Summer fun in store for visitors to Sudeley Castle
By David Wood
Where: Sudeley Castle, Winchcombe
When: Various dates throughout the summer
Sudeley Castle is preparing for its busiest and most fun-packed summer ever.
A host of events are set to take place at the historic Cotswold attraction over the coming months, including open-air theatre, a summer knight school, a series of outdoor film screenings and a festival with a difference which promises to be like 'dreaming with your eyes open'.
'Fantasy Forest Festival' is set to take place over the weekend of July 20-21, offering festival-goers the chance to dress up alongside a host of costumed characters from around the world for a weekend of music, fantasy, entertainment and wonder.
The event will see characters including fairies, pirates and Vikings, Storm troopers, knights and elves visit the attraction for the first time in its 1,000 year history. Live music will also be on offer from leading Celtic rock groups The Dolmen and Greenrose Faire, as well as Irish folk band Harmony Glen and UK folk-goth band Inkubus Sukkubus.
On July 25, Shakespeare's enchanting comedy A Midsummer Night's Dream will be performed in the beautiful gardens of Sudeley Castle, as the sun sets. This supernatural comedy of mischievous fairies, confused lovers and rude mechanicals is an intoxicating tale of clarity found from chaos as tangled love gives way to happily ever-afters.
The production will be performed by The Lord Chamberlain's Men, the UK's premier all male theatre company.
Throughout the summer holidays, young knights from across the kingdom are invited to join Sudeley Castle's first knight school. Boys and girls of all ages can get dressed up and try their hand at a host of knight-themed activities and crafts, all within the beautiful grounds of the 1,000-year-old Castle.
Sudeley's resident storyteller will be weaving magical tales of Knightly chivalry and adventures every Wednesday, and youngsters can also play on the castle's huge fun fort within the amazing adventure playground. Knight School runs from July 27 until September 1 and is free with castle admission.
Another highlight of the castle's summer programme of events will be a series of open-air cinema screenings over the August bank holiday weekend.
On Friday August 23 Bohemian Rhapsody will be on offer, followed by A Star is Born on August 24, and Grease on August 25.
Sudeley Castle's chief executive, Wendy Walton, said: "Sudeley Castle is glorious in summer bloom at this time of year and really looks its best. It's a wonderful time to enjoy the castle and gardens and our fantastic programme of events over the coming months offers something for everyone."
In the summer months, it is Sudeley's 10 award-winning gardens that really steal the show. Set against the stunning backdrop of the majestic castle, and surrounded by striking views of the Cotswold Hills, the gardens are an ever-evolving showcase of the best of what each season has to offer.
For more information, visit Sudeley Castle's website.
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