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Home > > AMBERLEY CASTLE, near Arundel, West Sussex

AMBERLEY CASTLE, near Arundel, West Sussex

At-a-Glance Guide

5*, Relais & Chateaux
19 bedrooms
restaurant, private dining
lounge areas
gardens, croquet lawn, tennis court, 18-hole putting course, thatched-roof tree house

AMBERLEY CASTLE, near Arundel, West Sussex


A hunting lodge, built in 1103 by Bishop Ralph Luffa of Chichester, was the first structure at Amberley. Another bishop, Seffrid I, built the first stone hall here in 1140; Bishop Seffrid II added Amberley’s east wing in around 1200. In the early 1300s, Bishop John of Langton built a Great Hall at Amberley Castle. Towards the end of the century, Bishop Reede built a new Great Hall, and added battlements and the twin-towered gateway.

Between 1508 and 1536, Bishop Sherborne add various embellishments. He employed Lambert Bernard to paint the Amberley Panels in 1525 – probably in preparation for a visit by Henry VIII the following year. In 1588, during the reign of Elizabeth I, Amberley was leased to the Crown, and fell into ruin. In 1893, Amberley Castle was bought by the Duke of Norfolk, to make a private residence. The castle became a luxury hotel in 1989.


To come here is to truly step back in time. The portcullis is still lowered each night and raised at dawn, and within the 60’ high curtain wall, guests are cocooned in history - and luxury.


With its wealth of medieval architecture, atmospheric rooms, beautiful landscaped gardens and all-pervading air of peace and tranquillity, this is the perfect choice for a romantic getaway.

The hotel is licensed for civil weddings.


A number of lounge areas throughout the castle offer comfortable seats and open fires.

Amberley Castle is renowned for the quality of its cuisine. The principal dining room is magnificent Queen's Room, with its lancet windows, barrel-vaulted ceiling dating back to 1165 and mural, painted in 1686. The Great Room restaurant, on the lower floor of the dining hall, is a fine example of Norman architecture, and features high lancet windows, an open fireplace, oak flooring, tapestry and suits of armour. Menus are seasonal and locally sourced, and a six-course tasting menu, with an optional cheese course, is available – as is the ‘Sommelier’s Choice’ of a suitable wine to complement each dish. Dress code operates.

Guests can also dine, a deux, in Mistletoe Lodge [May to September, weather permitting.] This luxury, thatched tree-house, reached by a rope bridge, has comfortable armchairs and soft furnishings – and a window seat from which to enjoy fantastic views of the grounds and lakes. Amberley Castle’s resident florist can deck the interior to meet individual requirements. Menus for Mistletoe Lodge change to reflect the seasons -summer, dishes may include chilled gazpacho with ratatouille, marinated scallops and pesto croutons; poached native lobster with an exotic fruit and watercress salad; and white chocolate teardrop with griottine cherries.

Each of the bedrooms and suites – all named after Sussex castles and early bishops – has been individually designed to retain its historic character, and furnished with antiques and fine fabrics. Many feature four-poster beds, and all have en-suite whirlpool spa bathrooms. There are four rooms in the Manor House, Arundel, Amberley, Hastings and Rye; nine in the Tower House Mews Herstmonceux, Winchelsea, Bodiam, Pevensey, Camber, Lewes, Crowhurst, Bramber and Knepp; and a further five in the Bishopric - Wilfrid, Luffa, Sherborne, Reede and Seffrid.
Please use the BOOK NOW button or the MAKE AN ENQUIRY button below for a price quote for your stay.

The beautiful formal gardens contained within the Castle walls feature colourful perennial borders with a backdrop of medieval stonework, rose-covered arches, and topiary dating from the 1920’s. The upper courtyard, a delightful setting for afternoon tea or aperitifs, has camellias, magnolias, and koi carp gliding through deep ponds.

There is also a tennis court and a croquet lawn. A professional-standard 18-hole putting course provides residents with not only the opportunity not only to sharpen up their play, but also a tranquil and imaginative new garden in which to stroll. With an impressive water cascade and two new lakes, it is a quiet haven in which to watch the wildlife or sit and relax in one of three gazebos, each boasting superb views to the South Downs, or back across the course to the Castle.

The picturesque village of Amberley is a short stroll away.

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