Lewes Castle stands at the highest point of Lewes, East Sussex, just a few stops on the train from Brighton. Some of the hotels in Brighton have been there for over 100 years, well this castle is almost 1000 years old, dating back to the 1066 Battle of Hastings. The land on which the castle stands was given to William de Warenne by William the Conqueror during the historic battle, and now the castle is a symbol for the historical value of this famous town.
The view from the top of the castle keep is breathtaking, letting you see for miles across the Sussex countryside. Once you've taken in the scenery, the Sussex archaeological society 'Sussex Past' provide a number of educational and entertaining activities for families and children, including learning how to fire a crossbow, building an arrow-slit, and the chance to dress up as a Lady or Knight.
In keeping with the area's commitment to culture and the arts, the castle serves as a theatre on occasion during the summer months. Hotels in Brighton regularly publicise local arts events, and upcoming events for 2011 include a series of evening concerts by Richard Durrant – the eerily self-proclaimed 'Guitar Whisperer', and a production of 'The Merry Wives of Windsor' by Brighton Little Theatre in August.
The amateur archaeologist or historian will undoubtedly love the treasure trove that is the second hand bookshop, located in the gift shop on site. The adjoining attraction Barbican House is also now home to a Museum of Sussex archaeology, and changing exhibitions of historical photographs in the area.
The castle is open throughout the year, and admission prices range from £3 to £6, with group and family tickets charging up to £21. Discounted tickets can be bought to include the nearby Anne of Cleves House, allowing you and your family the chance to soak up some history when you're visiting Brighton.
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