Recently we were invited to Sudeley Castle for a play date by one of G’s Kindergarten friends. Sudeley Castle is located in the village of Winchcombe, Gloucestershire. It is only about 15 minutes from where we live in Stow-on-the-Wold but it isn’t somewhere I have visited for years. It is famous for being the home of Katherine Parr, Henry VIII’s final wife and of all the Tudor castles in England, Sudeley is the only private castle to have a queen buried within the grounds.
What is really great about Sudeley Castle is that is not over commercialised in any way. You really do feel like you are stepping into another world or someone’s home when you walk through the beautiful gardens and the old ruins. Having 3 children under 4 with us meant we didn’t venture inside the castle but I am going to save this treat for a rainy day when I have some time to myself. There is a Pheasantry in the grounds which is great to stroll around and spot some very exotic looking birds. It is home to a number of rare and endangered species that Sudeley are helping to preserve. There is also a very enticing café in the Banqueting Hall but again this looks like a treat for when you don’t have children in tow desperate to get to the play area.
The adventure playground is the main attraction for children and who can blame them!
The fort is an amazing wooden structure with lots of different levels to climb up and down, a zip wire, turrets and a slide. (The slide was definitely G’s favourite part). There are trees sheltering this amazing fort so it is nice and shady on a hot day but can also provide great cover if it begins to rain (which it did when we were there!)
In another part of the play area is an adventure trail and swings. The adventure trail provided great fun with us all trying to get from one side to the other without touching the ground. This was much trickier than it sounds.
The only down side is the entrance price is quite expensive for a one off visit. Children under 5 go free and children 5-15 are £5.50 but adult entry is £14.50, which if your main reason for going is to take the children can seem quite expensive. If however you are going to be visiting regularly the season ticket prices are great value with an adult season ticket £26.00 or a family pass for £37.50. I know we will visit lots during the summer holidays and have plenty more play dates there so my season ticket will end up being a great investment. I love it as much as the children as I always have one very tired little boy on my hands when we leave.
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