For my birthday, I went to Bodiam Castle in East Sussex, England. I mean where else do you take a girl obsessed with castles on her birthday?
Bodiam Castle is a 14th-century moated castle with, what I think, is a very interesting history. Unlike most castles, Bodiam was built by Sir Edward Dalyngrigge, a knight of Edward III. Sir Dalyngrigge was an ambitious knight that wanted to put his riches from France to use, so naturally, he petitioned to build a castle. While he requested to fortify his manor house, something quite modest, after approval he decided to build what you currently see as Bodiam Castle. This is not a modest castle and was built from scratch on a fresh piece of land.
Originally meant to be a defense from the French during the 100 Year War, it was never approached or encountered during battle. It did, however, play a role in the Wars of the Roses and English Civil War, which left it in its current ruin state due to pieces being sold off to pay off debts. In 1829, it was purchased and then began the restoration work.
Bodiam Castle now belongs to the National Trust of England and open to the public for a small entrance fee. When I went it was a holiday weekend so it was full of people, but since I was there later in the day until they closed the last 15 minutes or so the castle was deserted, hence the empty pictures. It worked out perfectly. The castle itself doesn’t have much inside as it is in a state of ruin so you don’t need much time to explore. A great choice if passing through the area. For example, I went here after spending the morning at Beachy Head, which you can read about here.