The weather! We lucked out and had a sunny, rainless day, but it would be equally enchanting and visit-able in the rain.
Proximity to London – an hour and a half from Victoria station – far enough to feel really away, not too far to go and come back in a day
Belinda’s – a 16th century restaurant that serves a great roast
Medieval Fair – some friendly knights in shining armour kitted us out in their gear for a taste of a medieval brawl – those gloves are heavy!
50/50 church - one side is Protestant, the other is Catholic.
Green spaces– castle gardens, hanging baskets, hidden gardens, cemeteries, wetlands…
The castle – it’s huge! It’s still lived-in! And you can see the bedrooms and bathrooms (which are, of course, off-limits at Holyroodhouse and Buckingham).
Castle staff – they’re friendly! They’re enthusiastic! They’re full of anecdotes and facts!
Scope for imagination – Studio Cottage, the Baker’s Arm, views from the castle of the south downs and the sea in the distance, Jacobean architecture, not to mention the castle itself
Belinda’s again! (Because they do a fab tea – fresh scones, copious amounts of clotted cream and piping hot char. Mmmm.)