The Berkeley family welcome you to Berkeley Castle, their ancient fortress home where they have lived since their ancestor, Robert Fitzharding, completed the Keep in the late 12th Century.
The history played out within Berkeley Castle’s walls make it one of the most remarkable buildings in Britain and the family hope that you will visit them to experience its special atmosphere.
MAKE A DATE TO COME ALONG TO OUR TUDOR FESTIVAL THIS MAY HALF TERM FROM SUNDAY 29TH MAY UNTIL WEDNESDAY 1ST JUNE - ALL ACTIVITIES ARE INCLUDED IN THE ENTRANCE FEE
SUNDAY 29th MAY
DEERHOUND RACING RETURNS
Visitors to Berkeley Castle will experience the sights and sounds of a popular 17th century sport on Sunday 29 May, when the historic family home provides the perfect vantage point from which to watch deerhound racing on the field next to the Castle. Make sure you arrive when we open at 11am to see the Deerhound procession at 11.15am around the Castle, with a Scottish piper to serenade them. At 12 noon, see the spectacle of dozens of deerhounds on the Old Golf Course, accompanied by their owners dressed as lords, ladies, monks and other period characters from the 17th century, each hound wearing a red or white collar. Unlike in the 17th and 18th centuries, no deer are harmed in the re-staging of the spectacular event. Instead each race will see a deerhound duo chasing a motorised fur-covered lure, with the first dog to reach the post pronounced the winner. We anticipate that the racing will conclude at approximately 2.30pm.
SUNDAY 29TH MAY, MONDAY 30TH MAY, TUESDAY 31ST MAY & WEDNESDAY 1ST JUNE
Our Medieval falconer will be here with his wonderful birds of prey. Come and see his living history display and take a photograph with one of the magnificent birds, don't miss the Falconry Display on the Lower Lawns at 3pm on Sunday and at 12.30pm & 3.30pm on Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday.
SOME VERY SPECIAL ROYAL VISITORS
Of course a Tudor Festival wouldn't be complete without King Henry VIII, his Queen, Anne Boleyn and their beautiful ladies of the Tudor Court. On Sunday as well as wandering around the Castle and grounds, they'll be watching over the delights of the Deerhound Racing and Falconry Display, pop over and have a chat with them - if you're lucky you may receive a special gift from the Queen! On Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday join an audience with the King & Queen at 11.30am & 2.30pm every day in our Great Hall.
TUDOR FANCY DRESS COMPETITION - MONDAY 30TH MAY
Make sure the younger members of your family come dressed in their Tudor finery on Monday, when we'll have a Tudor fancy dress competition in the Great Hall at 3pm - there are some very special trophies up for grabs!
PRECIOUS DOCUMENTS ON DISPLAY FROM THE TUDOR PERIOD
See the incredible display of Tudor documents on loan from our Muniment Room, which are rarely available for public viewing. Amongst the items on display are, a warrant signed by Queen Mary dated 26 January 1554, a letter from Queen Elizabeth 1st to George Lord Hunsdon c1600 and a warrant to enlarge the Castle Deer Park dated 10 February 1522, signed by King Henry VIII
FREE ARTS & CRAFTS EVERY DAY
Call into our Education Room and make a Tudor keepsake to take home
Before you go home, make sure you spend time in our Butterfly House, Yurt Tearoom, Wild Play Area, Dressing-up room and play some Outdoor Games too.
LAST BUT NOT LEAST, WE ADVISE THAT YOU PURCHASE YOUR ADMISSION TICKETS IN ADVANCE FROM OUR WEBSITE - IT'S A GREAT WAY TO JUMP THE QUEUE WHEN YOU GET HERE! Tickets can be purchased up until midnight the day before you plan to visit. Don't worry if you decide to come along on the day, tickets will be available from our Ticket Office and there'll be room for everyone. We hope you decide to pay us a visit - you won't be disappointed.