Lewes Castle

169 High St Lewes East Sussex BN7 1YE

You can’t come to Lewes without climbing up to the battlements of Lewes Castle – or what’s left of them anyway. There’s been a castle on this spot since Norman times, though not everything you see today dates back that far – the impressive arrow-slitted Barbican that greets you at the High Street entrance was built in the fourteenth century. You can climb both the Barbican and the eleventh-century Shell Keep for panoramic views out over town to the soft swell of the South Downs beyond – fabulous on a clear, sunny day, and really the highlight of a visit here. Kids will be kept happy with dressing up and activity boxes (and even happier if you kit them out with a wooden sword from the tiny castle shop), and there’s a whole wealth of info on Lewes and the history of Sussex back down at the entrance in the Barbican House Museum (entrance included with your castle ticket). The castle is currently gearing up for a big anniversary, the 750th anniversary of the Battle of Lewes, which was fought in and around the town on 15th May, 1264; look out for events if you’re in the area.

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