Private guided tour and dinner
A once in a lifetime experience awaits as we are privileged to have exclusive access to the remarkable Berkeley Castle. The Berkeley family have called the castle home since the late 12th century and they and their home have played pivotal roles in the power struggles of the area over many centuries.
The castle was one of those built with the intention of keeping the Welsh from invading England and is complete with trip steps, arrow slits, ominous murder holes and colossal barred doors. You can still see where once portcullises fell and the worn stone where sentries patrolled and stood watch. As the sun sets the warm pink stone glows over the surrounding grounds the castle has a charmingly eerie feel.
The Berkeley family are one of the only remaining families that can trace their ancestry directly back to Saxon times and the family have lived through history from within the walls of the castle, which are full of stories to share. There are archives at the castle dating back to 1154 and home to 25,000 documents all relating to the estate including title deeds and manorial accounts.
Within the castle there are many items that have been collected by the Berkeley family through the centuries, with many relating directly to the history of the castle. Unique items include Sir Francis Drake’s cabin chest, Queen Elizabeth I’s bedspread and the banner that the 4th Earl of Berkeley flew at the Battle of Culloden.
Enjoy some free time to explore the gardens, where the planting of the terraces was carried out with the assistance of Gertrude Jekyll, and the charming butterfly house with hundreds of butterflies fluttering around the peaceful indoor garden. We meet back at the castle entrance, where we are honoured to be joined by our host Charles Berkeley for a brief introduction to his home followed by a private guided tour where we can learn about his family’s and the castle’s history in more detail. After the tour we head to the Long Drawing Room where we can enjoy a sumptuous three-course meal including wine, in a truly unique setting. After dinner and some time for it to settle, its time to say goodbye to Berkeley Castle and head home.