Arundel Castle is an imposing and striking castle in Sussex, commanding your attention as soon as you enter the town of Arundel.
This Grade I listed building has been in the ownership and home to the Duke of Norfolk family and their ancestors for almost 1,000 years.
The castle is in amazing condition and is well presented, having been restored during the 18th and 19th centuries due to damage in the English Civil War.
Arundel Castle is a popular visitor attraction and has been for some time; the keep, grounds and gatehouse have been open to the public since 1800!
As striking as the castle is, the gardens and grounds are equally as impressive, so factor in enough time to fully appreciate them.
The castle is still in use as a family home by the Norfolk family, so entry to the castle rooms is only available between the hours of 12 noon and 17.00.
However, this gives you plenty of time to explore the Gardens, Chapel, and Castle Keep beforehand; they open at 10 am.
Please note that there is a strict no photos inside the castle rule. You can however take some brilliant photos from the top of the Castle Keep and capture the fantastic views of the local area.
With helpful guides in every room to assist you with any questions it is the perfect place to learn about the fascinating history of Arundel Castle and the Duke of Norfolk and his family.
As the castle is the Duke of Norfolk’s residence, with many of the rooms still in use, the experience is made all the more enriching. The 34 foot long library is amazing and not to be missed!
The Castle Keep
There are 131 steps to climb up to the Keep, with the staircase occasionally getting narrow in places. Once you get to the top, the views are incredible, with the sea, River Arun, town and the Downs all in sight.
The Fitzalen Chapel is an added bonus to the visit. The atmospheric Gothic chapel, with carved stone tombs, was founded in 1390 by the 4th Earl of Arundel and to this day is still the burial place of the Dukes of Norfolk.
What makes the Fitzalen Chapel quite unique in England is the glass wall that divides the Chapel from the parish church. It was decided in 1879 that the Chapel did not form part of the Protestant parish church and was to remain Catholic.
Arundel Castle Gardens and Grounds
The 40 acres of beautiful grounds and gardens are worth a lengthy exploration. They are a very popular part of the day for many visitors. The gardens are well laid out and perfect for all to enjoy.
The ‘Collector Earl’s Garden’ is a favourite and relatively new addition in tribute to Thomas Howard, 14th Earl of Arundel (1585-1646), known as ‘The Collector’.
Other walled gardens include The Stumpery (designed using old tree stumps), English Herbaceous Borders, the Cut Flower Garden and the Organic Kitchen Garden that provide the Castle (including the restaurant) with fresh fruit, vegetables and cut flowers. Exotic fruits and vegetables can be seen in the restored lean-to-peach house and vinery, built-in 1850 by Clarke & Hope.
Events at Arundel Castle
The website is worth checking out for the numerous events held at the castle throughout the year.
The Jousting and Medieval Tournament Week in July is a particularly popular one where knights from around the world battle it out in the shadow of Arundel Castle, Medieval style!
Other special events vary; check the Arundel Castle official website (below) for details.
Entry To Arundel Castle
Prices – There are various combinations of ticket options, depending on what you want to see.
Options include entry to the gardens only, the castle and gardens or the castle, gardens and bedrooms.
Different pricing is in place during special events (for example, the popular Medieval Jousting Tournament).
Opening Times: April until October (Tuesdays to Sundays inclusive, Bank Holidays and August Mondays – check website to confirm).
Dogs: Only Guide Dogs are permitted.
Parking: A Pay and Display car park opposite the castle.
Address – Arundel Castle, Arundel, West Sussex, BN18 9AB
Recommended Time at Arundel Castle
Depending on which ticket you want to go for will determine how long you will spend at Arundel Castle. As will the weather too.
We recommend at least 3 to 4 hours to fully appreciate what Arundel Castle offers.
Eating and Drinking in Arundel
The Swan Pub – A traditional pub dating back to 1759. The pub has lovely riverside views and serves a great selection of classic British food. A children’s menu is also available. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served, or just a refreshing drink.
Places To Visit Near Arundel Castle
- The market town of Arundel is a unique and cosmopolitan town rich in history and heritage. With antique markets, art galleries, independent shops and waterside eateries, with views over the River Arun.
- Arundel Cathedral is an impressive Victorian Gothic-style building overlooking the town.
- Feeling active? Head to the South Downs National Park for some walking, cycling or horse riding.
Getting To Arundel Castle From London
Arundel Castle is a popular day trip from London and can be done in 1 day, but if you have the time try and stay overnight. The surrounding Sussex countryside is the perfect wind down from the hustle and bustle of London.
By Car – Arundel Castle is between Worthing and Chichester on the A27. Approx driving time from central London is 1 hour 45 minutes, depending on traffic. Mill Road Car Park is located directly opposite the castle and is pay and display.
By Train – A regular and direct train service runs between London Victoria, and Arundel. The journey time takes under 1 hour 30 minutes. The castle is a 10-minute walk away, or you can catch a taxi from the station (there is a taxi rank based at the station.)