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“Even bad weather couldn't stop it being wonderful”
Review of Berkeley Castle

Berkeley Castle
Ranked #1 of 8 things to do in Berkeley
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: This intriguing castle has been the home of the Berkeley family for more than 850 years. It has been used a filming location for many period dramas, including the BBC's Wolf Hall, Galavant and The White Princess. It was the last place of residence of King Edward II, who was imprisoned in the castle and murdered within its walls. The Castle is open from Easter until the end of October, from Sunday until Wednesday each week. The Butterfly House is open from the beginning of May until the end of September from Sunday to Wednesday, walk amongst the stunning butterflies and tropical plants. A visit to the Yurt Tearoom is also a must! Please check our website for details open days and hours - we are always closed on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
Useful Information: Baby buggy parking, Activities for older children, Stairs / lift, Food available for purchase, Activities for young children
Reviewed 12 June 2014

Rain, rain everywhere, but that didn't stop Berkeley Castle being a wonderful place to visit. I intend to go back on a sunny day to see the gardens - as they gave me a 'free return visit' ticket. Even without the free ticket, I'd still return.

Historians - you'll love it. So much English history under one roof. Look out for the wallpaper that is possibly from the Field of the Cloth of Gold.

There's a free tour with your ticket that is excellent. Please do the tour, otherwise you'll miss out on the meaning of some of the wonderful things to see.

Thank Lisano8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jackie P, Owner at Berkeley Castle, responded to this reviewResponded 16 July 2014

It's fantastic to read your enthusiasm for Berkeley Castle, especially as it was raining when you visited! We'll be really pleased to see you again and hope the sun shines next time so that you can enjoy the gardens too.

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Reviewed 9 June 2014

The castle is run by a private trust and the family still lives there. Indeed lady georgina's dog poppy sniffed my bottom as we arrived at the castle itself!
A rare honour I'm sure ...

Its thus v understated with none of the slickness of say warwick castle - there's a smallish car park and an ordinary gate. Inside are temporary loos and the yurt cafe. There's also a tiny wooden shop and ticket office

However, once you've paid your tenner & hopefully gift aided it, you go through and there's the castle. Staff is friendly and informative and you can join a tour (every 30 mins) or potter on your own

The castle tour is fascinating as there's been a castle on the spot for 900 years and the family living there almost all that time apart from occasional bust ups with the kings eg bad King John

Its most famous for edward II being murdered there - in the keep you get to see the cell where this happened. When you hear the whole story you feel sorry for him though he seems to have been a washout as a king and husband and a tad on the stubborn side

The mediaeval great hall is truly impressive with a minstrels gallery from which the last jester in britain fell to his death, still playing his hurdy gurdy

The gardens were beautiful on a sunny day and you can also visit the nearby church and impressive old graveyard

We needed refreshment after 90 mins and weren't too sure of the yurt cafe - but the ploughmans I had and my husband's spring green soup & crusty bread were fresh and very good indeed. There was a small but pleasing menu and coffee, tea, soft drinks and cakes

You could sit outside but there was no shade and it was warm inside, but we survived by sitting at an open door!

As a bonus there is a lovely butterfly house, a large conservatory full of plants and flowers with beautiful and rare butterflies dancing about - some were huge and stunning like a delicate black and white tree nymph from S E Asia which seemed to hang in the air

You definitely need at least 3 1/2 hours if not more to do a tour, walk the gardens and enjoy a meal

Then allow a little more time - 90 mins at least - to visit dr edward jenner's house which is next door!

NB its important to check opening hours/days and the castle is somewhat oddly open Sun-Wed inc as they do so many weddings at weekends!

Thank hfulton32
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jackie P, Manager at Berkeley Castle, responded to this reviewResponded 16 July 2014

A great review - thank you very much.

It's lovely to read that you enjoyed all of our attractions here at Berkeley Castle. As you mention, we are in close proximity to the Jenner Museum and St Mary's church. These can be accessed via a gate near the Yurt Restaurant and are well worth a visit if you have the time.

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Reviewed 9 June 2014

Whilst staying with my friend, who lives in Berkeley and knows Berkeley castle well, she treated me to a visit on Sunday 8th June. The welcoming staff are all very friendly and knowledgeable about the plants, history and forthcoming events. We went on a guided tour which was extremely informative and interesting.

One absolute joy was that wandering around and in the great hall, there were two young women in beautifully made Tudor costumes along with 2 men also in appropriate costumes who were playing medieval instruments and singing whilst the ladies danced. This was magical. It made me wish there were professional actors dotted around re enacting the families history.

The yurt, I personally felt, was an eyesore, as it was merely a canvas gaudy tent. Maybe the colour was a deliberate nod to the mustard of the hunting colours. It was expensive and my coffee was barely warm so had to be replaced and boiling water had to be added out of the urn . My friend afterwards commented her tea wasn't as hot as it should have been. The young girls staffing there were excellent though.

The butterfly tunnel was superb with quails scuttling around, eating up the unwanted insects, lovebirds chirruping and butterflies in various stages of their life cycle.

The gift shop by the entrance could certainly be stocked up and would bring in much more revenue or even be relocated. There was a glass fronted store room ( associated with the ongoing archeological dig maybe) that could be a superb little ever changing gallery which would add more value to visitors experiences. I understand this used to be the dedicated gift shop. If a restaurant and shop were developed in this area ( the toilets are already there) I believe more people would would use it rather than the long trek back to the yurt especially after negotiating all the steps and stairs!!

The gardens and views were stunning, to be able to see just countryside as far as the eye could see really made you feel you were back in time. Also, I particularly liked that the roses were tagged giving their name.

A lovely experience and one I would heartily recommend.

1  Thank Bluehousebysea
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jackie P, Manager at Berkeley Castle, responded to this reviewResponded 10 July 2014

Thank you for taking the time to write such a detailed review, with some very constructive comments. We're really pleased that you enjoyed your visit to Berkeley Castle.

The Tudor ladies and gentlemen are extremely popular and give a great insight into Castle life many years ago. We would love to follow up your suggestion of having professional actors dotted around, acting out various aspects of the family's long history, unfortunately our limited resources don't permit this at the moment, but it is something we'd really like to do.

It's a shame that you felt our Yurt Restaurant was unappealing to the eye, as you rightly suggest, these colours were deliberately chosen to reflect the colours of the Berkeley livery.

When you visited the University of Bristol were using the old shop as their media centre for the archaeological dig. As you rightly suggest, this is a room that would lend itself to a provide a gallery for specific displays, local works of art etc. It's something we'll consider for the future.

Thank you once again for your review, we hope to see you again in the future.

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Reviewed 2 June 2014

My husband and myself stopped at the Yurt Restaurant at Berkeley Castle on Sunday 25th May for a cup of tea and slice of cake, and we were pleasantly surprised at how lovely it was. We both had a pot of tea and a slice of carrot cake each, and it was absolutely delicious, moist, and tasty.

The staff were friendly and polite.

Prices are not cheap or reasonable, but they're always pretty expensive at places like this.

It wasn't busy, but several tables were messy as they hadn't been cleared away by staff, but we found a clean table, and enjoyed our snack, and we will return one day.

We loved our trip to Berkeley Castle. We had a tour guide showing us round, which was very informative. It was slightly rushed, but very good.

1  Thank Busybadger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jackie P, Manager at Berkeley Castle, responded to this reviewResponded 10 July 2014

Thank you for your review of the Yurt Restaurant. It is proving to be extremely popular and has lots of tempting treats on offer! I'm sorry that some of the tables hadn't been cleared, I'm sure this was due to the volume of customers on the day you visited.
It's good to read that you intend to visit us again soon. If you don't have time to visit the Castle, you can enjoy the Walled Garden area and Yurt Restaurant without paying the admission fee to go into the Castle. Entrance to the Butterfly House can be paid for separately.
See you again soon!

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Reviewed 28 May 2014

A stunning walk through history and a fabulous setting.
We followed the guide and the information provided offered a superb look at life through centuries and the local community
Great day out for all ages if you have a keen interest in history

Thank Markpt2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jackie P, Manager at Berkeley Castle, responded to this reviewResponded 10 July 2014

Thank you so much for taking the time to post a review, it's good to know that you enjoyed your visit to Berkeley Castle.

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