October 8th, 2018 / posted by paularath

Sudeley Castle

We spent one day with a private guide who took us through the Cotswolds. We didn’t go to the villages we had already visited when painting (Stow-on-the-Wold, Bourton-on-the-Water and so on), but rather visited villages that were new to us. We found our guide, Anne Martis, through a company called ToursByLocals, and she was exemplary. And she lives in the Cotswolds and knows every inch of this region.

As you enter the Sudeley Castle grounds, you see this lovely pond.

Although castles are not one of Jerry’s favorite things, I really wanted to visit Sudeley Castle, near Winchcombe. It was built in the 15th century and was home to Catherine Parr, the sixth (and final) wife of Henry VIII. It’s still a residence of the Dent-Brockley family. And, hey, there’s a Hawaii connection!

Henry Dent-Brockley married a Maui girl and they both live on Maui. They own a company called Island Essences. Their lavender fragrance products are sold in the castle’s gift shop.

One of the traditional English gardens at the castle.

The gardens of this castle were a highlight for me. They are luscious and gorgeous and there is a lot of variety, from a water lily pond to formal English gardens.

Chipping Campden’s Market, located on the High Street.

If I were to live in a Cotswold village, it would have to be Chipping Campden. The High Street here is considered the finest Medieval street in England.

Just another beautiful thatched roof in the Cotswolds!

There is an impressive amount of art and craft in Chipping Campden. We visited the Court Barn Museum, which features fascinating exhibits on the history of the Arts and Crafts Movement in the Cotswolds. Pottery, quilting, weaving, glass, silver smith work, book binding – and more – were done here throughout the centuries.

Hart Gold and Silversmiths Workshop

We also visited the workroom of Hart Gold and Silversmiths, renowned for their design and workmanship. There were three workmen there, creating a chalice. This attic workroom is so atmospheric. Check out the baskets hanging from the ceiling. That’s where they kept the receipts! An interesting bookkeeping system!

Just off the High Street, this beautiful church.

We really lucked out when visiting a church in Chipping Campden. They were preparing for a wedding and the organist was playing music. It was a divine way to experience the glorious windows and the historical and interesting church.

The organist told me he was playing this piece for the first time. He was given the music this morning and the wedding was in the afternoon!


Not easy to see here, but the windows at the top are contemporary in style.

I ran into fellow traveler Nancy Pace last night at “Hello Dolly” at DHT (which was absolutely fabulous in every way – you rock, Loretta Ables Sayre!), and Nancy stayed in Chipping Camden last year and loved every minute of her time there! She found her B&B through Rick Steves. He is a great source for England.

More England blogs coming soon: Cornwall, Lower Heyford, London, Stonehenge…and more!

Paula Rath

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