Historical Places – Castles

SandiCategory description - Castles

bodiam castleHow many castles are there in Kent? 28 according to Wikipedia!

  • Hastings

    hastingsHastings is a typical seaside resort, a shingle beach with an Old Town, fishing industry, lifeboat station and beach amusements, plus the new Jerwood Art Gallery.  The Victorian pier was burnt down but now houses a roost of starlings and is being rebuilt. 40 minute drive

    Fairlight Glen                     FREE plus coach hire
    Arrive for an invigorating morning’s walk through the fairytale setting of Fairlight Glen in Hastings Country Park with its picturesque sandstone landscape and views over Hastings and English Channel.  Visit an indoor attraction in the afternoon at Hastings before going home by coach. 50 mins drive. Please note that access through Ecclesbourne Glen is now closed due to land slips.

    Hastings Attractions        £4.75 each, 1 adult free/10 +  minibus cost
    Combined tickets possible, but we recommend  one option only.

    • Smugglers Adventure
      Explore St Clements Caves labyrinth, history of C18th smuggling with fun interactive exhibits, sound and light shows (Limited disabled access)
    • Blue Reef Aquarium
      Marine nursery, shark tank, ray pool, good interpretation. (Wheelchair access) www.bluereefaquarium.co.uk
    • Hastings Castle & the 1066 story
      Audio-visual show within a siege tent. (Limited wheelchair access)    Gift shops, WC’s.
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  • Sissinghurst Castle Garden (National Trust)

    sissinghurst_castleTudor manor house with access to tower, library. Home of Vita Sackville-West. Stunning gardens, woodlands and lakes, oast house exhibition and farm buildings. Quizzes, excellent stimulus for art. Minibus option for up to15 pupils, half-day. 30 mins drive. Open Mar-Oct only. Gift shop, WC’s, wheelchair access to most areas.

    Cost: FREE entry + minibus costs
    More Info: website

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  • Leeds Castle

    leeds castleNorman castle, residence of kings and queens, lovely gardens, aviaries, maze, grotto, dog collar museum, moats. 1930’s interior – pre-booked time essential, but guides do not always pitch answers to age group. Educational trail and teachers’ notes on website. Gift shop, WC’s. 30 mins drive. Wheelchair access, but long walk from car park.

    Why not save money on coach hire – visit Friday on the way back home (or for smaller groups it is possible to access the grounds and view the Castle via free public footpaths, using minibus transport.)

    Cost: £5.75 each + coach hire
    More Info: www.leeds-castle.com

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  • Hever Castle

    hever castleC14th home of Anne Boleyn, display on Tudors, mazes (Easter-October only), adventure playground, moat, model houses. Open March-November only. 1 hour drive (near M25). Gift shops, WC’s. Limited wheelchair access. Long walk from car park. Why not save money on coach hire – visit Friday on the way back home.

    Cost: £6.70 each, 1 adult per 10 + coach hire (Additional adults £11.75)
    More Info: www.hevercastle.co.uk

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  • Dover Castle (English Heritage)

    dover castle2000 years of history – A Norman keep with displays, Anglo-Saxon church, Roman lighthouse, medieval tunnels and guided tours of Secret World War 2 tunnels (Hellfire Corner). Views to France, interactive education rooms. Can combine with brief stop at Dover beach, Samphire Hoe or WW2 memorial. Early booking advisable, especially for workshops. (Thursdays only Nov-Mar) Gift shops, WC’s.

    Limited wheelchair access, steep paths.

    Cost: FREE entry + coach hire. Workshops approx. £100 per class
    More Info: www.english-heritage.org.uk

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  • Camber Castle (English Heritage)

    camber castleGuided tour with education officer, worksheets included. Tudor structure, military use. Use our binoculars to see water birds on adjacent gravel pits. Can combine with Rye Harbour Nature Reserve (shingle beach, river estuary) or Rye town for a whole day. Up to 15 children half-day trip by minibus, or coach required for a full day. 30 mins to Rye, plus walk across Marshes.

    No WC’s at site, public WC’s at car park.

    Small gift shop on Nature Reserve.

    Limited wheelchair access.

    Cost: FREE entry + coach hire OR minibus
    More Info: www.wildrye.info/reserve/schools/

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  • Bodiam Castle (National Trust)

    bodiam castleC14 th castle built for defence and as a luxury home. Optional guided tours and armoury workshop – £2.50-4.50 each.

    Can combine with a morning walk or go via Rye/Camber Sands. Gift shop, WC’s. In summer term it is possible to travel by steam railway from Tenterden (£7.25 return).

    Limited wheelchair access, steep steps.

    Cost: FREE entry + coach hire
    More Info: website

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  • Other attractions

    kent lifeThe following attractions are also recommended, and are particularly suitable as options on the way back to London to extend your final day.

    Museum of Kent Life ( Maidstone)

    Cost: £4.50 per pupil + coach hire
    40 mins drive


    Wildwood Discovery Park ( Herne Bay)

    Cost: £3.50 + coach hire
    An unique collection of native British animals including species now extinct in UK – beavers, wolves etc. 1 hour drive


    Historic Dockyard (Chatham)

    Cost: £4.50 + coach hire
    Exciting displays about Victorians, WW2 and the history of sail. Teacher packs, tours etc

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