Tour & Explore Historic Houses & Castles

Enjoy guided visits to ancient castles, historic houses and stately homes with Anne Bartlett Blue Badge Tour Guide.  Here is a small selection of the many around the region....

Blenheim Palace

Blenheim Palace is the  home of the 12th Duke of Marlborough and birthplace of Winston Churchill.The name Blenheim derives from a decisive battle that took place on the 13th August 1704 on the north bank of the river Danube, near a small village called Blindheim or Blenheim, where the French leader, Marshall Tallard, had fixed his lines.Here John Churchill, the first Duke of Marlborough, won a great allied victory over the forces of Louis XIV, thus saving Europe from French domination.In reward for his services in defending Holland and Austria from invasion by the French,a grateful Queen Anne granted to Marlborough the Royal Manor of Woodstock and signified that she would build him, at her own expense, a house to be called Blenheim.  Blenheim Palace


Warwick Castle

The splendid medieval Warwick castle was transformed in the 17th and 18th century into a stately home. The castle is perched on a rocky cliff above the River Avon just on the outskirts of the attractive town of Warwick. The castle was sold by the present Earl to the Madam Tussauds group and they have created tableaux of wax figures to illustrate its history, turning the castle into a top tourist attraction in Britain. There are all sorts of exhibitions to visit including the Kingmaker Exhibition, the Royal Weekend Party Exhibition, there are the ramparts to explore as well as the armoury, the dungeons and torture chamber and also the castle state rooms to discover. Outside glorious gardens and parkland originally designed by Capability Brown. Down by the river there is a mill and engine house to see. Warwick Castle

Kenilworth Castle

Once a magnificent castle surrounded by a great lake. Now a grand ruin, a picturesque outline on the horizon. Many great historic events took place here including seiges and murders but Kennilworth castle is best remembered for the romantic19 day visit by Queen Elizabeth I in July 1575, organised by Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, her favourite courtier. The Queen’s stay started with a great pageant and continued with lavish entertaining such as hunting, jousting, music-making, fireworks and feasting. .All this grandure was to end during the civil war when Cromwell ordered the castle to be partially destroyed and the lake to be drained so that it could not be used as a fortress again.An audio guide helps to understand the history, the development and layout of the castle as we walk round the ruins.
Kenilworth Castle

Eastnor Castle

The construction of this stunning castle for 2nd Baron Somers, later created an Earl, began in 1810 in the style of a medieval fortress. The various rooms reflect the style, taste and aspirations of the subsequent owners for example, the 2nd Earl commissioned A.W.Pugin master English architect to design the magnificent Drawing Room in high gothic style.The present owners, the Hervey-Bathurst family have, during the past twelve years, restored the castle state rooms to their former splendour and this beautiful building is well worth a visit. Eastnor Castle

Berkeley Castle

For over 850 years Berkeley castle has had a commanding position on a rocky outcrop over looking the River Severn. The Berkeley family who still own and occupy the castle are just one of three families that can trace their history back from son to father to 1117. The state rooms are open to the public and a guided tour will reveal the fascinating architecture, plus furniture, furnishings and paintings that have been collected by generations of Berkeleys. Many items reflect the castle’s historical connection with people and places of long ago, for example, Francis Drake’s cabin chest and Queen Elizabeth’s bedspread. The castle is most famous for a really gruesome event, the imprisonment and subsequent murder of King Edward II, a story that will send shivers down your spine!
My Cotswolds and Gloucestershire Travel Blog
Berkeley Castle

Sudeley Castle

Set in a secluded valley in Winchcombe in the Cotswolds, Sudeley Castle is famous as the one time home of Queen Katherine Parr who survived Henry VIII and lived here for a short time with Princess Elizabeth and her retinue. The castle is renowned for its award winning themed gardens and they are open to the public in the summer months to enjoy. There is also an exhibition with memorabilia from Emma Dent’s time as chatelaine of the castle as well as “The Six Wives at Sudeley Exhibition” which features Henry VIII and his six wives dressed in court clothes of the Tudor period.

Sudeley Castle


Chepstow Castle

The thick, heavy outer walls of Chepstow Castle stand imposingly on cliffs above the River Wye on the Monmouthshire border.
Chepstow Castle is the oldest stone Castle in the U.K. with the foundations laid in 1067, a year after the Norman Conquest. It was a stronghold for rich and powerful owners up to the Civil War in the 17th Century.  It was held by the Royalists in 1645 and again in 1648 but was besieged, seriously damaged and taken by the Parliamentarians, after which King Charles 1st's cause was lost.  The castle eventually fell into ruin, even so there is still a lot to see inside, and is a great place to visit.  It is a fascinating place to stop on the Forest of Dean and Wye Valley Tour.




Chepstow Castle


Windsor Castle

Let me show you a stunning Royal Palace, an official residence of HM The Queen. We can also visit St George's Chapel, home of The Garter Knights. The Noble Order of the Garter is Britain's oldest order of Chivalry, founded by Edward III in 1348.

There is so much to see here, so I recommend at least a three hour visit. There are five main areas to see.

1. The Castle Exhibition.
2. The State Apartments, and all the wonderful works of art that are on display.
3. The Semi-State Rooms (open between October and March) these rooms were created by George IV in the1820's in his flamboyant style for his personal use. They were badly damaged during the fire in 1992 and have been faithfully restored to their original appearance.
4. Changing Exhibitions in The Drawings Gallery which includes paintings, photographs, drawings and other material from the Royal Archives.
5. St George's Chapel, one of the finest ecclesiastical buildings in England.

Also in the castle there's Queen Mary's Dolls House designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens and includes the work of 1,500 craftsmen. Each small room is lavishly furnished, and is a great historical record of an ideal 1920's style house. It was built with all the latest mod cons - electric lights and two working lifts as well as a plumbing system complete with water taps and flushing toilets. Everything from the table settings by Royal Doulton, Minton and Wedgewood to the library of books containing works by Charles Dickens, J.M. Barrie, Rudyard Kipling and other famous authors to paintings commission by well known artists. All are exquisitely made on a scale of 1 to 12.

The castle is open throughout the year with the exception of Garter Day, Good Friday, Christmas Day and Boxing Day. As the castle is an official residence of HM The Queen opening arrangements can change if there is a Royal occasion taking place.

My Windsor Castle Blog




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