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“Plan to visit and tour this castle if you can” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Berkeley Castle

Berkeley Castle
Canonbury Street, Berkeley GL13 9BQ, England
(44) 1453 810332
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Ranked #2 of 7 Attractions in Berkeley
Type: Castles
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Attraction Details
Owner description: This intriguing castle has been the home of the Berkeley family for more than 850 years and was recently featured on the BBC's 'Britain's Hidden Heritage' programme. 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. The Butterfly House reopens on 1 May, walk amongst the stunning butterflies. A visit to the Yurt Tearoom is also a must!Please check our website for open days and hours.
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
13 attraction reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
“Plan to visit and tour this castle if you can”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 10, 2013

I greatly enjoyed my visit to Berkeley Castle, one with a fascinating history. My companion and I had an extremely knowledgeable tour guide which made the visit much more educational than it would have been otherwise. The Castle, finished in 1154, is the second-oldest continuously occupied building in the UK [1st is Windsor Castle]. King Edward II was imprisioned in the dungeon and eventually murdered here. The castle saw a low of action during the time of the English Civil War and was attacked by Oliver Cromwell's troops in 1645; during the war the castle changed hands five times between Royalist and Parliamentarian forces. The rooms in the castle as fabulous, dripping with paintings of Berkeley's and other portrait-worthy people, and filled with objects of historic significance. I was interested in learning about the American connection. One of the Berkeley's travelled to America and provided financial assistance to an East Coast university (I believe it was Yale). It is in his honor that the campus of the Univ. of Califorinia, Berkeley is named.

Visited October 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jackie P, Manager at Berkeley Castle, responded to this review, November 28, 2013
Thanks for a great review, we're really pleased that you enjoyed your visit to Berkeley Castle. We have strong connections with our American visitors and are always pleased to welcome them to the Castle.
We're also very proud to be able to claim that we are the oldest Castle in England to be inhabited by the family who originally built it!
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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
weston super mare
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
“Wedding!!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 10, 2013

I have had to think very carefully about writing this review as I attended a wedding here, the venue was hired for the day for the family wedding.

Instructions on how to get to the venue are very poor, don't use the instructions on the web as they take you to the front gates, which are closed when hired out, as myself and about 20 other people found.

the castle and the grounds are truly unbelievable, Kate and wills could not have had a better well organised and beautiful wedding than the one I attended, what let it down was the catering!!

For food that was so expensive it was poor, canapés that never arrived, when they did it was a bun fight for one, I had a sticky sausage,!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! yes just the one!!!
main meal, starter of duck lovely, but main course cold, cold plates, and undercooked lamb, bloody for most, out of our table of 12 only 3 people ate the lamb, what a shame.

I know its very difficult to please everyone at a wedding, and it certainly did not spoil the day, the night time catering of canapés and sandwiches went down well. Also the toilet facilities were definitely not enough, and the upstairs rooms which were used for the wedding cake and pudds and coffee was absultely fantastic.

would I go again, yes of course, it actually takes some beating for a wedding venue, but I would tuck a scotch egg and a sandwich in my bag, just in case!!

Visited August 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jackie P, Manager at Berkeley Castle, responded to this review, November 28, 2013
Thank you for your compliments regarding Berkeley Castle as a wedding venue.
We're sorry to read that you felt let down by the catering at the wedding you attended. It's extremely unusual to hear of this sort of issue at wedding events, as our two recommended caterers have extremely high standards.
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Gloucester, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Wonderful Castle with beautiful grounds.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 9, 2013

We visited Berkeley castle during school holidays and were surprised to find how quiet it was there. We took two children (age 12 and 9) who decided to do the castle first instead of the Butterfly house, at the entrance the children were given a few sheets of paper with activities on involving finding clues and identifying butterflies, we had missed the start of the most recent tour as our son was obsessed with the cannon just outside the main gateway but we were close enough behind them that we could hear what was being said. (the guide did spot us and offer to give us a brief catch up on what we'd missed, which was kind, but we prefer to stroll around on our own)
There are many things to look at inside, it's a very eclectic collection which was fascinating to look at and read about, it's certainly a place you could visit twice because you're bound to miss something in each of the rooms, what I liked is that it's definitely got a lived in vibe instead of a rather cold feeling you get from many places.
We wandered the castle for around an hour, this included giving the children time to complete their activity sheets before we stopped off at the tea room, lovely homemade cakes and sandwiches as well as locally sources soft drinks and of course hot beverages. The gift show is lovely and seems to have little things for every age.
We finished the visit by heading to the butterfly house, the children desperate to get inside but as someone who is rather jittery about creatures with wings I was less enthused!! however once inside I enjoyed it. It doesn't take long for them to start landing on you and I have to admit to being very worried about stepping on some precious species which take to perching on your shoe or on the pathway but the children's cries of delight as at least half a dozen landed on their hands and head at any given time was worth the visit alone - saying that I have to say, rather pleased the giant moths are kept in netted areas, that could have caused outright panic from myself if those had landed anywhere near me! (shudder)
All in all a lovely day out for all of us. Slight shame that we weren't allowed to take any photos unless it was in the grounds, I don't know if this was a regular thing!

Visited July 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jackie P, Manager at Berkeley Castle, responded to this review, November 27, 2013
It was lovely to read that you had such an enjoyable day with your family at Berkeley Castle.

Many of our regular visitors would agree with you, that you see something new each time you visit, as there is so much to take in.
We're really pleased that you enjoyed the Tea Room as well, there are lots of treats on offer - especially in the cake department!
I am sorry that you felt you were unable to take photos as you toured the Castle, although we discourage flash photography, we're more than happy for visitors to take photos and we're always delighted to see them posted on Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites.
Finally congratulations on overcoming your fear of 'creatures with wings' for the sake of your family - it sounds as though it was worth it!

Thank you for taking the time to post a review.
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Wantage, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“A Guided Dip into History”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 8, 2013

A slice of history brought to life and made interesting and fun by excellent Guides, connecting the Castle with Royalty and Gloucester Cathedral. Excellent. Needed more time to see the other attractions.

Visited September 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jackie P, Manager at Berkeley Castle, responded to this review, November 27, 2013
Sorry to read that you ran out of time, but delighted that you enjoyed your time here!
If you gift-aided your admission ticket you will be able to come back and see us free of charge in 2014 and will hopefully see everything we have to offer.
Thank you for posting a review.
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Bristol, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
11 attraction reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“Just popped in”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 7, 2013

Just popped in on the off chance , met a great lady who showed us around her knowledge and honesty were fabulous

Visited October 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jackie P, Manager at Berkeley Castle, responded to this review, November 27, 2013
Thanks for your comments, we're really pleased that you enjoyed your visit to Berkeley Castle.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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