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Berkeley Tourist Information
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Berkeley Castle

Berkeley is a small town located between Bristol and Gloucester, in the English county of Gloucestershire on the edge of the Cotswolds. The historical town has existed in the Vale of Berkeley for over 9 centuries, as long as its main tourist attraction, Berkeley Castle.

The town is located (Post Code GL13) two miles West, off the busy Gloucester/Bristol trunk road (A38), and sits at the head of the Berkeley Vale, some of Gloucestershire's most beautiful countryside. Berkeley is rich in all sorts of history, and well known for its people, events and science.

Berkeley Castle is the most famous landmark in the area and suffice to say, the town's history begins there and moves through almost every building around the town centre.

The town is dominated the castle which was built in 1117 but now mostly fourteenth century having been remodelled in the 1350`s. The castle has been in the hands of the Berkeley family for over 900 years ( also see other family home at Spetchley) and has seen many historic events, the murder of King Edward II in 1327 perhaps the most infamous. Queen Elizabeth I also visited the castle on several occasions. For further information see - Royality in the Cotswolds.

The castle houses many fine collections of ceramics, paintings and silverware acquired by the family over the generations as well as national treasures such as Sir Francis Drake`s cabin chest; the castle`s archive has over 20000 documents dating back to the early 12th century.

Today the castle, gardens, and butterfly house, attract visitors from all over the country, and there’s a full schedule of events throughout the year.

Interesting Facts

William Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream was allegedly written for a wedding of one of the Berkeley family, of Berkeley Castle, in 1596.

Dickie Pearce, family jester to the Earl of Suffolk and probably the last court jester in England died at Berkeley Castle when he tumbled from the minstrel's gallery in the Great Hall during a performance.

It is said that William Shakespeare lived for a short time in the area, but the most famous personage is almost certainly Edward Jenner, the founder and father of immunology.

Jenner's most important contribution, to this day and blessed by millions around the world, is the global eradication of Smallpox. The Edward Jenner Museum is close to the town's centre.

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The rest of the town is an interesting mix of the historical and contemporary, with traditional accommodation like The Malt House and Berkeley Arms, sitting alongside modern shops and contemporary hotels. There are good road links, and a proximity to Bristol International Airport, which mean that the town of Berkeley is very accessible. Nearest mainline railway stations are at Bristol and Gloucester.

Market Place and Town Hall
The Market Place and Town Hall in Berkeley

St.Marys church has some fine examples of 13th century stone work, there is a Perpendicular mortuary chapel with some superb monuments and a detached 18th century tower, the churchyard has a number of notable tombs including that of Dicky Pearce the last Court Jester who died whilst performing at Berkeley Castle.

Berkeley from a distance
View of Berkeley Town with spire of St Mary's Church and Castle to right

Pencil Sketch of Berkeley Castle by Richard Grassi
Pencil Sketch of Berkeley Castle by Richard Grassi
Click for full list of Hotels, Guest Houses and B&B's, Cottages, Inns and Pubs, Wedding Venues, Camping and Caravanning and Conference Centres in the Cotswolds and the six counties of Worcestershire, Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, Somerset, Warwickshire and Oxfordshire:-
HOTELS B&B COTTAGES FARMS INNS / PUBS CAMPING WEDDINGS CONFERENCE CENTRES
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THE KINGS HEAD INN UPLANDS 5 STAR ACCOMMODATION ABBOTS GRANGE CROWN & TRUMPET INN
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4 Star accommodation in the beautiful Cotswold village of Bledington near
Stow-on-the-Wold
Luxurious home and gardens offering top class accommodation and food. Close to Stratford upon Avon Stay in the beautifulAbbot's Broadway summer residence - a truly unique Cotswolds experience. Old Cotswolds Inn at Broadway - Jewel of the Cotswolds. Providing good accommodation and restaurant.
MIND THE DUCKS INDIVIDUAL AND MEMORABLE MAGICAL & UNFORGETTABLE FRIENDLY HOSPITALITY
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HOLLY HOUSE B&B THE OLD MANOR HOUSE HILLCREST COTTAGE NETHERCOTE FIELDS
4 Star GOLD Award and Tripadvisor 2015 Excellence Winner. Located in beautiful Bourton-on-the-Water 5 minutes walk from village centre Luxury Cotswolds
Bed & Breakfast set in 3 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens which slope down to the River Stour 
Truly amazing views from every room at this stylish, well equipped cottage
(Short Breaks all Year)
B&B Offering a comfortable & relaxed stay with far reaching views across the Cotswolds includes use of swimming pool
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED ELEGANCE & TRANQUILITY STUNNING VIEWS DISTINCTIVENESS
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WELCOME TO
CAMPDEN COTTAGES
THE SWAN INN THE NEW INN THE LAMB INN near BOURTON-ON-WATER
With over 30 cottages in the beautiful North Cotswolds catering for all tastes
We will find the best bespoke cottage for you
Hidden in the Windrush Valley in the idyllic Cotswold village of Swinbrook near Burford - beautiful bespoke bedrooms & high quality food An Idylic and most charming Cotswolds pub gloriously located in the Coln Valley.
All rooms are individually furnished with unique features
300 year mellow stone traditional Cotswold Inn overlooking the Windrush Valley - great accommodation, food & drink
THE PERFECT MATCH ENCHANTINGLY LOST
IN TIME
COTSWOLDS FINEST WELCOMING COTSWOLD INN

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Berkeley Tourist Information

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