no alt text

Bucket list experience:

Last updated: 14 November, 2022
Expert travel writer: Annabelle Thorpe

One of England’s great treasure houses, Arundel Castle has been home to the Dukes of Norfolk for over 850 years. The castle houses a fine collection of art, with works by Van Dyck, Gainsborough and Canaletto, while the gardens combine manicured lawns, vibrant herbaceous borders and a charming kitchen garden.

The high point – literally – is the 131-step climb to the top of the Castle Keep, which offers spectacular views across the Sussex countryside.

While you’re there

Just along from the castle, pop your head into St Nicholas’ Church – the only one in the country that’s half Catholic, half Church of England – bizarrely divided by a screen. Refuel with tea and sticky, indulgent homemade cakes at Belinda’s, a 17th-century tearoom on nearby Tarrant Street.

Price from: £20
Minimum age: Any
Age suitable: 10+
When: All year around

Getting there & doing it

Arundel is near the south coast between Brighton and Worthing, about 1.5 hours by train or car from London. The station is a ten-minute walk away.

Parking in Arundel in summer can be a nightmare; leave the car at the station car park and walk from there, or try parking on Mill Road, which runs from the castle to pretty Swanbourne Lake.

There’s a nice summary on the website of the castle’s history – worth a read before you go.

When to do it

The castle is open from April to October, Tuesday to Sunday. Closed on Mondays.

Autumn is a great time to visit – the trees along Mill Road are a blaze of colour and the village is less crowded.

Our writer’s picks of the best places to stay near this experience, closest first

Amberley Castle

Arundel, West Sussex, United Kingdom (UK)[5.9 miles]

Luxury and history combine at this authentic 900-year-old castle, complete with beamed bedroom, suits of armour in the dining room, gleaming wood panelling and ornate tapestries.

Official star rating:

Our writer’s recommendations of other bucket list experiences our writer says you must do in this destination, closest first

Goodwood Revival

Chichester, West Sussex, United Kingdom (UK)[13.9 miles]

The only historic motorsport celebration in the world entirely in vintage dress, the Revival is a three-day dip into racing’s glamorous past.

Best for ages: 6+ | £45 | 3 days