Arundel Castle

Arundel Castle Arundel West Sussex BN18 9AB

Part medieval castle, part stately home set amongst beautiful gardens, Arundel Castle gives a lot of bang for your buck. The oldest and most atmospheric part of the castle is the eleventh-century motte (artificial mound) and keep, a puff-inducing climb up 131 weathered steps. The main part of the castle, by contrast, is relatively modern in castle terms, dating largely from the nineteenth century, but no less interesting for that. Inside you’re funnelled through a procession of jaw-dropping, richly decorated rooms that are positively stuffed with treasures: the rosary beads that Mary Queen of Scots carried to her execution, extravagant sixteenth-century furniture, gleaming armour and weaponry, and masterpieces by Canaletto, Van Dyke and Gainsborough, to name but a few – and the library is home to a well-known resident ghost dog, which some of the attendants claim to have seen. Make sure you leave time for the grounds, especially the beautiful Fitzalan chapel, with its exquisite stone tombs and carved timber roof, and the fun Collector Earl's Garden. The castle also hosts various excellent historical re-enactments throughout the year, most at no extra charge.

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