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Bodiam Castle

The village of Sandhurst is situated near the border with East Sussex and is close to the villages of Hawkhurst and Northiam. Its name translates as a place that is wooded in sandy ground and is thought to have been used as the village that provided shelter and sustenance to soldiers on their way to the Battle of Hastings, and the survivors returning to London.

The village church of St Nicholas is found about a mile away, allegedly the main part of the village moved further away following the Black Death of 1348 when the number of plague victims buried in the churchyard encouraged the remaining residents to move to a new healthier area! Another landmark is the windmill which is a rare example of a five sail smock windmill which has been lovingly restored as a home. Flemish weavers made their home here, encouraged by King Edward III when he prohibited the export of unwashed wool, and several houses inhabited by the weavers can still be seen in the village today.

The main road to Rye runs through the village and was a popular trading route in years gone by. Visitors to the area should ensure they visit Rye, one of the Cinque ports and an unspoilt medieval gem with cobbled streets, bijou shops and boutiques and a variety of fine dining venues. On the way you will pass through Newenden, the smallest village in Kent and is in a conservation area of its own having been a thriving port in earlier times. Smallhythe Place is well worth a visit, the 16th century home of the renowned actress Ellen Terry who lived a fascinating life. In the pretty gardens you will discover the Barn theatre which has been used for over 80 years for performances and events. The game of cricket is alleged to have been created in Newenden when in 1300 the son of King Edward I, the future Prince of Wales, played a game called Creag. To this day it is home to an enthusiastic cricket team.

"Buy a Seven Wonders of the Weald Pass..."

If you enjoy messing about on the river visit Bodiam Boating Station at Newenden and take a lazy cruise to Rye or Bodiam castle. Before embarking treat yourself to a cream tea or cocktail at the Lime Wharf café and watch the steam trains puff past. The Kent and Sussex Railway runs for 10 miles from Tenterden through the Rother levels, past the village of Northiam to Bodiam and is one of the Seven Wonders of The Weald.

Bodiam Castle is owned by the National Trust and is a 14th century moated castle built in 1385. It is a perfect fairy tale castle and has been described as representing ‘the popular ideal of a medieval castle.’ Throughout the year, various events are held at the castle, try your hand at medieval crafts, listen to the talks given by one of the medieval characters you may happen to find, check out the ancient graffiti or explore the grounds and walks along the river.

While you’re there

Bodiam Boating Station

Visit for a great shopping experience in one of England’s prettiest large towns

Kent and Sussex Steam Railway

Running between Tenterden and Bodiam, originally opened in 1900 and one of the most original heritage railways.

Bodiam Castle

The National Trust medieval moated castle, one of Britain’s most romantic castles complete with portcullis, spiral staircases and battlements.

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