Friday, 5 August 2016

Our top pick of properties which welcome Hen & Stag groups

We're always being told how difficult it is to find large holiday lets that welcome in Hen & Stag parties... we once had a girl on the phone who was so relieved to have found somewhere (our lovely accommodation Brook House on the Berkeley Estate) that we thought she was actually going to squeal in delight down the phone! 

With lots of couples choosing to take their do's to the countryside, we've rounded up some of our favourite finds from our friends at Kate & Tom's... 

Something in and around the Cotswolds

Alcester Farmhouse
Alcester Farmhouse - brand new onto the scene this cosy farmhouse sleeps 16 guests. With an outside hot tub but also warming fires and sumptious sofas inside.... it's the perfect place for warm or wet weather (we are in Britain after all)!

Alcester Farmhouse

Alcester Farmhouse

Churchill Wood
Churchill Wood - For an intimate gathering of between 12-16 guests and a great location if you have people travelling from all over... Churchill Wood fits the bill perfectly. A rural escape awaits you with a large garden, hot tub at the ready and gorgeous countryside surrounding you. There is plenty to do in the local area too... brave the heights at Go Ape Wyre Forest, head to Worcester for cocktails or go riding by horse back in the local countryside. 

Churchill Wood 

Churchill Wood 

Kingham Coach House & Cottages
 Kingham Coach House & Cottages - sleeping 20 guests, this would be perfect for a winter get away when you could make full use of the indoor heated pool & steam room!   
Kingham Coach House & Cottages

Peddington Manor
Peddington Manor - Situated just a short drive from Berkeley Castle and part of the Berkeley Estate, Peddington Manor sleeps upto 20 guests with lots of social space. If you're looking for somewhere you can host a formal dinner party then check out the large dining room. For the stags out there you've got the "Games Barn" too. On a practical note, this property is situated 10 minutes off the M5 so perfect for those travelling by car. Every room can accommodate twin beds too, so no awkward sharing for the chaps!

Peddington Manor
Peddington Manor

Something by the coast
River Hall - Perfect for larger groups of up to 30 looking for something on the Devon coast. Those always on the look out for the perfect photo opportunity will just love the spiral staircase and grand atmosphere of River Hall too!

The Old Rectory Country House - If your thinking of a welsh retreat and are up for a drive then this house could be the one for you. Feeling active? Head to the longest toboggan run in Britain or get some fresh air by the seaside with lots to keep the adrenaline seekers amongst you happy.
The Old Rectory Country House

The Old Rectory Country House

River View Castle -  Under pressure to find an incredible house perfect for the bride or groom? Worry no more! Head down to the Cornish coast for the ultimate escape. Sleeping 20 guests with an outdoor pool and opulent inside settings.

River View Castle

River View Castle

River View Castle

We've rounded up our favourite properties from Kate & Tom's but we couldn't leave off our very own Brook House aka Berkeley Townhouse. Often referred to as "The Tardis" because it is deceptively large, with views over to the Severn Estuary and the welsh landscape... our lovely townhouse sleeps upto 20 guests. 

Brook House

Explore Bristol or Cheltenham which are both just a short distance away, or spend your time walking in the Cotswold Countryside. Sit down to eat at the ancient dining table which seats 20 or head out onto the patio for a BBQ in the sunshine. 

Previous guests have commented on the beds and bedding being "so comfortable" and the dining table "excellent for large numbers"... a "home away from home" with the "little extra touches much appreciated". 

Stags can walk down the road to the Salutation Inn (CAMRA Gloucestershire Pub of the Year 2015 & 2016) and enjoy a range of ales, some of which are brewed on site! For the Hen's take a look at Calcot Spa where you will be sure to please the bride to be... 

Brook House

Brook House

Brook House

Brook House
Wherever you end up for your Hen or Stag do we hope you have the most wonderful time and make the most amazing memories... 

The Wedding Team at Berkeley Castle

Friday, 15 July 2016

My work experience week at Berkeley Castle

My week at Berkeley Castle 

Over the duration of a week, I partook in work experience at Berkeley Castle. I worked in a range of areas around the castle including outside in the gardens, inside in the office and I even had special access to view the castle from the roof. I met some lovely people and have had the most wonderful time. 

View over to the River Severn from the roof 

Helping in the gift shop

I was always kept very busy, having to complete a range of jobs every day. The various tasks that I would get involved in included setting up the castle in preparation for the visitors, ensuring that all castle tour guides knew where to be at what time; helping in the shop pricing up the items to sell and rearranging the shelves, and a surprise visit from BBC Radio Gloucester on the Wednesday morning made my week even more exciting.

My day in the shop

Plant Sales Area 
One of my favourite days was spent in the Butterfly House and Yurt Café. Given the task of removing the dead flowers in the butterfly house was made a little harder with the hundreds of butterflies flying around me, although it was a very relaxing and enjoyable experience. In contrast to the relaxing butterfly house, the hustle and bustle of the busy Yurt Café on a sunny Tuesday afternoon was very exciting. 

I was taught how to make the hot drinks for the customers and was tasked with delivering the freshly prepared food to the tables. I thoroughly enjoyed this as there was always something to do, and it taught me how to efficiently work in a busy environment.

With beautiful scenery, Berkeley Castle was definitely the right place for me to do my work experience. Spending a week here has given me an in depth view of the working world, and has provided me with experiences and skills that would help me to secure a job in years to come.

Written By: Heidi Sermulins 

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Tudor Festival at Berkeley Castle

Henry VIII, Queen Anne Boleyn & their Royal Court 

Next week during May Half Term we have a Tudor Festival taking place at Berkeley Castle! Each day there will be an exciting range of special activities taking place, suitable for the whole family. 

Normal admission prices apply, with all activities included in the ticket price. 

Falconry Display's on the Lower Lawns 

There will be Medieval Falconry Displays on the Lower Lawns with the chance to have your photo taken with the magnificent birds of prey. Raptorcare is one of the South West's premier falconry companies whose expertise lies in Medieval falconry - as part of the display learn how food was put on the table in Tudor times and more about these amazing birds. 

The Royal Entourage 

King Henry VIII, Queen Anne Boleyn and their Royal Court will be returning to Berkeley Castle by popular demand. Find out what life was like in Tudor Times, and marvel at their stunning outfits. Throughout the day they will parade around the Castle and assemble in the Great Hall for an opportunity for visitors to have an audience with the King & Queen. 

Bring your youngsters in their finest Tudor outfits on Monday 30th May for the chance to win a Tudor Trophy which will be awarded to the best Fancy Dress Outfit of the day. 

For those who love history there will be fascinating Tudor documents on loan from the Muniment Room, displayed in the Small Drawing Room. These items are rarely available for public viewing. Included will be a signed warrant by Queen Mary which dates back to 1554, a letter from Queen Elizabeth 1st to George Lord Hunsdon c1600 as well as a warrant to enlarge the Castle Deer Park dated 10 February 1522 which was also signed by King Henry VIII. 

On Sunday & Monday there will be guides situated in each of our public rooms who can tell you all about the history of the Castle and items in each of the areas. 

On Tuesday & Wednesday there will be guided tours of the Castle throughout the day.   

Deerhound Racing 

On this Sunday 29th May the popular 17th Century sport, Deerhound Racing, will return to Berkeley Castle on the Old Golf Course. See the dogs up close at 11.15am for the Deerhound Procession around the Castle, where there will also be a Scottish Piper leading the way. 

Family Fun at Berkeley Castle 

For parents looking for Half Term fun with their children, along with all of the above activities to entertain children, pop by the Education Room where Bev will be on hand for Arts & Crafts and youngsters can make a Tudor Keepsake to take home. Our ever popular Dressing Up Area is always good fun and a great spot to capture memories along with the Dragon Hunt around the Castle Grounds. 

The Yurt Cafe will be open for light bites, hot and cold drinks, ice lollies and yummy slices of cake or tray bake!

The Butterfly House will also be open throughout the Tudor Festival. With over 40 different species of Butterfly, transport yourself to a tropical setting! 


Alternatively tickets can be purchased from the Ticket Office on arrival.   

Opening Times

Tudor Festival: Sunday 29th May - Wednesday 1st June

11am - 5pm 
(last entry at 4pm) 

Last Guided Tour for the day (Tuesday & Wednesday) - 3.30pm 
Free Car Parking with Admission 

We look forward to welcoming you to Berkeley Castle! 

Friday, 22 April 2016

Special offer this weekend for residents of Gloucestershire

On Easter Sunday in 1956 Mr Berkeley opened the Berkeley Castle doors to the paying public for the first time in history. To celebrate the 60th anniversary of this, residents living with GL postcodes will be able to visit the Castle at a similar rate to what would have been charged all those years ago.... 2s/6d!

This Sunday 24th, Monday 25th, Tuesday 26th & Wednesday 27th April, upon supplying a Utility or Council Tax Bill to the ticket office, GL residents will gain entry to the Castle & Gardens at the discounted rate of £3.50 per person. 

A special Memory Board will be on display in our Education Room where visitors can look back on memories from Berkeley Castle's history, including old newspaper clippings, old account books and historic staff records. 

Available from Sunday 24th - Wednesday 27th April 2016 

We want to hear and see your memories too, so please do bring in copies of memories from your visits to the castle, whether that is original tickets you may have kept hold of, an old guide book or photographs from past visits. 

Lily & Violet Vintage from local town Dursley will also be displaying three vintage dresses for visitors to see. 

The Castle will of course be open to visitors from outside the Gloucestershire region on these dates, normal admission prices will apply. 

We look forward to welcoming you to the Castle and celebrating a fantastic sixty years of being open! 

Thursday, 14 April 2016

This year's winter weddings at Berkeley Castle

Frozen Lily Pond on the morning of a Winter Wedding 

We have been so lucky this winter to host a handful of very special and memorable weddings at Berkeley Castle. We wanted to share a few memories from these weddings with you.... 

We've had singing waiters surprising the guests... Grooms party in kilt's ... ... Floral staircases to inspire... Couples braving the cold for romantic photos in the grounds.... a stunning floral masterclass hosted by Sabine Daniels..... Bride's getting ready in Brook House and a rustic wedding with (literally!) hundreds of candles! 

Singing waiters surprised guests by disguising themselves in Napier Catering Uniform - Adam Drake Photography 

Kilts weren't just adorned by the groom Rob and his Best Man at this Berkeley wedding - Martin Hill Photography 

Bridal Party getting ready in Brook House... - Martin Hill Photography 

.... and the beautiful Bride, Ellie, arriving with her Bridesmaids - Martin Hill Photography

The Grand Staircase looking simply divine - by Sabine Daniels Floral 

Of course plenty of bubbly - Big Eye Photography 

Our very happy bride Fran, upon seeing The Great Hall set for her Wedding Breakfast 

Civil Ceremony in the Long Drawing Room....  - Big Eye Photography

... followed by Mr & Mrs Hailstones first kiss as married man & wife - Big Eye Photography

Gorgeous photo moments in the grounds - Big Eye Photography 

And when the weather felt wintery.... family photos in the Small Drawing Room - Martin Hill Photography 

Styling in the Castle - Martin Hill Photography 

Our photographer bride Amanda, who enjoyed being the bride for a change - Dominic Wright Photography 

Candles lighting the Great Hall for Rachel & Duncan's wedding day 

The setting sun over the Gun Terrace - Martin Hill Photography 

And the last of the winter weddings for this year with Charlotte & Richard - Big Eye Photography 

To find out more about holding your dream wedding day at Berkeley Castle take a look at our website, email us, or speak to one of our wedding coordinators by phoning 01453 512 999.

Don't forget to follow us on Instagram & Facebook to keep up to date with all our Berkeley Castle pictures too! 




Berkeley Castle, Gloucestershire, GL13 9BQ


Tel: 01453 810303

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