June, 1 August to 1 September, from 10.30am to 4.00pm

Have a go at the medieval sport of longbow archery against the backdrop of Bodiam Castle.

The Keys to the Castle trail
25 May to 2 June

Find keys around the castle rooms, answer puzzles and learn about the Keeper of the Castle.

Medieval encampment
Selected dates between 25 May & 28 July

Walk through a medieval encampment in the castle grounds, meet characters from the 1400s and discover more about the medieval way of life.

Outdoor Theatre: Beauty and the Beast
2 August & 13 August

Join Chapterhouse Theatre Company for a magical evening of a new production of Beauty and the Beast, in the atmospheric castle courtyard.

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