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Haunted Sudeley Castle at Halloween [Review]

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Have you ever heard of Sudeley Castle in Gloucestershire, England? Did you know it’s haunted by none other than Queen Katherine Parr? Perfect for Halloween wouldn’t you say?

Haunted Sudeley Castle at Halloween

Sudeley Castle was once home to Queen Katherine Parr (Henry VIII’s sixth wife). In fact, she’s actually buried inside the castle’s church!

Some of Henry VIII’s other wives also visited the castle when they were alive but Queen Katherine graced the castle with her presence far longer than the others.

This is what gives Sudeley Castle its ‘haunted’ reputation, as well as many visitors and staff claiming they’ve seen, heard or felt ghostly activity there.

Haunted Sudeley Castle Halloween

A few years ago, we decided to take a trip over to this ancient castle to see if we could experience anything and even found ourselves on a free ghost tour around the castle grounds.

Although we learned a lot about history and the inhabitants of the castle (dead and alive), we did not see any ghosts ourselves.

What we did see, however, was an enchanting castle and grounds, Queen Katherine’s tomb and even a free magic show!

Sudeley Castle and Grounds

What first strikes you about Sudeley Castle is the sheer size of it. The sprawling grounds and disorientating castle corridors will give you a sense of its magnitude… even with half of the building missing due to falling into ruin beyond repair.

Each of the rooms inside the castle still hold original fittings as well as many historical exhibitions.

When we visited, there were even some costumes there from a Channel 4 TV show about the Tudors, which really helped to bring the history alive.

Jewellery at Sudeley Castle

A few of the rooms are kept dark to protect timeless pieces inside – either kept dark due to low lighting or due to ivy covering some of the windows.

Personally, I thinks this adds to the castle’s atmosphere and intrigue.

The grounds are magnificent. I can imagine them being exquisite during the summer months, but even in October, they are stunning.

With water features, shaped hedges, secret gates and glorious statues, the castle grounds really are worth spending some time exploring.

Sudeley Castle Grounds & Gardens

Sudeley Castle and Katherine Parr

Katherine Parr spent much of her life at Sudeley Castle, which becomes very apparent when exploring the rooms and grounds.

There are multiple tapestries bearing the initials ‘KP’ throughout the castle, as well as fine jewellery and clothes she would have worn at the time.

But that’s not all. As we know, she’s also buried at Sudeley Castle.

Behind part of the castle ruins is the church, where you can find magnificent marble work, charming woodwork and Katherine Parr’s tomb.

You’ll find her crypt in a chamber off the side of the church. What’s most interesting about her story is that she was wrapped up in seven or eight sheets of linen to help preserve her body.

Centuries later, her crypt was found; I have no idea what possessed the finders of it to open the coffin but they did. And what they found was very surprising indeed.

Despite Queen Katherine being dead for hundreds of years, her body was perfectly preserved due to the many layers of linen she was wrapped in.

That is until her coffin was opened multiple times by the finders of it…

Sudeley Castle Halloween Festivities

Although Sudeley Castle’s Halloween festivities change with each year, it’s a fantastic place to visit for history and scary stories.

When we visited in 2016, a ghost tour, scary storytelling and magic show were being offered as extra activities within the normal entrance fee. We thought the magic show in particular was the spooky highlight of the day.

Although it was mostly for little children, the magician was so clever to keep the adults entertained as well with fascinating tricks and plenty of humour.

The fact that this show was also going on inside the castle’s cellar was a perfect addition to the spooky vibe!

This year, Sudeley Castle’s Halloween festivities allow you to follow a magical illuminated trail through the gardens to see fairytale characters and hear stories.

Sudeley Castle offers a range of special events throughout the year – with the next to be their ‘Spectacle of Light’ event throughout December.

We loved what Sudeley Castle had to offer, so we would certainly recommend visiting. And if you can combine a visit with one of their events like we did, then you really should do it!

Getting to Sudeley Castle

It’s best to drive to Sudeley Castle as it’s deep within the Gloucestershire countryside. You’ll find it near Winchcombe, eight miles north east of Cheltenham at this address:

Sudeley Castle & Gardens
Winchcombe
Gloucestershire
GL54 5JD


Would you dare to visit Sudeley Castle at Halloween? Have you got any other plans for Halloween this year? Share your thoughts below…

Want more UK Halloween inspiration? Check out our other posts:

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Justine Jenkins

Justine is one half of the married couple behind the Wanderers of the World travel blog. She lives in Bristol, UK and has travelled extensively within Europe and beyond since 2013. After her trips, she shares detailed travel itineraries, helpful travel guides and inspiring blog posts about the places she's been to. When she's not travelling overseas, you'll find her joining her husband, Scott on various day trips, weekend getaways and walks within the UK, which she also writes about on Wanderers of the World. Aside from travelling and writing, she also loves reading, crafting and learning about nature.

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