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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!

 

 

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Berkeley Castle, Gloucestershire, GL13 9BQ

Email: info@berkeley-castle.com

Tel: 01453 810303

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