Sudeley Castle plans its most ambitious year yet
By David Wood
Where: Sudeley Castle, Winchcombe
When: Open daily from Monday, March 4, 10am-5pm
Sudeley Castle is preparing to re-open its doors to the public for its busiest and most ambitious season yet.
From jousting knights, giant Easter egg trails and open air theatre, to an archaeological dig, music festivals and a summer knight school, there is plenty to see and do at Sudeley Castle this year.
The castle re-opens on Monday, March 4 and will be kicking off its 2019 season with visits from some of its most famous past inhabitants, including Queen Katherine Parr, who will be welcoming visitors on the opening day.
Queen Katherine will be among eight historic re-enactors, including Thomas Seymour, Anne Herbert, Princess Elizabeth and her governess, greeting visitors to the attraction to celebrate the start of the 2019 season.
Sudeley Castle was one of the Tudors' most treasured palaces, often housing those closest to the crown. Today the castle is home to Elizabeth, Lady Ashcombe, who this year celebrates 50 years of living at Sudeley after moving there in 1969 with her husband Mark Dent-Brocklehurst.
General manager Wendy Walton said: "We have a fantastic programme of events on offer throughout the year, and we are really pulling out all the stops to ensure this will be a great year for Sudeley."
There will be a host of new events on offer for the first time this year, including summer evening garden tours, dawn chorus walks, outdoor theatre productions of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream among the beautiful castle ruins, and a new 'Women of Sudeley' exhibition in September.
Wendy added: "Spring is just around the corner and it's my favourite time of year at Sudeley Castle. Our 10 award-winning gardens come to life and are awash with colour - it won't be long before the tulips, daffodils and other spring flowers emerge, shortly followed by our spectacular display of more than 80 varieties of rose in full bloom."
Despite being closed for two months over winter, it's been busy behind the scenes at the castle as a dedicated team of conservationists has given dozens of hours of their time to prepare the castle for its reopening.
Spring cleaning this magnificent residence is no small feat - it includes polishing and cleaning hundreds of treasures, jewels, paintings, books, ornaments and curios that tell its fascinating one thousand year story.
Today Sudeley Castle is widely recognised as one of the most romantic and beautiful castles in England, surrounded by a 1,200 acre estate and 10 award-winning gardens.
Among the major events at Sudeley this year are the Spring Homes & Gardens Fair from April 25-28 (www.ukgrandsales.co.uk/Spring-Grand-Sale-Sudeley-Castle.aspx?id=38&Year=2019 ), the Sudeley Castle Joust weekend from May 11-12 (https://sudeleycastle.co.uk ), Giffords Circus at Sudeley from May 16-28 (http://www.giffordscircus.com/), Party at the Castle from June 6-8 (www.theticketfairy.com/event/party-at-the-castle-2019/ ) and the Fantasy Forest Festival from July 20-21 (http://fantasyforest.co.uk/ ).
For more information about Sudeley Castle, visit www.sudeleycastle.co.uk or phone 01242 602308.
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