Full Afternoon Tea: £50
Champagne Afternoon Tea : £70
Nyetimber Flight Afternoon Tea:  £80
Afternoon Tea Picnic Hamper for 2: £100


Visiting Amberley Castle

Amberley Castle Hotel is a historic gem nestled in West Sussex. With luxurious accommodations, award-winning cuisine, and captivating medieval architecture, visitors can explore the beautiful grounds, indulge in fine dining experiences, and create lasting memories in this enchanting castle retreat.


Ample parking is available free on-site, approximately 100m from the hotel reception. Disabled guests may be dropped off in the turning circle and take the paved pathway into the hotel and reception.



Prices for Hotel Offers & Packages start from £325 per person; visit the Amberley Castle website for package details, pricing, and availability. 

Amberley Castle Afternoon Tea Prices (booking required):

  • Full Afternoon Tea - £50
  • Champagne Afternoon Tea - £70
  • Nyetimber Flight Afternoon Tea - £80
  • Afternoon Tea Picnic Hamper for 2 - £100

No admissions fee or entry ticket is required to roam the grounds or access the Castle and dining rooms. 



Amberley Castle Restaurant* Opening Hours

Days Open

Wednesday - Sunday

Afternoon Tea Hours

12:30 pm - 4:30 pm

Dinner Hours

7:00 pm - 9:00 pm


*The restaurant and epicurean events are open for public booking, subject to availability, with hotel guests given priority.

Location and Access

Amberley Castle


Nr Arundel (5 miles north)

West Sussex 

BN18 9LT

Amberley Castle is easily accessible by road, rail, and air.

By Car: From Arundel, follow signs to London and take the third exit at the roundabout onto Amberley B2139. From Storrington, follow the sign to Amberley B2139. Look for the white Relais & Châteaux flag marking the Castle's entrance. Follow the driveway to the turning circle and reception.

By Train: Direct trains from London Victoria to Amberley Station run hourly (1 hour 20 minutes journey time). The station has no taxi rank, so arranging a taxi through the reception team is recommended.

By Helicopter: From London, book with Shoreham Helicopter and enjoy a scenic 25-minute route along the Thames before heading south through the Surrey and Sussex countryside to reach the Castle.

The gardens can be accessed via pathways around the hotel, which comprise both paved and gravel pathways.

Know Before You Go

  • Accessibility: Amberley Castle is committed to providing all guests equal access and a comfortable experience. They offer a ground-level room specifically designed for individuals with reduced mobility, ensuring ease of access. For guests with disabilities and their carers, this room is always available at the lowest public rate during booking.


  • Children: Children are welcome at the restaurant until 8:00 pm, with final orders placed by 7:00 pm. The Garden Menu for VILP (very important little people) is available, or smaller portions from the 'grown up' menus can be enjoyed.


  • Public Toilets: The ladies' toilet is on the first-floor landing, while the gentlemen's toilets are on the ground floor. Wheelchair access is limited in the gentlemen's toilets, but guests with mobility challenges can utilize the facilities in our accessible room, which is prioritized for customers requiring wheelchair access or with reduced mobility whenever possible.


  • Booking Tip: To enhance your stay with an authentic experience, request a room with a four-poster bed on the booking form. This will guarantee you a historic room.

Amberley Castle Events

Amberley Castle offers a range of events year-round, including an annual Mother's Day celebration, a one-off jazz afternoon, and a wedding showcase, displaying the venue's stunning wedding options to inspire you for your big day. 

Special themed afternoon tea days and champagne-tasting dinners also dot the calendar, as do several masterclasses, teaching skills like flower arranging, painting, wreath making, and more. Christmas and New Year's Eve events are offered starting in November.

Tickets must be purchased in advance for all events. For a current list of events and ticket prices, visit the Amberley Castle Events Diary.

Amberley Castle Weddings, Occasions & Meetings

Amberley Castle is a beautiful and unique wedding venue, with 12 acres of delightfully landscaped gardens surrounded by medieval stonework waiting to set the scene for your special day.


Chose your ideal ceremony from a range of wedding packages, including: 


  • Intimate Weddings – King Charles I Room ceremony for up to 12 guests 
  • Day Weddings – Great Room ceremony for up to 40 guests
  • Exclusive Use Weddings – Great Room ceremony for up to 56 guests
  • Marquee Weddings for up to 250 guests 


All packages include reception, breakfast, and extras. Exclusive Use packages include all 19 luxurious suites and guestrooms, with the happy couple staying in the Premier Deluxe bedroom. Prices start at £287 per guest. For more details or to enquire, visit the Amberley Castle website.


The King Charles Room and the Great Room can also be hired for business meetings or other organized gatherings. From small corporate meetings to training days, these exquisite spaces are filled with natural light, ensuring a perfect setting for productive discussions or creative sessions. The Castle is ideally located for Goodwood House, Fontwell Racecourse, Chichester Theatre, and more. Additional lounges are available for breakout sessions and refreshments.

Amberley Castle Hotel Accommodations

Amberley Castle presents a range of exquisitely decorated rooms and suites that provide the utmost comfort and aesthetic appeal. The accommodations are divided between the Castle itself and two charming 17th-century stone buildings, the Manor House and the Bishopric, situated within the Castle's dry moat. 

Most rooms and suites exude a historical charm with features like four poster beds, antique furniture, classic velvet curtains, and lattice windows. While a few accommodations offer a more modern style, the overall ambience never lets you forget the deeply rooted historical significance of the building. 

All the accommodations have modern conveniences such as flat-screen TVs, DVD players, WiFi, and coffee and tea-making facilities. The bathrooms are designed to offer luxury and romance, featuring pleasing lighting, deep baths, and a generous selection of L'Occitane toiletries.

Amberley Castle Drinking & Dining 

Experience exquisite cuisine at Amberley Castle's award-winning restaurant, renowned for its outstanding dining offerings. Guests are served culinary delights in their choice of the magnificent Queen's Room or The Great Room, both located on the first floor of the Castle. 

Please note that the dining room enforces a smart casual dress code; kindly refrain from wearing shorts or trainers.

Afternoon Tea

The delightful afternoon tea experience at Amberley Castle allows guests to savour a variety of treats, including finger sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and preserves, cakes, quiches, and sausage rolls. 

Choose between Full Afternoon Tea, Champagne Afternoon Tea, or Nyetimber Flight Afternoon Tea experiences. The menu is served in the lounges, Great Room, and on the terrace. Please inform the staff of any dietary requirements in advance. 

You can also give someone this experience special with an afternoon tea gift voucher. 

Enhance your experience and enjoy an afternoon tea hamper for a delightful picnic on the grounds. Special kids' hampers are also available. 

Private Dining

Indulge in an exceptional dining experience, savouring the best of British and local produce with carefully crafted sample menus. From contemporary techniques to elegant presentation, each dish showcases the highest culinary standards, prepared by the talented kitchen team. Special menus can be created to accommodate dietary requirements.

Choose from three private dining rooms, ideal for intimate celebrations:

  • Great Room: Up to 40 guests, from £360.00
  • Green Room: Up to 12 guests, from £200.00
  • King Charles Room: Up to 12 guests, from £200.00

Places To Stay Nearby

Premier Inn Hotel Arundel

10.2 km south

Immerse yourself in the best of country, town, and coast at Premier Inn Hotel Arundel. Set in a delightful rural location on the edge of the South Downs, you will have endless options for both business and leisure activities. After a day of adventures, return for a delectable dining experience, spacious rooms, and cosy beds that will ensure a restful stay. 


Travelodge Arundel Fontwell

11.1km southwest

Your cosy "home away from home" in Arundel, Travelodge Arundel Fontwell, offers the perfect location to experience the best of Arundel, ensuring a delightful and memorable stay. With comfortable rooms featuring flat-screen TVs, you can stay connected with paid internet access and explore popular local pubs like The Black Horse, The Spur, and The White Swan Inn.


Travelodge Littlehampton Rustington

15.6 km south

Experience the best of Littlehampton at Travelodge Littlehampton Rustington. This family-friendly hotel offers comfortable rooms with flat-screen TVs and paid internet access, and free parking is available for guests. Explore popular landmarks such as St Mary the Virgin Church and St Catherines Church nearby, and attractions like Littlehampton War Memorial.


History of Amberley Castle 

With a history spanning over 900 years, Amberley Castle has seen feudal lords, noble families, and even American owners come and go. From its medieval origins to its present-day status as a luxurious retreat, the Castle tells tales of battles, renovations and the preservation of its timeless allure.

Time Line

- Prehistory 

In the Domesday Book, Amberley is recorded as being one of the largest 20% of settlements in 1086, having 37 villagers and 38 smallholders, totalling 75 households.

- 1103

Bishop Luffa of Chichester built a timber-framed hunting lodge on the site, becoming the earliest known structure on the castle grounds.

He also constructed the parish church next door. 

- 1140 (Timber structure replaced)

Bishop Seffrid I demolished the timber-framed building and replaced it with a more elaborate stone hall. 

- 1200

Bishop Seffrid II added the East Wing to the Castle to expand the living quarters.

- 1305–1337 (Castle renovated)

Bishop John of Langton undertook significant renovations and improvements to Amberley Castle. He constructed a larger Great Hall and made various domestic enhancements. During this period, the Castle became known as the "Bishop of Chichester's Summer Palace."

- 1377–1382 (Castle fortified)

Bishop Reede obtained permission from King Richard II to fortify the Castle, adding crenellations, battlements, a gatehouse, and an oubliette. The motive behind this development is often debated, with some speculating it was intended to ward off pirates, while others believe it was primarily for show.

- 16th century (English Reformation)

In 1526, King Henry VIII visited Amberley Castle, seeking advice from Bishop Sherborne regarding his divorce from Catherine of Aragon. The English Reformation brought about significant changes in the ownership and usage of Church properties, including Amberley Castle.

As a result, the Castle was leased to various tenants during that time and through the reigns of Edward VI, Mary I, and Elizabeth I. 

As the newly formed Church of England emerged, many Church estates and religious houses were dissolved and fell into crown ownership. Amberley Castle, though still belonging to the Church, was no longer used as a summer palace. Bishop Sherborne became the last Bishop to reside at the Castle.

- 1643–1660 (Great Hall damaged/converted)

During the English Civil War, Amberley Castle became a Royalist stronghold. The tenant at that time refused to pay taxes to Parliament, resulting in Oliver Cromwell sending General Waller to destroy the Castle's defences. The Great Hall was damaged, and approximately 20-30 feet of the Curtain Walls were lost, leaving the Castle in ruins. Local villagers pilfered stones from the ruins, leading to further deterioration.

After the Civil War, Parliament seized the Castle from the Church and sold it to James Butler for the sum of £3,341 (equivalent to approximately £610,500 today). Butler converted the ruins of the Great Hall into a manor house, initiating the transformation of Amberley Castle into its present form.

In 1660, with the Restoration of the Monarchy, Charles II visited the Castle twice and returned it to the Bishopric. However, there is no mention of reimbursement to Butler. Eventually, a long lease was negotiated, and the Butler family continued to reside at the Castle for two more generations.

- 18th century 

Sir John Briscoe acquired the tenancy after the Butler family. He commissioned a mural in the Queen's Room depicting the coat of arms of Charles II and Catherine of Braganza, with them hunting in Arundel or Parham Park. The mural served as a tribute to Charles II's visit to the Castle, showcasing the loyalty of the Briscoe family to the House of Stuart.

- 1872

The Castle was sold by the church commissioners to Lord Zouche, the owner of Parham House, who utilized it as a hunting lodge.

- 1893 (Castle modernized)

Lord Zouche sold Amberley Castle to the 15th Duke of Norfolk. Also known as "The Builder Duke," he modernized Arundel Castle and built Arundel Cathedral. During this period, the Castle entered a new era of restoration and preservation.

- 1926 (Castle enhanced)

The Emmett family purchased the Castle and made further additions, including the construction of the Adams Room, enhancing the flow of the ground floor of the manor house.

- 1945 (Princess Elizabeth visits the Castle)

Princess Elizabeth (later Queen Elizabeth II) visited and stayed at the Castle, enjoying the hospitality of her friends, the Emmett family's daughters.

- 1982–88

Baroness Emmett sold the Castle, resulting in a splitting of the Castle Farm and the grounds. This led to a series of different owners, including Hollis Baker from 1982-1987, who restored the 2.5-ton ancient portcullis, and an American family from 1987-1988.

- 1988–89 (Castle converted to a hotel)

Joy and Martin Cummings acquired Amberley Castle, embarking on a project to convert it into a hotel. Despite initial uncertainties about obtaining permission for the conversion, they gained the support of the local community, and the Castle was successfully transformed. 

The restaurant opened for trial runs in February 1989.

- 2004

Amberley Castle became a member of Relais & Chateaux, an exclusive collection of the world's finest hotels and gourmet restaurants. It aligned with the organization's philosophy of the 5C's: courtesy, charm, character, calm, and cuisine.

- 2011

Andrew and Christina Brownsword purchased Amberley Castle, adding it to Brownsword Hotels as part of the Gidleigh Collection. 

- Present

The Castle continues to operate as a prestigious hotel, offering its guests a unique blend of history, luxury, and accommodations. It has gained numerous awards and international recognition for its hospitality.

Amberley Castle Occupants


  • 1103: Bishop Luffa, the Bishop of Chichester
  • 1140: Bishop Seffrid I 
  • 1200: Bishop Seffrid II
  • 1370: Bishop William Reade
  • 1536: Bishop Robert Sherborne (the last Bishop of Chichester to occupy the Castle)
  • 1648: James Butler
  • 1872: Lord Zouche
  • 1926: The Emmett Family
  • 1982: Hollis Baker
  • 1988: Joy and Martin Cummings
  • 2011: Andrew and Christina Brownsword
  • Present-day: Owned by the luxury hotel group Andrew Brownsword Hotels

Amberley Castle Architecture

Amberley Castle's architectural marvels, spanning centuries of history and design, create a truly remarkable experience for visitors. From its medieval origins to the various adaptations and renovations, the Castle stands as a captivating blend of the past and present. 

Medieval Origins

Amberley Castle incorporates remnants of an earlier stone manor house that belonged to the Bishops of Chichester, dating back to 1140, 1200, and 1330. In the late 14th century, Bishop William Rede obtained a license to crenellate and initiated the construction of the present building.

Architectural Features

The Castle follows a parallelogram layout, with ashlar walls reaching an impressive height of 42 feet (12.8 metres). The north and west sides of the Castle are supported by sand rock ranging from 10 to 20 feet (3 to 6 metres) high. 

Square towers once stood in the Castle's angles, with surviving remnants in the northwest and southeast corners, pre-dating Bishop Rede's rebuilding. The south wall boasts two striking semi-circular towers, each 58 feet (17.7 metres) tall, flanking the gateway.

Castle Defenses

The Castle's south gate features a four-centred carriage arch with chamfered jambs and a portcullis groove. On the inner side, buttresses flank the arch, leading to a room with a castellated parapet above. 

Surrounding the Castle is a dry moat, omitting the need for a drawbridge, while the south walls incorporate loop windows in the towers flanking the gate. The north wall showcases cross-shaped loop windows, pointed windows with trefoil-headed lights, doorways, fireplaces, and remnants of crenellations.

Interior Highlights

Notable interior features include the Queen's Room, adorned with paintings dating back to Bishop Sherburn's time in the 16th century. These remarkable artworks, attributed to Lambert Bernardi or Theodore Bernardi of Amsterdam, depict figures such as Cassandra and Tomyris

The mid-17th-century main staircase adds a touch of grandeur to the Castle's interior.

Adaptations and Renovations

Over the years, Amberley Castle has undergone adaptations and renovations, including Bishop Sherburn's alterations in the 16th century and subsequent updates. The occupied areas showcase a stone and timber framing blend with plastered surfaces and casement windows. In 1927, the exterior of the main portion of the house underwent modernization.

Images of Amberley Castle

Amberley Castle Amberley Castle
Amberley Castle Amberley Castle

Images Supplied and licensed from Shutterstock Standard Licence Package

What Can I See During Visit to Amberley Castle?

At Amberley Castle, expect a memorable stay where modern comforts harmonize with the timeless allure of the surroundings. Exploring its walls, admiring its unique features, and immersing oneself in its rich history make a visit to Amberley Castle an unforgettable journey through time.

Offering something for everybody, the Castle has a variety of facilities and amenities for guests to enjoy, including:


  • Lounges: Upon arrival, guests are transported back in time through the enchanting lounges, where suits of armour stand gallantly and intricate coats of arms narrate tales of past owners. The inviting drawing rooms contain a remarkable collection of fine fabrics and exquisite antiques, providing an elegant setting perfect for relaxation, where guests can truly unwind and embrace the timeless beauty of the Castle.


  • Gardens: Established a century ago and spanning over 12 acres, the formal gardens showcase the charm of the Castle's Medieval stonework, providing a picturesque setting where visitors can indulge in afternoon tea or enjoy aperitifs while the presence of magnificent camellias, majestic magnolias, and serene Koi carp in the ponds adds to the enchanting atmosphere.


  • 18-Hold Putting Course: Opened at the Castle's 900th-anniversary celebration in 2003, the Weller Design putting course is available for guests to enjoy a round of golf or stroll through the gardens with its two lakes, impressive water cascade and superb views of the South Downs.   


  • Tennis and Croquet:  Enjoy a game of tennis on a secluded, hard court nestled beside the picturesque lake surrounded by breathtaking views of the South Downs countryside. Within the castle grounds, in front of the battlements, guests can indulge in a game of croquet, with all the necessary equipment and any assistance or guidance regarding the rules conveniently available at the reception.


  • The Local Region: Discover the best of West Sussex's enchanting landscapes, historic villages, and stately country estates. The vibrant coastal town of Brighton, with its lively ambience and captivating attractions, is easily reachable within a scenic 45-minute drive. For metropolitan excitement, London is just 90 minutes away, granting access to iconic landmarks, renowned museums, and a myriad of cultural adventures.

Amberley Castle Facts

  1. Amberley Castle has a beautiful and luxurious treehouse. Built by Blue Forest, the Amberley Castle treehouse is a fairytale hideaway located on the grounds of the Castle and a unique and romantic addition to the Castle's accommodations. Suitable for year-round use and a wonderful glamping getaway, the private treehouse is available for guests to stay in and experience the magical atmosphere of Amberley Castle.
  2. The Castle contains remnants from the first stone structure. The remnants of the small 12th-century hall and its Norman entrance constructed to replace the original timber-framed building can still be seen in the reception area of the Great Room.
  3. Amberley Castle is said to be home to several ghostly apparitions. One of the most famous ghosts is that of a young girl named Emily, who jumped to her death from atop the Castle in the 1800s. She has been seen by guests and staff alike wandering the halls and disappearing into walls. Other ghostly sightings include a monk, a lady in white, and a cavalier.

Amberley Castle Q&A

Can You Visit Amberley Castle Without Booking a Room?

You can visit Amberley Castle without booking a room to view the grounds. Visitors are also welcome to eat at the restaurant or attend events, including Afternoon Tea, with no overnight stay required. However, epicurean events are subject to availability, with priority given to hotel guests. 

How Old Is Amberley Castle? 

Amberley Castle, as it is known today, is over 130 years old, modernized and renovated in 1893. Yet, remnants of the original structure are over 920 years old, dated to 1103. Continuing back, the land where Amberley Castle stands was gifted to Bishop Wilfrid by King Caedwalla of Wessex in 683 AD.

When Did Amberley Castle Become a Hotel?

Amberley Castle became a hotel in 1988-89 when Joy and Martin Cummings acquired the property. The hotel became a member of the exclusive Relais & Chateaux in 2004 and joined Brownsword Hotels as part of the Gidleigh Collection in 2011.

Who Owned Amberley Castle?

Amberley Castle was owned by the Bishops of Chichester for over 430 years, beginning with Bishop Luffa, who built the initial timber structure in 1103, and ending with Robert Sherborne in 1536. Following a series of private owners, the Castle is now owned and operated by Andrew Browsword Hotels.

Location of Amberley Castle

Amberley Castle is located in the picturesque village of Amberley in the West Sussex countryside in Southern England. Situated at the foot of the South Downs, approximately 90 minutes from London, the Castle is surrounded by beautiful gardens, the tranquil River Arun, and breathtaking views.

Other Places To Visit Near Amberley Castle

Amberley Museum

Explore the South East's industrial heritage at Amberley Museum in the heart of South Downs national park. With 36 acres and over 40 exhibits, including a unique working print shop and interactive displays on the history of communications, guests can delve into the region's working past. Marvel at ancient lime kilns and watch traditional craftspeople like blacksmiths and potters demonstrate their skills and be sure to check out the industrial narrow gauge railway.

Arundel Castle and Gardens

Visit Arundel Castle and Gardens, the historic home of the Duke of Norfolk, offering breathtaking views of the South Downs and River Arun. Immerse yourself in nearly a millennium of history, explore sumptuously furnished rooms with exquisite furniture and artwork, and marvel at the ancient Motte & Keep. Tickets must be purchased in advance.

Parham House & Gardens

Recognized as one of the top twenty houses in 'England's Thousand Best Houses' by Simon Jenkins, Parham House & Gardens is an Elizabethan gem, showcasing an impressive collection of needlework, paintings, and furniture. With a rich history as a beloved family home, Parham's tranquillity and timeless beauty endure. Now under the care of a charitable trust, it is open from Easter Sunday through October.