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A photo of Sudeley Castle and Gardens

The Cotswolds is a fantastic location for so many reasons. It may be best known for its rolling hills, chocolate box villages and unrivalled views of beautiful countryside, but the Cotswolds is about far more than that and when you visit on a UK holiday or weekend break, you will find there are surprises awaiting you around every corner and among those surprises are some majestic castles standing firm on the landscape.

1. Sudeley Castle and Gardens

Near Winchcombe, Gloucestershire

Aerial photograph of Sudeley Castle and gardens

In our humble opinion, Sudeley Castle is a must see for anyone visiting the Cotswolds!

Sudeley Castle and gardens are located in the pretty town of Winchcombe, situated between Cheltenham and Broadway, in the heart of the Cotswolds.

If you are a fan of British history, Sudeley Castle is a great place to visit. The history of the location stretches back over 1000 years, but the castle is most famous for its royal connections; It is the burial place of Queen Katherine Parr. It has links to Richard III, Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn, Lady Jane Grey, and Queen Elizabeth I. It also played host to King Charles I during the Civil War and was brought nearly to ruin by the Parliamentarians.

Explore the beautiful castle and learn all about its illustrious inhabitants. Wander around the award winning gardens and visit St Mary’s Church, home to the tomb of Queen Katherine Parr.

If you love the Sudeley Castle Gardens, take a look at some of our other favourite Cotswolds Gardens.

2. Berkeley Castle

Berkeley, Gloucestershire

A photo of Berkely Castle

Berkeley Castle is situated in the village of the same name, in southern Gloucestershire.

The castle was built in the early 12th century by the Berkeley family, who, to this day, still live there. Both the castle and the Berkeley family are steeped in history, and you can learn all about it here. Explore the dungeon where Edward II was said to have been murdered. Admire the fine furnishings in the drawing rooms and the works of art in the Picture Gallery. Hear all about the much debated love story of Mary Cole and the 5th Earl of Berkeley, as well which play Shakespeare wrote to celebrate a Berkeley family wedding.

For opening times and more information, take a look at the Berkeley Castle website.

3. Broughton Castle

Banbury, Oxfordshire

A photograph of Broughton Castle with a bench and chairs in the foreground

This castle is in the town of Banbury, a short distance from the Cotswold town of Chipping Norton.

Broughton Castle is arguably one of the most beautiful castles in England. Moated and fortified, parts of the house date back to the early 1300’s, however most of what is seen today was built in the 1550’s. The castle has been in the ownership of the Fiennes family since 1447, with the 21st Lord and Lady Saye & Sele currently calling it home.

Spend time exploring the fascinating house, but make sure to visit the beautiful gardens and enjoy a hot drink in the tearoom.

For more information, please take a look at the Broughton Castle website. 

Image Credits:  – Wdejager [CC BY-SA 4.0]; Kathryn [CC BY-ND 2.0];  Philip Halling [CC BY-SA 2.0]