Skipton and Arundel Castles

Nov 8th, 2009, 09:17 AM
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Skipton and Arundel Castles

Is either or both Skipton and Arundel Castle worth a visit?

(DH, DD age 21, and I doing a driving tour (of 8-9 days after 4-5 in London) next August. We'll be heading west from Dover headed toward Chawton and then Oxford so we could stop at Arundel. Later heading toward Carlisle so we could jog over to Skipton. We've (DD and I) been to Warwick, the Tower, and Hampton Court before and DD wants to see more castles this trip.) (DH and I have been to Dover and are definitely taking her back to that one!)
texasbookworm is offline  
Nov 8th, 2009, 10:15 AM
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Last August we (3 adults and 2 boys 13 & 11) visited Arundel Castle. We only did The Keep and the Earl's Garden which was recently opened. The Keep is the very old part of the castle and we all thought it was well worth visiting. The garden was lovely too and will have filled out a lot in a couple of years - one or two borders were definitely a bit on the thin side but you could see where they were heading.

So, yes, I can recommend The Keep and the Earl's Garden but can't comment on the rest of the castle.
CarrieAnn40 is offline  
Nov 8th, 2009, 10:18 AM
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Yes, Arundel is worth a visit (cannot comment on Skipton). Personally, I find it too "gentrified" - but it is a perculiarity - I don't really like castles that were later converted to stately homes.

Because of this I prefer Portchester castle near Portsmouth - a great slab sided Norman keep built within the existing Roman walls - it has been a castle, a garrison building and a prisoner of war camp in its time.

The castle at Rochester is also well worth a trip, as is Hever - both not far off a motorway route from Dover to Chawton.
willit is offline  
Nov 8th, 2009, 10:43 AM
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Skipton Castle isn't as large and dramatic as many others - it's at the end of the main street of the town ('the gateway to the Dales') and could easily be viewed in an hour or so. However............within reasonably easy reach of Skipton you have two other small castles that you could easily miss. Firstly there is Bolton Castle in the tiny Dales village of Castle Bolton (Wensleydale).
You could easily find you have this castle to yourselves, the setting is stunning (it floats like a fairytale castle across the fields and meadows) and is really beautiful - good tearooms too! Mary, Queen of Scots was imprisoned here, and despite being built in 1399 is has bever been sold.
Secondly you could visit Middleham Castle, also in Wensleydale. This castle was once lived in by Richard the 3rd, is ruinous, but is very atmospheric, and again the Dales setting is beautiful.
If you love castles I am sure you would also love Jervaulx Abbey - no fancy visitor centre, in fact no charge for admission at all. You park across the road and walk across the parkland to the abbey which is always quiet and peaceful, certainly not over-restored. There are wild flowers growing everywhere, bird song, and we frequently have the place to ourselves mid week even in the summer months.
Lastly, you could carry on and visit Richmond Castle.
Morgana is offline  
Nov 8th, 2009, 11:38 AM
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Would second Morgana on Jervaulx Abbey and Studley Water Gardens.

If you want a proper castle with proper blood in the streams you need to head just outside Carlise to Reiver country -

As previouly by owned by would you beleive it - "Wee" Jock Eliot.

There's also my favourite -

If you are coming from Texas - its a relatively short hop from Carlisle to the greatest setting of any castle -
markrosy is offline  
Nov 8th, 2009, 01:21 PM
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<<< Would second Morgana on Jervaulx Abbey and Studley Water Gardens. >>>

Studley Water Gardens are part of Fountains Abbey. It's best to park at Studley rather than the Abbey end of the site - if only for the deer
alanRow is offline  
Nov 8th, 2009, 01:36 PM
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We love castles too! We use this site regularly to check out castles and plan adventures. Although we're up to about 20 castles now, we haven't visited Arundel or Skipton yet. We do prefer ruins more than restored castles, but that is because we have a young son who loves to climb, run and jump.
BKP is offline  
Nov 8th, 2009, 02:01 PM
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Thanks Alan - went to too many of them this summer - all flowing into one.

but parking at the Studley end means your a long way from a bloody good meal at the NT cafe at the top of the hill!!!

Interesting to see that the Kevin McCloud money finally ran out so that they have to B & B. That episode was GD at its best. If I seem to remember they went 120% over budget just buying the place. Beautiful property though.
markrosy is offline  
Nov 8th, 2009, 05:32 PM
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Arundel was a good visit, but my nephews (10 and 12) and I preferred Bodiam Castle which is not far from Arundel. It is medieval and is not gussied up, but has lots of interesting nooks and crannies and twisting stairs to the battlements. Also has a moat and from the walls one looks over a hillside covered with rows of hop vines surrounding an oast house.

Bolton Castle, Middleham Castle and Jervaux recommended above were among my favorites in Yorkshire. Liked Fountains Abbey, but one of my favorites was Byland Abbey. I was there by myself. It was high summer and there were lots of wildflowers and a peace to the place.
irishface is offline  
Nov 8th, 2009, 10:18 PM
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I agree that Bodiam is a really great castle for exploring/clambering -- but to call it 'not far from Arundel' is a bit of a stretch. They are 60 miles and nearly 2 hours apart.
janisj is online now  
Nov 9th, 2009, 02:41 AM
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I agree Byland is lovely (and the Abbey Inn opposite does great food) but it is situated in the Yorkshire Moors not the Dales, and I hadn't even got started on all the attractions in that part of North Yorkshire (assumed the OP wouldn't have time to visit the Dales and the Moors).
However, if you were heading to the Moors and the eastern part of North Yorkshire (Howardian and Tabular Hills) you also have -
1) Mount Grace Priory
2) Rievaulx (terraces/temples and abbey, two different parts)
3) Whitby abbey
4) Helmsley castle
5) Pickering castle
6) Castle Howard (not a castle as such!).
Plenty more!
Morgana is offline  
Nov 9th, 2009, 03:24 AM
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<<< but parking at the Studley end means your a long way from a bloody good meal at the NT cafe at the top of the hill!!! >>>

Best views are from that end especially when you go round the bend and see the remains of the abbey
alanRow is offline  
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