Cotswolds Palaces and Castles You Don’t Want to Miss

The full list of Cotswold Palaces and Castles You Need to See


Blenheim Palace

A UNESCO World Heritage Site with over 300 years of history and home to the 12th Duke of Marlborough and his family.  Blenheim is a large country house in Woodstock, Oxfordshire on the eastern edge of the Cotswolds. It is unique because it is the only non-royal, non-episcopal country house in England to hold the title of palace. It is unique in its combined use as a family home, mausoleum, and national monument. The Palace is notable as the birthplace and ancestral home of Sir Winston Churchill.

The house and grounds are truly magnificent and a wonderful day out for the whole family at any time of the year. The Blenheim Art Foundation offers visitors the unique opportunity to experience the work of international contemporary artists through a series of exhibitions held within the historic setting of the Palace and its celebrated grounds.

Photo by Carson Vara on Unsplash

What you can look forward to on your visit:

  • The Palace State Rooms.
  • Formal Gardens.
  • Walks.
  • The Churchill Exhibition.
  • The Walled Garden.
  • Marlborough Maze.


Sudeley Castle & Gardens

A hidden gem of the Cotswolds, Sudeley Castle is situated in Winchcombe, not far from Cheltenham. It is the only private castle in England to have a queen buried on the grounds. Queen Catherine Parr was the sixth and last wife of Henry VIII. She outlived him. Visitors can explore the beautifully restored 15th-century church where she lies entombed.

Set against the stunning backdrop of the majestic castle and surrounded by striking views of the Cotswold Hills, there are ten magnificent award-winning gardens that sweep around the castle and grounds. Not only that, there is a fantastic adventure playground and fun fort for young visitors.

Image: Green Antlers Photography

What you can look forward to on your visit:

  • The Tithe Barn Garden – set beside a koi carp pond.
  • Queens’ Garden – named after four of England’s queens.
  • The Knot Garden – a sheltered courtyard garden comprised of 1,200 box hedges forming an intricate geometric design.
  • The Secret Garden – the most romantic spot in the castle grounds, so-called for its intimate and sheltered nature.
  • The Ruins Garden – the ruins of the original 15th-century banqueting hall, destroyed by Cromwell in the Civil War, provide a dramatic backdrop for this understated garden.
  • The Herb Garden
  • Tudor Physic Garden – home to plants used to create medicines and cures during the Tudor period.


I am sure you will be very pleasantly surprised to know that only 600m from Sudeley Castle you will find Sudeley Castle Guest Cottage, open for guests!



Berkeley Castle

A jewel in the crown of British history. The Berkeley family have lived in this ancient fortress home since their ancestor, Robert Fitzharding, completed it in the 12th century. A jewel in the crown of British history, Berkeley castle has a really exciting atmosphere of adventure and there are endless opportunities for the visitor to discover and speculate about its history. It is situated in the south Cotswolds, not far from Dursley.

What you can look forward to on your visit:

  • Beautiful gardens to enjoy.
  • Dragon Trail for children to explore outside.
  • Woodland play area.
  • Cafe with outdoor seating.


Broughton Castle

A medieval fortified manor house in Oxfordshire, just south of Banbury. It is the home of the Fiennes family and sits on an artificial island surrounded by a wide moat. Built of local Hornton ironstone, Broughton Castle was the center of opposition to Charles I. It was besieged and damaged after the Battle of Edgehill in 1642.

What you can look forward to on your visit:

  • The Gatehouse and Battlements.
  • The Great Hall and the Dining Room.
  • The Gallery.
  • The King’s Chamber and Queen Anne’s Room.
  • The Chapel.
  • The Gardens.


Broadway Tower

Broadway Tower, in the north Cotswolds, is a family-owned folly that stands on Beacon Hill, the second-highest point in the Cotswolds. It is an iconic landmark on top of the Cotswold escarpment and was the brainchild of Capability Brown, the famous 18th-century landscape designer. The design of the Tower is an eccentric amalgamation of architectural components ranging from turrets, battlements, and gargoyles to balconies. There are wonderful walks around the area and a cafe with outdoor seating.

Image Credit: Unsplash


What you can look forward to on your visit:

  • Climb to the top of the Tower and enjoy glorious views across 16 counties.
  • Exhibitions on each of the three floors about the history of its colorful past.
  • Examples of work by William Morris and learn about the link between the Tower and the Arts and Crafts movement.
  • Exhibition of the Royal Observer Corps.




Thornbury Castle

A Tudor castle in the south of the Cotswolds. It is not a true military fortress but rather an early example of a Tudor country house with minimal defensive attributes. It is now a luxury hotel, restaurant, and wedding venue.

It has housed kings, queens, and dukes over the centuries. Why not simply enjoy afternoon tea and take in the incredible grounds and gardens?

Image: Thornbury Castle

What you can look forward to on your visit:

  • Walk the halls lined with suits of armor and tapestry-hung walls.
  • Immerse yourself in English history.
  • In the gardens, you can try archery, falconry, and croquet.
  • Sleep in the same castle where kings and queens once did

Image: Thornbury Castle



How do you feel about sleeping in a real castle, where King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn once did?

Thornbury Castle offers the most stunning accommodation and their guests are absolutely raving! From the exquisite rooms which make you feel like royalty, to the friendliest and most professional staff, you can have a truly authentic experience of sleeping in such a famous castle.



This article contains a few affiliate links meaning, at NO additional cost to you, I can earn a small commission if you click through and make a booking at any of these locations. We would only recommend places we trust and have had some of the highest ratings from very happy guests.