Before my first visit to Arundel, I, like most Americans I know, pronounced it a-RUN-dul. This was quickly and kindly corrected by a service station attendant from whom I sought directions. I asked him how to get to a-RUN-dul, and he said 'sir, it is pronounced AIR-un-dul.'
However you say it (and these days I say it correctly), Arundel is the quintessentially quaint English village.
I first saw Arundel from the highway in the spring of 1994. We drove in from the East, and as the highway rounded a gentle curve, we saw the village of Arundel off to our left, with its Castle dominating it from above. It was in April and the early morning fog was just burning off. The whole scene was shrouded in, and somewhat framed by, the fog, creating an almost mystic effect.
That scene lingers in my mind now, nearly seven years and two further visits later as one of my fondest images of rural England.
Arundel Castle, home of the Dukes of Norfolk is worth touring more than once. It is filled with antiques and wonderful things, and the docents stationed in the various rooms will tell you more than you can possibly absorb about this remarkable family, most of whom have managed to keep their heads intact despite having been Catholic and related to Catherine Howard, one of Henry VIII's unfortunate wives.
Of particular interest is a suite which was decorated especially for a visit from Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. The docent will relate an interesting tale about the visit and the preparations for it.
The Library is extensive, and for my money, the most beautiful and wonderful room in the castle.
Below stairs are a gift shop, and extensive cafe.
We climbed the tower and walked the battlements, some of which date back to medieval times.
Also a must see is the adjacent Chapel.
In addition to the castle, Arundel offers extensive shopping opportunities to those of us who are interested in antiques and/or collectibles.