Badgers and Battles at Sudeley Castle

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sudeleycastle-sudeleycastle--sudeleycastle sudeleycastle-2sudeleycastle-7My boys can find adventures everywhere. In the woods, by the stream, at museums, in the city, or just in our own back garden, there is always something that catches their eye and engages their imagination. One of the highlights of our Easter holidays was a trip to Sudeley Castle, a place where the very walls are steeped in adventure and history, not to mention bloodshed. Sudeley is replete with tales of kings, queens, intrigue and betrayal. The boys listened, wide-eyed. They were also enchanted by an episode in Sudeley’s more recent history: the story of Brock, a pet badger who lived as part of the Dent-Brocklehurst family within the castle walls.

In celebration of the castle’s badger connection, Sudeley has collaborated with Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust to create a living willow maze, with a Wind in the Willows theme. Chasing though the willow tunnels, the children came across first a  huge sculpted badger, then a mole, and finally a native water vole. Characters from a favourite story suddenly larger than life.

Alongside the castle there is a playground in the form of a huge wooden fort: the stuff of small-boy dreams. Having spent their precious pocket money on swords from the extensive wooden armoury in the gift shop, the boys whiled away the morning running through its corridors, re-enacting battles with their friends. As I sat in the sunshine and watched them, it felt as if we had escaped the present for a moment, suspended in time by some special Sudeley magic.

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