The Cotswolds may be England’s epicentre for outdoor activities, but did you know that it also holds some unexpected important history? Sudeley Castle & Gardens has royal connections that date back 1000 years, playing an important role in English history – head to this much-loved family home and castle to find fascinating history, beautiful gardens and more for this perfect family day out.
Sudeley Castle has survived and seen 1000 years of turbulent English history . In fact, it is the only castle remaining in England to have a queen buried within its grounds – Queen Catherine Par, the only wife of Henry to outlive her husband, lived and died within these castle grounds. Following the end of the civil war, the grounds lay derelict for nearly 200 years. Then in 1837, the castle was purchased by wealthy brothers John and William Dent, who along with their continued generations ambitiously began to restore Sudeley to its former glory. The preservation of the grounds by the family have remained committed to this day!
Head inside the castle to step back in time through a journey of war, romance and royalty as you walk in the footsteps of Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn, Queen Elizabeth and other royal figures. Admire the castles collection of incredible treasures, artefacts and great works of art that hold significant historical importance – this includes the tragic love letters of Katherine Parr, locks of her hair, and even a long-lost Roman stone god found buried away in the cupboards! The ‘Six Wives Exhibition’ is a fascinating insight into Sudeley’s past, where you can admire replica Tudor costumes used in the TV series ‘The Six Wives of Henry VIII’, dive into the history of the era, and find rare copies of books written by Katherine Parr.
Explore the stunning rooms inside the castle, where you’ll find some extraordinary sights, from centuries old Dutch painted glass, iconic Elizabethan paintings to a library containing more than 1000 delicate books that date back over 400 years!
Take a walk around Sudeley’s 10 magnificent gardens, world-renowned for their beauty and all with their own unique style and design, where you’ll find an amazing variety of plants that explode with colour in the spring and autumn months. Take in the tranquillity of the Mulberry garden, enjoy the romantic atmosphere of the Secret garden, and a spectacular variety of roses at the centrepiece of the gardens, the Queens garden. Step inside the breathtaking St Mary’s Church, where Queen Katherine Parr’s tomb lies, surrounded by fairy-tale like gardens.
Just in case this isn’t enough – Sudeley Castle is also home to one of the world’s most significant collections of rare and endangered species of Pheasants! While you’re admiring their beauty, let the kids run wild at the adventure playground that will keep them entertained for hours.