We’ve spent the last week in North Norfolk and have had some amazing days out. Today we visited the pretty village of Castle Acre which is packed full of historical places and well worth a visit. We started off at the ruins of Castle Acre itself, I’m going to write about Castle Acre Priory in another post. Read on for my top 5 reasons to visit Castle Acre Castle with kids.
Castle Acre is a rare and complete survival of a Norman planned settlement, including a castle, village, parish church and one of the best-preserved monastic sites in England, Castle Acre Priory. All this was the work of a Norman baronial family, the Warennes, during the 11th and 12th centuries.
Castle Acre Castle
Castle Acre is a well-preserved example of a motte-and-bailey castle, and one of the most impressive Norman earthworks in the country. The whole family love exploring a castle and were excited to visit. The car park (free) is tiny and you can’t really see anything when you park. Walk a little way and you see the impressive castle ruins.
My children immediately ran and ran and ran. They didn’t really stop. Castle Acre Castle is really impressive and the perfect picnic spot. First we explored the motte with it’s remains of the great tower or Keep.
Then we walked around the great defences of the bailey, with ruined walls and deep ditches. My children had so much fun running around which of course we encouraged! We had a long car journey back to London so wanted to make sure they got plenty of fresh air.
5 reasons to visit Castle Acre Castle with kids
We had a brilliant time visiting Castle Acre and would totally recommend it. Here are our 5 reasons to visit Castle Acre Castle with kids:
1 – the site is owned and managed by English Heritage and it’s free to visit
2 – there are information signs dotted around the whole site which totally make it an *educational* trip
3 – it’s one of the most impressive Norman earthworks in the country
4 – Castle Acre was one of the finest examples of Norman town planning in the country
5 – there is space to let your kids run and roll down the earthworks!
It’s a huge site and although the castle is in ruins it’s still very impressive. You can also exit via the remains of the gatehouse and walk straight into the village of Castle Acre. At the end of the High Street you will find the Bailey Gate which was one of two stone gatehouses added to the settlement’s massive earthwork defences in about 1200. The main road into the village still runs between its towers.
Find out more about Castle Acre Castle on the English Heritage website.