This fairytale castle has seen more than a millennium of history. Its origins date back to Anglo-Saxon times but its heyday was in the Elizabethan period.
Firstly, King Æthelred The Unready gave the manor and estate to his daughter Goda on her marriage to Walter de Maunt at the turn of the 10th century. In the Tudor era, it became the home of Catherine Parr, the sixth and last of Henry VIII’s wives. Today it’s the private home of Lord and Lady Ashcombe, Henry and Mollie Dent-Brocklehurst.
The gardens – including a maze – draw crowds in their own right. At their centre, the Queens’ Garden is ablaze with roses in June. There’s also a Herbal Healing Garden – a new addition for 2010 – containing medicinal plants that would have been used to cure ailments in the castle’s history.
Sudeley is still a family home so don’t expect to have your run of the place. But the 16th Century west wing – housing the exhibitions and coffee shop – is fully accessible. You can also visit St Mary’s Church, containing the tomb of Katherine Parr, the Pheasantry and medieval ruins.
Coming with kids? There’s a great adventure playground. Look out for costumed events to get their imagination going. Want to see behind the scenes? You can tour the private family apartments on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays as part of their guided Connoisseur Tours.