Thursday, 25 July 2019

Beautiful Britain - Sudeley Castle

Hi there everyone 😀

I'm afraid I'm just a little out of sync with today's post as it was right back at the beginning of June when we visited Sudeley Castle. We were having our annual catch up with old friends in Broadway and we always try and fit a day out en route as a bit of a prequel to the weekend.

Neither of us had ever visited before and, whilst we didn't really have time to stop, the village looked lovely. Definitely somewhere that we would like to get back and explore more when we are next in the area.

We had no idea of what to expect at the castle and the drive in certainly wasn't giving anything away. Even at the visitor centre there was still really no sign of what was to come.

Armed with our welcome map and day planner we decided we would head for the Castle Kitchens first so we could get some lunch and work out what we wanted to see first ...
The path from the visitor centre took us through a small wooded area ...
... and through an old metal gate ...
... into the Tithe Barn, which was just lovely ...
From here we got our first view of the castle ...
We headed for the castle, stopping to look back across the pond at the Tithe Barn, which we were both really taken with ...
There was plenty going on in the parkland as there were outdoor concerts planned over the weekend and it was really interesting watching the set up under way ...
Whilst there were plenty of clouds gathering we decided to risk eating lunch outside and found a nice spot in a courtyard area ...
... where we tucked into some of the most substantial cheese and ham toasties either of us have ever come across ...
So ... fortified, map in hand we were off to explore. We started inside the castle but, as ever, it wasn't long before we were itching to get out into the gardens ...
The first of the 10 award winning gardens we got to explore was the Knot Garden. There was a great view from the window above, but it was lovely at ground level too ... with the Banqueting Hall Ruins in the background ...
This is the view from the other end of the garden, looking back at the castle ...
From the Knot Garden we headed across the Mulberry Lawn and past the Banqueting Hall Ruins ...
... and into the rest of the gardens, where we got our first view of the church , where Katherine Parr's tomb can be found ...
There were some serious black clouds building up by now and we so hoped that we weren't in for a drenching ...
The topiary was fabulous, the lime green was so vibrant ...

The topiary runs along the edge of the formal gardens and we had some great views from here of the setting up for the weekend's concerts ...

We wandered along the edge of the Ha-Ha ...

... and down into Queen's Garden ...
... which was just lovely ...
... and just filled to the brim with all kinds of rose. There were some absolutely beautiful blooms and the scent was just heavenly ...


Just look at that sky though ... in the other direction.  I can't quite believe that we hadn't seen even a spot of rain ...
From Queen's Garden we explored a bit more of the interior of the castle. There is certainly plenty to see...
We had a quick wander round the church. After all ... we couldn't leave without having seen Katherine Parr's tomb ...

 
We left the church by the side door and headed into the Secret Garden, which was another real treat, with plenty of my favourite shades of purple on display ...


 
Just across the way from the Secret Garden is the Rare Breeds Pheasantry and who knew just how many beautiful breeds of this bird there were? It was difficult to get any decent photos as all of the birds are caged but the colours were just amazing ...
We also stumbled across this chap who had made his presence well known already by his trademark screech and although we did not get the full display he did still look pretty colourful just chilling in the long grass ...
We were definitely on the home straight now and the path lead us from the Pheasantry past another pool with fabulous views looking back across to the church ...
... and the castle ...
The last two gardens to see were the Tudor Psychic Garden and the Herb Garden ...
We did find a couple of interesting sculptures though ... this magnificent chap ...
... and this very sophisticated lady, who was having a read in the afternoon sunshine ...
We'd pretty much seen everything, but we couldn't leave without one last look at the Tithe Barn ... which looked even more beautiful than it had when we'd seen it earlier on ...
That bit of blue sky and sunshine really does make all the difference ...
We hadn't noticed the poppies earlier and they really were stunning ...
Now it really was time to leave ...
... and it was the short walk back through the woodland to where we'd started ...
What an amazing day we'd had ... now it was time to head off to Broadway for our annual catch up.

Sudeley Castle was a real treat. If you get chance to go ... we would definitely recommend it ... and if you've got the Gardeners' World two for one card, then even better 😀

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