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Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Things to do at Berkeley Castle this summer


With the summer holidays just around the corner, now is a great time to see what’s on in your local area. Planning can be crucial in order to make the best of your time off with your children, so be rest assured that Berkeley Castle has it all in hand.
 
 
 
We are always mindful that a family day out can be very costly.  Our family ticket is only £30 for 2 adults and 2 children and if you gift aid your admission fee (at no extra cost) you can return free of charge for up to 12 months.  All of the following activities are included in your admission fee.  Read on for details of our ‘Grandparents Come Free’ offer too!
Throughout the holidays, we will have regular activities to entertain children as young as toddlers, up to teenagers (and let’s not forget the parents and grandparents!).
On Mondays, our wonderful story-teller, Cassandra, will be poised and ready in the Great Hall to captivate your youngsters with her wonderful tales*. For all those Grandparents who would like to spend some quality time with their grandchildren, on Mondays they get free entry into the Castle with each paying grandchild. They will also receive a complimentary hot drink with an ice-cream or soft drink purchase at our Yurt Tearooms*.
 
 
Tuesdays will see Monty the Jester at the Castle, wowing the children with his remarkable circus skills. From juggling, to spinning plates, he is sure to delight the crowd.  He’ll entertain you with magic tricks as well!
 
 
If you visit Berkeley Castle on a Wednesday, James will be down on the Lower Lawn with his ‘have-a-go’ Archery. See if you have the skills to be a top bowman, all family members can have a go: will you discover hidden talents and impress your children with your accuracy?
 
 
 
And for those people who can’t make it during the week, we will also have regular Sunday events. From sword fighting to medieval falconry there will be something for everyone. Come and meet King Henry VIII with his Queen Ann Boleyn and their courtiers, or join us for our Family Fun Day where you can enjoy a bouncy castle, giant garden games and a penalty shoot-out.
 
 
The summer will end on a high with our August Bank Holiday extravaganza. Queen Elizabeth 1st shooting party arrives at Berkeley Castle and you can experience living history displays, archery, musket and crossbow shooting.
When you visit make sure you allow time to call into our Tropical Butterfly House, enjoy our outdoor games, discover the woodland play area with a very special rope swing and willow tunnels, and take part in our Jester Dragon Hunt – there’s a treat waiting for you at the end!  Call into the dressing-up area and immerse yourself in the Castle experience – we have dragon outfits and costumes galore waiting for you…
 
 
Last, but definitely not least, drop into the Yurt Tearoom and relax with a delicious treat, local ice-creams,  home-made cakes and savouries will await you!
 
 
For more information and to see what’s on at Berkeley Castle, visit http://www.berkeley-castle.com/whatson.html
*except Monday 28th August

 

 

Friday, 16 June 2017

5 Reasons to See Shakespeare at the Castle This Summer


Once again, Shakespeare is coming to Berkeley Castle this summer, and here are five reasons why it cannot be missed!
 
1.     Can you imagine a more beautiful place to experience outdoor theatre than Berkeley Castle? With our spectacular gardens, and the majestic elegance of the Castle as a back-drop, it truly is a magical event, not to be missed.
Theatre goers can bring picnic blankets and chairs, along with their own scrumptious food and drink to feast upon whilst watching their chosen Shakespeare play unfold.
 

 
2.    Did you know that William Shakespeare’s most successful play, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, was written for the wedding of Lord Thomas Berkeley and Elizabeth Carey over 400 years ago?
With its first ever performance taking place all those centuries ago, it really is a special experience to come and enjoy the play at its birthplace. Furthermore, the Producer of Split Second Productions, Tom Berkeley, is a descendent of the Berkeley family – such a happy coincidence.

3.     Having received a 4 star review from ‘The Stage’ for their sell-out performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream last year; Split Second Productions are returning to perform two wonderful Shakespeare comedies this year – A Midsummer Nights’ Dream and Much Ado About Nothing.
Featuring live music and set amongst the stunning gardens at Berkeley Castle, it really is the best place to soak up the atmosphere of these wonderful productions. The “youthful energy” of the actors creates a unique and exhilarating spin to these traditional and historic plays.
 
 
 
4.     Not only is Berkeley Castle the perfect setting for Shakespeare, we have also been the venue for some phenomenal dramas, including Poldark and Wolf Hall. Walk in the same footsteps as Aiden Turner, Mark Rylance, Hugh Bonneville and Benedict Cumberbatch, to name but a few of the iconic actors who have brought some incredible dramas to life whilst filming here at Berkeley Castle.
The historic ambience within the Castle itself and the beautifully scenic gardens makes it an ideal location for the filming and production of these wonderful dramas.
 
 
 
5.      Do you need the perfect excuse to have an evening out with your closest friends and family? What better place to come and enjoy some light-hearted drama, whilst sharing a bottle of wine and a hamper of treats. With the sun setting over the enchanted gardens, you can enjoy the company of your nearest and dearest, along with some culture and classic theatre. A perfect treat for everyone.
 
 

You can book tickets to see Midsummer Nights’ Dream and Much Ado About Nothing at Berkeley Castle between 25th June and 11th July for a matinee or evening performance.
 

 

Monday, 8 May 2017

The Cavalry of Heroes joust for glory!

Another cracking long weekend at Berkeley Castle to kick-start our summer season.  The highly popular King Henry VIII strode around the grounds, addressing visitors and issuing orders to his Court. He was joined by his beautiful Queen Anne Boleyn and a flurry of ladies-in-waiting, attending to her every need. The children were in awe of these majestic and regal characters, dressed in their historic costumes, and were awarded medals by the Queen herself (much to their delight!).


  
 
At two intervals during the day, the crowds were thrilled and entertained by the Cavalry of Heroes and their magnificent horses. Sir William of Berkeley and the Dark Knight wowed us all with a jousting “warm up”, showing off their accuracy skills. This was followed by a real Joust with Sir William securing a firm victory, much to the dismay of the Dark Knight. He was a terribly sore loser and he sprung an attack on our favourite Knight which finished with a sword fight and fisticuffs! Finally the Dark Knight was thrown into the stocks, and an ecstatic child threw wet sponges at him. The atmosphere was one of pure delight with plenty of laughs and participation from the crowd. They even had a nod of approval from the great King Henry VIII who watched on from the Gun Terrace.
 
 
 


 
If you would like to meet King Henry VIII and his Court, they will be returning to the Castle during the May Bank Holiday weekend (Sunday 28th & Monday 29th May). They will be joined by two gallant knights from Dressed to Kill, who will be teaching at Knight School where you and your child can learn sword fighting skills and much more!  Don’t miss the Warrior Show each day at 3.30pm on our Lower Lawns.
 

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Dragons at the Castle


Dragons made their home at Berkeley Castle at the beginning of April for a weekend of fun and fantasy in the sunshine.  Two baby dragons, hatched from their eggs at a small dragon sanctuary in the Welsh Moors, were carried around by the wonderful Lizzie and Kevin. The children were able to pet the cute little reptiles, with Freya (the beautiful ice dragon) particularly enjoying a tickle under her chin. The children were spell-bound by these charming little dragons, and it was a great way to prepare them for the larger dragons they would be meeting later in the day.
 





 

After a fantastic dragon hunt around the beautiful grounds of the Castle, there was a colourful dragon display in the Inner Courtyard and Gun Terrace. “Sid” and “Madame Foo” glided amongst the crowds, posing for photos and chasing naughty children!

 


With the sun shining, the highlight of the day was the brilliant Dragon Procession. With the help of some willing, and very excitable volunteers from the crowd, this magnificent golden and red dragon, marched around the Castle followed by dozens of children waving flags.  It truly was a magical sight, with the stunning Castle as the perfect back drop.
 

 

Many thanks to Alchemy Dragons for such a splendid weekend of family fun, and watch this space...they may be back next Easter for more mythical entertainment!

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)!

 http://kateandtoms.com/houses/alcester-farmhouse/


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!  

http://kateandtoms.com/houses/pedington-manor/


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! 
http://kateandtoms.com/houses/river-hall/
 
















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. 

http://kateandtoms.com/houses/the-old-rectory/
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. 
http://kateandtoms.com/houses/river-view-castle/



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





 

 

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Berkeley Castle, Gloucestershire, GL13 9BQ

Email: info@berkeley-castle.com

Tel: 01453 810303

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