A beautiful castle
Arundel Castle (Arundel)
Member Name: xy004998
Arundel Castle (Arundel)
Advantages: Beautiful historic castle
Disadvantages: Very pricey
This castle was built in 1067 under William the Conquerer's patronage to protect thr river Arun from invasion. However, this was really just the Keep and the central section of the castle, the castle as we know it now has only been there for last last few hundred years. When you drive up to the castle, it is absoutly breathtaking! It is the second biggest lived in castle in the UK (behind Windsor). But, as it is lived in, you only get to see about just over 1/3 of the castle.
Things open to visitors:
The great Hall, armoury, dining room, living room, Library, antelibrary and a few suite's of bedrooms. Obviously, all guest bedrooms.
One of the draw backs, I think, is we don't get to see any Kitchens, which is usually a very interesting part of visiting a stately home.
However, there are some very good points too. Firstly, in one of the Bedrooms, they have made up Victorias bedroom. Which, has all the furniture from when Victoria and Albert stayed at the Castle.
Another massive pro are the paintings, there is a Cunstable, A turner and various Van Dyke. So for an art fan... Very impressive. Another key find is a set of Rosary beads in the Dining room that once belonged to Mary queen of Scots.
However, Personally, I think the biggest pull of this castle is the magnificent Library. The 'collector Earl', had managed to collect such a vast array of books, including a very early edition of the Bible. However, it is the spectacuar architecture that really pulls you in. Designed in the Gothic style, you cant help but be blown away!!
I do think there are some cons though...
Firstly, Prices. When I went last year (so it might have gone up slightly) these were the prices. They had 4 tiers of tickets. Bronze (just for the gardens) was £7.50. Silver (Gardens and Keep) was £11.50, Gold (Gardens, Keep and castle) was £13 and Gold plus which added the bedrooms was £13.50. This may not seem this much, but when you add it for a family. A family ticket (which only allowed for 2 children) was £36. This is very pricey. Especially as, I would say it took 2-3 to look around. So, not the best value for money.
Another Con is pram access. They would not let me take my pram into the castle, saying i should leave it at the bottom and carry my sleeping child. I was not impressed with this, firstly the safety of the pram and secondly, who wants to carry a child in their arms around a castle for 2-3 hours.
However, disabled access is good. They have a buggy which runs from the bottom of the hill where you buy tickets to the castle at the top. and they have lifts so wheelchairs and can access everywhere.
But overall, If you dont mind paying the expensive prices... this place is definatly worth a visit!!
And, they have event days in the summer, (such as jousting) which are great for the kids!!!
Summary: Beautiful castle in the south of England.