Stuck at the Airport is out and about in the English countryside for a few days with Gary Gatwick, the mascot for London’s Gatwick Airport.
Arundel, in West Sussex, is an easy one-hour train ride from Gatwick Airport. The town looks like one of those storybook English towns we sometimes see on TV travel shows, castle and all.
Arundel offers charming B&Bs such as the House Arundel, as well as charming coffee shops, antique stores, and traditional English country pubs, such as the one we visited in The Swan Hotel.
Among the main attractions here are the Arundel Museum and the medieval Arundel Castle.
Collections at the Arundel Museum include pre-historic flint tools found in early settlements around the town, Roman floor tiles found at the site of a luxurious Roman villa, and the large WWII air raid siren that once sat on the roof of the Town Hall.
It’s a good idea to stop in at the museum to learn about the history of the town and get your bearings before heading up to the castle.
If you’re lucky, local history expert John Barkshire might be around to take you around the museum and point out his favorite objects. His family has been in Arundel since the early 1800s and we were honored to have him pose for a photo with Gary Gatwick while standing next to an exhibit about a rare illuminated church choir book from Arundel.
In a country that seems to be chock full of castles, the Arundel Castle stands out because it is so well-preserved and cared for. And because it is one of the longest inhabited castles in the United Kingdom.
First built at the end of the 11th century, it has been restored and rebuilt over the years and is currently the home to the Duke and Duchess of Norfolk and their children.
Before you visit, you can read all about the history of the castle here. When you do visit, be sure to wear sturdy shoes. That way you’ll be able to comfortably make your way through the hallways, bedrooms, staterooms, library, magnificent gardens, and up the narrow stone steps to the Keep. And there you’ll be rewarded with great views and, like Gary Gatwick, perhaps have an encounter with one of the knowledgable, in-character guides.