Today the kids and I went on a little expedition. The weather was glorious so it was perfect for going to the beach. But which beach? We’d already been to West Wittering, but we wanted to go somewhere different. Hastings was the perfect choice. But before we got to the beach we stopped off at Bodiam Castle. We’ve been here before, in fact it was the very first National Trust place we went to, and became members at the same time.
The drive was quite uneventful which was great and we arrived just in time for lunch. We’d bought a packed lunch with us, so we found a little shady spot under a large tree to sit down and have our picnic. Once we’d eaten all we wanted we went to explore. The castle sits on top of a mound and is surrounded by a moat. We walked round the outside first before we ventured inside.
In the grounds they had all sorts of tents with people dressed up and they were making lots of items to sell. There was a man making shoes, some one selling pots and other containers, a weapons place (kept George away from that one), a bee man (with actual bees), a man making jewellery and loads of other things as well. Once we’d looked round we the crossed the moat (via the bridge) to get in the castle.
The moat was full of ducks and carp. The carp were massive and were all opening their huge mouths hoping for some food to be thrown in. I did feel sorry for the ducks that were caught up in the fish frenzy. I worried that they may be sucked into the fishes mouths at any moment. The castle is amazing. You can go exploring all over the place. We walked up to the tops of some of the towers. Up spiral staircases and into rooms that stretched up such a long way.
You saw rooms set out as they would have been during the times when it was used as a home. One room you could hear bats squeaking, because they were nesting in the beams. We think that we saw some, but mostly they kept well hidden from view. The courtyard in the middle was beautiful. And even though it’s the school holidays the place was relatively empty.
George put himself in the wooden stocks, but escaped very easily. Some of the door ways were very low and even Emily had to duck to go under. She’s 5 foot 5, so it’s not something she has to do very often. I think it made her feel taller. Poor little love is the smallest in our household as George is now taller than her (not taller than me….yet!).
Once we’d looked all around we then got back in the car and then drove to Hastings beach. It’s not far from the castle and we arrived in good time. The tide was on its way out and the sea was very calm. There were a few small waves, but oh boy was the sea cold!! Not like the sea on holiday, but then that was the Med. The Atlantic is a cold sea. We all had a paddle, and I’m pleased to say that I was the first one in, but didn’t go in very far. George was the one that went in the furthest, but even he found it too cold.
We found a little spot on the beach to call our own. In fact there weren’t many people on the beach at all. Hasting’s beach is stoney at the top, but when the tide goes out it’s sand, so the perfect beach really. We spent just over 2 hours relaxing about on the beach, and George decided that he would place some large stones down my back bone. It was actually quite calming. Before we got back in the car to come home, we all needed the loo. So I had a bright idea (yes I know it doesn’t happen very often). We went into Debenhams to use their facilities. The shop was near closing, but we managed to find the loos and get out before we were locked in. I was about to thank Debenhams for the use of their facilities until I saw some Christmas cards on display. Yes you heard me correctly. There weren’t many, but they’re clearly gearing up for the festive season already. I would like to point out that it’s still the school SUMMER HOLIDAYS!! At least wait until they’ve gone back in September to get them out.
We arrived home just before 7.30, all exhausted and tired.