Cotswolds

Berkeley Castle, Berkeley

This fascinating castle has remarkably stood the test of time, with the building and all its contents untouched by the passing of the years, making it a marvellously well-preserved insight into one family’s history dating back to Saxon times.

With an estate of over 6,000 acres, this is a unique step back in time with one of the best examples of a medieval deer park in the country as well as a stretch of the River Severn and the land in which the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust at Slimbridge is based.

Within the castle, you’ll find incredible artefacts which the Berkeley family have collected over the years, such as Queen Elizabeth I’s bedspread, Francis Drake’s cabin chest, a banner from the Battle of Culloden and lots of other treasures.

The family’s close relationship to the throne, ability to back the winning side and clever marriages meant that their relationships and standing was always solid, therefore they lived peaceably at the castle undisturbed, resulting in a vast collection of archives dating from 1154.

A tour around the castle is a fascinating day out. Explore the Keep, the oldest part of the castle dating to the late 12th century, holding cell and King’s Gallery, where King Edward II was imprisoned and murdered. The medieval kitchen, buttery and larders provide a fascinating glimpse into fourteenth century life, and it would have been the heart of the castle, whilst the Great Hall and Armoury is magnificent, once hosting great feasts for kings and queens past.

A must-visit is the tropical butterfly house, home to 42 exotic species, whilst the beautiful gardens are spectacular, with the roses in June a highlight. In addition, there’s The Yurt Tea Rooms which are open every day for tea, cake and light lunches, plus a castle and plant shop where you can pick up lovely gifts, or maybe even a plant or two.

Please note that the castle is open from the end of March until the end of October – please check the website for exact opening times.

Feeling inspired? Take a look at our luxury cottages in the Cotswolds here.

Berkeley Castle, Gloucestershire GL13 9BQ | 01453 810 303 | www.berkeley-castle.com

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