BODIAM CASTLE is a 14th-century moated castle near Robertsbridge in East Sussex, England.
It was built in 1385 by Sir Edward Dalyngrigge, a former knight of Edward III, with the permission of Richard II, ostensibly to defend the area against French invasion during the Hundred Years’ War. This is a National Trust property visit their website here: Bodiam Castle
START/FINISH: Bodiam Castle – LUNCH: Salehurst.
THE PLANNED WALK: circular walk from Bodiam via Roberstbridge.
THE ACTUAL WALK: circular walk from Bodiam via Salehurst. First part of the walk the terrain was quite hilly, I lost our map whilst walking through old orchards and woodlands, had to double back to find the map, so walking time was slower than anticipated. By the time we had walked 4.5 miles, we were concerned about getting back to the car park before closing (thought it would close same time as the castle 5pm), we gave up on walking in and out of Roberstbridge, and took the short cut to Salehurst. Best decision at this point, because we also managed to get lost a couple of times on our way back to Bodiam.
Temp: 13-15C; Wind: 7-8 mph W to SW; Sunny with increasing cloud in afternoon.
Leaving Bodiam Castle.
Up we go, among the sheep and lambs.
Old orchards and woodlands. Where I lost our map. Had to double back to find it, otherwise there was no way we would be able to find our way, signs and paths were very limited or obscured.
More up hill walking, and yes it got warmer. Views way back across the fields. Stopped for a snack here. Great place to walk. More orchards. Signage was a bit confusing. Got to the bottom of the orchard and took us a while to find the foot path leading to the road, which we needed to cross. Here is the footpath sign on the road, with a totally overgrown pathway. Stinging nettles and brambles all the way. Yay! New buildings (totally fenced off) with no public access, where the map shows to go through the farm property. We walked the fence line around the new buildings and finally came out onto the open meadow. Another snack stop, and taking note of the profuse spring growth of nettles and brambles, everywhere, even along the river bank pathway. Cross this paddock, cross this field, cross this meadow, and stile hopping. It’s about here we decided it has taken us too long to get to this point, so we cut the walk short, and take the next footpath leading up to Salehurst. Foot path to Salehurst. Salehurst church tower visible – yay! So looking forward to a sit down snack at the pub. Salehurst Church. Salehurst Halt pub. A light snack of chips and pork pate. The food on the patrons plates looked absolutely delicious, beautiful outdoor seating under wisteria, and we also sat in the garden. Definitely a place to revisit for a lovely lunchtime meal. Go via the churchyard on the footpath back to Bodiam. Walking through meadows and wheat fields. Stile hopping. Crossing paddocks. Orchard crossings. Where we missed the stile in the hedgerow and circumnavigate a field, with downhill and uphill walking, and then retracking our steps to find the way out. So frustrated at this stage. Back on track. Oh no! lost again. When the meadows and fields have new spring growth there are no visible paths to follow, so the way to go was totally invisible. Somehow managed to get back onto the path after exiting onto the most dangerous road walking. Where the verge was overgrown and steep and the passing traffic travelling at high speed. Not recommended. By now we are in a rush to get back to the car before 5pm. So everything passes in a blur. LOL Yay finally made it, The Castle Inn across the road from the National Trust car park and entrance to Bodiam Castle, we have 35 mins to spare before 5pm. IMPORTANT NOTE: Always check car park closing time. Do not assume it is going to close at the same time as the Castle. Bodiam Castle closes at 5pm and the car park closes at 7.30pm (according to the entrance gate keeper).
So we rushed the end of the walk, when we could have taken our time. Hahahaha
Made the most of it, managed to buy cake at the cafe and had a good cuppa tea, before a gentle walk around the outside of the castle, before closing. A great walk, even though it was hard to find the footpath signs in some cases, definitely need a map to do this walk, and we would have had plenty of time to walk to Roberstbridge if only we had known the car park was staying open till late. Never mind, another reason for going back there again.
I printed the map route from here: Walking Club. We followed the RED route to Ewhurst Green; the RED route to Roberstbridge Abbey, then followed the GREEN route over Church Bridge to SALEHURST and back to Bodiam.
Here is the link to our walk: Bodiam Circular