Discovering Lewes Castle and town

I’m all for eeking out a holiday for as long as possible and on our Eastbourne trip I knew we’d need to do a lunch stop on the way home.  So I decided we’d check out Lewes Castle and get some lunch in the town.

Discovering Lewes Castle - Bubbablue and me

As we drove round and round trying to find somewhere to park that wouldn’t involve long steep uphill gradients for N, and that weren’t miles outside the town given we were only stopping for a couple of hours, I was thinking that maybe it wasn’t such a good idea.  Our last chance was going to be station parking but I didn’t want to pay ridiculous prices, and the signs to get into the car park didn’t explain it very well.  But eventually we found a space centrally – maybe it’s too small a town for buses trundling through but a park and ride would be helpful.

Next stop a café.  I was imagining a busy town full of independent shops and quirky buildings would have had a few independent cafes, but we weren’t seeing many…or maybe they just didn’t have good signs to explain that they were a café.  Instead we ended up having to Caffé Nero for lunch which did the job but wasn’t really what I’d been hoping for. N was all for going in the pub but I managed to persuade him otherwise seeing as we didn’t want a full on hot meal.

toasted cheese sandwich

After a quick lunch we wandered up to the castle.  I always imagine castles as being a bit further out of towns, but Lewes is right in the centre, with its grounds having been built on and now surrounded by houses and gardens.

Being Easter there were children’s activities going on in the museum part, but when we headed upstairs there was noone there, just a box of activity sheets so we gave up on that idea and crossed over the path, unlocked the castle gate with the special electronic tag and headed up the steps.

lewes castle tower

lewes castle walkway

running upstairs at lewes castle

steps at Lewes castle

N was happy enough climbing upwards, despite having walked from the car moaning his legs were aching.  There’s not too many steps and benches along the way, as well as at the top in the ‘garden’ area.

Lewes Castle garden level

It was lovely to look over the town and right to the white chalk cliffs.

white cliffs seen from Lewes castle

We were able to walk further up to different floors of the castle.  There were dressing up outfits for children, castle walls to build and other activities which other children were enjoying.   The circular stone stairways are very narrow so not great for really young children or anyone struggling with balance or lots of bags but it doesn’t take long to get out to the roof.

Drainage holes at Lewes castle

sloppy coat, chatting in the sunshine

red berries at Lewes Castle

pink flowers at Lewes Castle

lewes skyline from the castle

Other than the museum and the castle, there’s not much else to see at Lewes Castle but for us it was just enough to stretch our legs before going on our way home and to tick off another place visited in my ‘map’ of Britain visits.

Are you a castle fan?  Do your children get dressed up when they visit places?

Why not take a look at these similar posts.

eastbourne steam railway   michelham priory   Grand Hotel Eastbourne

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6 thoughts on “Discovering Lewes Castle and town

  1. I wish I’d known you were going to Lewes, I could have told you where to have lunch and directed you to the most beautiful gardens there with loads of space. My Mother in Law lives in the town and we visit a couple of times a year. I have to say the castle is a disappointment , looks impressive but tiny and really not much to see. The town itself is delightful, but parking a nightmare. If you stop there again ask for the Grange Gardens and eat at Bills. I love how you really extended your holiday though and it isn’t far from Eastbourne. Thank you for joining me for #CountryKids

  2. I’d like to visit here one day, I like castles that are in towns like this and the views look amazing. My boy loves climbing steps but is not so keen on any activities, just likes exploring on his own agenda. An area of the country I’d like to have a holiday to as never been to East Sussex.

  3. I love Lewes, it’s where my grandma lived so we spent a lot of time there growing up. I’m very impressed that you managed to find a parking space in the twn! I’ve not visited the castle in ages and it sounds as though there is lots more for children there than there used to be, thanks for the reminder, I might think about taking the children over on the train in the summer holidays.

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