Immortalized in paintings, photographs, and films, Bodiam Castle (pronounced Boe-dee-um) rises out of the distance like a piece of medieval legend. From the outside it's one of Britain's most impressive castles, with turrets, battlements, a glassy moat (one of the very few still in use), and 2-foot-thick walls. However, once you cross the drawbridge to the interior there's little to see but ruins, albeit on an impressive scale. Built in 1385 to withstand a threatened French
invasion, it was partly demolished during the English Civil War of 1642–46 and has been uninhabited ever since. Still, you can climb the towers to take in sweeping countryside views, and kids love running around the keep. The castle, 12 miles west of Rye, schedules organized activities for kids during school holidays.