There is something truly magical about Bodiam Castle, particularly in the autumn months when the sun sits lower in the sky and casts long shadows of the surrounding trees on the still waters of the castle moat. Each year in early autumn, Marlborough House School children, mums, dads, and the more energetic family dogs are invited to take a glorious 5-mile walk across open countryside from the school grounds to the castle.
Leaving Marlborough House, we cross the road at the Moor and march down Stream Lane, but after that, it’s cross-country all the way to the castle. Taking a little over two hours to walk the full route, we pass swirling carpets of sweet corn – the tassled heads of the crops nodding in the morning breeze. The unmistakeable aroma of the Hop Farms at Harvest time fills up our senses as we spy row after row of flower-covered bines weighing heavily on their trellises, ripe for the picking. Around two thirds of the way round, a spectacular uninterrupted 360-degree view of the undulating Wealden landscape almost takes our breath away, the children wide-eyed and joyfully lost in the greatness of it all. Sheep and cows graze contentedly as we amble past, and our accompanying dogs insist on taking a quick dip in a small pond near the Kent Ditch. Approaching Bodiam from the North, we get the perfect bird’s eye view of the Castle lying majestically in the valley. We take a group photo then return to school for a barbecued hotdog and glass of local ale.
We are so lucky to have such a wonderful family- friendly walk right on our doorstop and we can’t recommend it enough as the perfect start to a Sunday morning. If you would like to trace our route, and take your own weekend walk on the Weald side, you can download our map from the Marlborough House School website. www.marlboroughhouseschool.co.uk/