You know when you have something on your doorstep and you keep on meaning to visit but never get round to it. New Buckenham Castle was that something for us. Well it’s only taken 5 years, but now we’ve been, and we just can’t stop visiting.
At the edge of the village of New Buckenham there is a little footpath, leading off into the fields. Nothing special really, but hidden along that footpath is New Buckenham Castle. It is a real gem.
The keys to this privately owned castle can be picked up from the local shop, just on the main road through the village and about a 5 minute walk from the castle. A small donation is asked for and this goes towards the upkeep of the castle, just so it doesn’t get completely overgrown.
The castle is not a tourist attraction. There are no information boards, gifts shops or facilities. Just a castle, a rickety picnic bench and solitude. It is a special place to visit. I’ll leave Wikipedia to fill you in on the history of the site, it’s an interesting read.
When we visit we like to park our car at the little car park next to the village playground, it’s free and means we can always finish our visit with a fun a bit of a play. We then take the short walk into the village, over the village green and past the interesting market cross building, to the shop to get the keys. We usually get a drink and a snack or too as well. Then we head off to the Castle.
The moat around the castle is the first thing you notice and you have to cross it to get the gates. Unlocking the gates and entering the castle is like entering another time. Plus, as you lock the gates behind you, you are guaranteed to have the place to yourself.
Inside the gates you are surround by the fairly intact earth ramparts, which with sturdy shoes, you can walk around. It’s a bit of an adventure but if L can manage it, most people can. Inside the earthworks are the remains of the stone tower, which you can look around.
You’ve then just got a nice, safe, enclosed and private space to run around in.
New Buckenham Castle isn’t a long visit. Not at all. But it is an interesting one. It’s also one we thoroughly enjoy. Plus we tie it in with a visit to the playground which L loves. When he is too old for the playground we’ll probably just walk further along the footpath and see what that has too offer, but for now that will remain another one of those local things we want to do but never get round to.