Houghton Bridge, Amberley and North Stoke
I spent a wonderful day out with my daughter and my sisters
2 boys and their dog in the W.Sussex countryside.
We took the London train from Bognor Regis to Amberly, a 20 minute trip.
The West Sussex villages of Amberley, Houghton Bridge and North Stoke,
in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty at the foot of the South Downs,
flourish with pubs, B&B's and attractions, including the Amberley Wildbrooks
and Amberley Working Museum which was closed as we arrived late afternoon.
The area is popular for walking, birdwatching and other country pursuits.
Arundel Castle-castle bedrooms and main rooms
The castle rooms and castle bedrooms are extremely well decorated and maintained, the current Duke and his family use some of the formal rooms that are open to the public when they are hosting guests. There are no pictures allowed in the interior, you tour the rooms by yourself and not on a tour.
If you opt to see all of the castle including the interior, expect to spend at least 2-3 hours at Arundel.
Home of the Duke of Norfolk
There are lots and lots of daytrips that you can take from London but I'm still surprised that you don't hear much about Arundel Castle as it's one of the nicest castles that we've visited in and around London and the 2nd largest after Windsor Castle. It's a little farther than Windsor Castle or Hampton Court which are only about a 1/2 hour outside London, it takes 1 1/2 hours to get to Arundel. I'd place this daytrip above Dover Castle or Leeds Castle and on equal footing with Warwick Castle although Warwick Castle is a better daytrip if you are traveling with children.
When I was inquiring about other things to do in the area, some people recommended some other things we could see in the area but by the time we were finished visiting the castle we didn't really have enough time. If you should drive there or if you leave earlier than we did, you might want to look into nearby Amberley where there is the Amberley Museum just one train stop away or Fishbourne Roman Palace which was on the same train line but not nearly as convenient to get to.
The town of Arundel, which you walk through to get to the Castle, is an appealing pretty town, we had a walk through before visiting the Castle to see the options for lunch.