Sudeley Castle was my first time visiting the beautiful Cotswolds region in the UK. I was lucky enough to be there on a lovely summer’s day, and the whole experience stands out in my memory as one of the best day trips I’ve taken since moving over here.
What is Sudeley Castle?
Sudeley Castle is a beautifully maintained castle in the Cotswolds region. The castle rooms exhibit lots of interesting history from ancient Roman times to the present day. The gardens are absolutely stunning – 100% beautifully and intricately manicured. The Queens’ Garden is particularly lovely (named after four English queens who visited: Anne Boleyn, Katherine Parr, Lady Jane Grey and Elizabeth I).
Katherine Parr, one of Henry VIII’s wives, is also buried on the grounds in a pretty church. There is a pheasantry to explore and an adventure playground for the children.
Hours and Costs
The castle and grounds are open daily 10am-5pm during the summer. Check their website for up to date information.
Admission is £14.50 for adults and £5.50 for children. If you book online you get 10% off, and there are various other discounts e.g. for HHA members.
The castle address is Sudeley Castle & Gardens, Winchcombe, Gloucestershire, GL54 5JD. Google maps is your friend!
Driving would be the easiest way to get there. However if, like me, you are determined to use public transport then here is my experience.
I caught a train to Cheltenham Spa (about 40 mins from Birmingham). For a better price, buy your ticket in advance, and it’s a good idea to add a ‘plus bus’.
From Cheltenham Spa I walked (about 20mins) to Cheltenham town centre. There is also a bus you can get, but it was a nice walk along a tow path.
I got a bus to Winchcombe (Marchants Coaches, 606 service) which took around 40 minutes. It passed through the cutest little towns and country lanes though, so I didn’t begrudge the time.
From Winchcombe I walked about 15 minutes along another country lane to the Castle. I spotted these guys along the way.
So it was a fairly long way, but I enjoyed the journey and I think it added to the experience. I might have felt very differently though if it had been inclement weather I suppose. Both Winchcombe and Cheltenham were nice places to look around as well.
Complete your experience
I’m afraid I subsisted on ice-cream that day. I’m sure there are nice places to get a proper meal, but I can’t make any recommendations.
Hilary Mantel’s ‘Wolf Hall’ apparently mention’s Sudeley on page 648
‘Working for It’ by ZHU – because you’ll work for it if you travel there by public transport, but it’s sure worth it.