A banner waving from one tower and a glassy moat crossed by what was once a drawbridge—this fairy-tale castle has everything except knights in shining armor. The redbrick structure was originally built by Sir Roger Fiennes (ancestor of actor Ralph Fiennes) in 1444, although it was altered in the Elizabethan age and again early in the 20th century, after it had largely fallen to ruin. Canada's Queen's University owns the castle, so only part of it is open for guided tours once or twice a day (except Saturday). Highlights include the magnificent ballroom, a medieval room, and the stunning Elizabethan-era staircase. Explore the formal walled garden, lily-covered lakes, and miles of woodland—the perfect place for a picnic on a sunny afternoon. There's a hands-on science center for kids. When school isn't in session, the castle rents out its small, plain guest rooms from £40 per night. The castle is 8 miles southwest of Battle.
- Address: Wartling Rd., Hailsham, BN27 1RN
- Phone: 01323/833816
- Cost: Castle, grounds, and science center £12.70; grounds only £6; castle tours £2.50
- Hours: Mid-Apr.–Sept., daily 10–6; Oct., daily 10–5; last admission 1 hr before closing
- Website: www.herstmonceux-castle.com
- Location: Battle