Postcard of the Week: Arundel
Who doesn’t love a small market town in the English countryside adorned with a fairy-tale Medieval castle? No one, that’s who. Disney films throughout our early years painted a picture of princesses locked away in turrets, of knights in shining white armour, of charming and handsome princes, of elegant balls in towering banquet halls, and there is nothing quite like seeing it in the flesh. At least, seeing the castle in the flesh – on my last visit to Arundel I didn’t see any actual fire-breathing dragons or crocodiles circling in the castle moat… But that didn’t detract from Arundel’s appeal one bit. The vast Arundel Castle is open to visitors from April to October and is also home to the Duke of Norfolk and his family. Surrounding it are a few churches and narrow streets of cottages and adorable Georgian buildings that now house tearooms and restaurants.
Arundel is directly south of London in the county of West Sussex, and as it’s very close to where I grew up, I’ve been there a number of times. I looked round the castle and its fascinating history during a university summer with another friend who lived nearby, and then I returned again last month for the weekend. We stayed in a country house hotel a few miles west of Arundel and given the beautiful weather (in November would you believe it), the first thing we did was head for the beach. Climping Beach is a pebbly beach, but perfect for winter. The sea was calm and there was hardly anyone there. Very near the beach is the luxurious Bailiffscourt Hotel and Spa where to my great surprise I was treated to a massage and an afternoon relaxing at their spa. It. was. heavenly.
Heading into Arundel that evening we over-indulged at the delicious but petite Town House restaurant. The next day wasn’t quite such good weather so we strolled around Arundel by daylight, popping into gift shops and passing art galleries and antiques dealers. That particular weekend I decided to completely switch off and have a ‘digital detox’ (for more on what that it, read up on my Tech Trends for the Travel Industry) which made me appreciate Arundel all the more and it actually felt like a longer trip as a result. I’m sure you’ll agree with me that the weekends always feel too short and fly past in the blink of an eye. But that weekend in Arundel was just idyllic. If you haven’t been yet then add it to your list – it’s so close to London too that you’ve no excuse not to!