Last year I treated us to English Heritage membership. To be fair it was a no brainer. Membership for two adults, with L free, is £30 in Tesco Clubcard Vouchers. So it was next to no money. L loves castles, English Heritage have a lot. It’s free days out for a year.
I’m going to try to write about all the properties we visit using our membership. What I liked, didn’t like, share some pictures. We’ve already made our money back on the membership, so I am very happy it is good value for money.
We visited Orford Castle on New Years Eve last year for a family day out and some fresh air. Orford Castle has been on my list of properties to visit for some time and boy was it worth it.
The castle was fabulous, the village is amazing and we really want to go back and explore more.
The Castle has a small shop selling gifts and snacks. There is also a very small car park. There are picnic benches if you bring your own food. There are a lot of steps at Orford Castle, there is not much you can access if you can’t manage them. L was fine but a couple of years ago it may have been a different matter, I certainly wouldn’t attempt with a pushchair.
The castle is beautiful. Really impressive. It provides brilliant views across to Orford Ness which has its own fascinating history. You can go down to the basement which contains the castle’s well and all the way to the top of the castle to see the views from up high.
Each floor contains something interesting, the local museum, tunnel like hallways, the well and stunning views.
There are a lot of steps to content with but they are so worth it.
L and I loved exploring and hiding from his daddy to make him jump when he found us. We read some of the information boards together and pretended that we used to live there. Considering the foul mood the child was in when he got out of the car we had a great time.
Outside the castle there isn’t much to see, you can walk round the outside of it and there are banks and hills to run up and down and some nice picnic spots but that is about it.
We didn’t explore much of the village, but driving through it look very pleasant. From the castle we walked down to the quay where there was a large car park and some public toilets.
We passed a nice looking pub on the way as well, there was also some cute little shops and a fish and chip shop.
From the quay you can see out to Orford Ness and the military pagodas, you can get a boat from the quay to go out and have a look round the National Trust area which covers a lot of the military history.
There is also a lot of walking to be done.
We, however, embraced the freezing weather and strong winds by jumping in puddles. L got so freezing cold and wet we sent daddy back to get the car and come and get us. L waited on a bench all wrapped in his clothes and mine, I was without a coat and scarf before I could think it through. Thankfully we soon warmed up in the car.
Opening Times & Prices
|WITHOUT GIFT AID||WITH GIFT AID|
|Child (5-15 yrs)||£4.40||£4.90|
For full details of times and prices please visit the English Heritage Website, these are only a snapshot.
I think we spent about an hour exploring Orford Castle. If L had been in a better mood we could have probably look round the museum a bit more and spent a bit longer, maybe around two hours.
It is in a brilliant location with such an interesting and mixed history. L enjoyed being able to explore everything and though I worried about him on the stairs and some areas were a little dark, it just added to the fun for him and was actually fine.
I only wish we’d had time to fully look at the museum area and had maybe picked a day with better weather so we could have gone for a nice long walk.
We will certainly be going back and I would actually like to take L on another visit as well as go on a day without him. We want to check out the National Trust site at Orford Ness as well.