Today we headed to the Cotswolds Hills to put our detective skills to the test at Sudeley Castle. Less than ten miles from Cheltenham town centre, Sudeley Castle remains the only private castle in England to have a queen buried within the grounds - Queen Katherine Parr, the last and surviving wife of King Henry VIII – who lived and died in the castle.

Collage of Sudeley Secret Spies event

The events organised by Sudeley Castle are always popular with local families and attract visitors from miles around too. This half term they are challenging children to become Sudeley Secret Spies and solve the Sudeley mystery by completing a trail of puzzles, codes and riddles. 

We arrived mid-morning and were greeted in the gift shop with a friendly face, map and trail sheet. We were then sent on our way to decode seven clues.   Ideally suited to primary - junior age children we also saw pre-schoolers giving it a go with some assistance.  With the help of our 8 and 5 year old assistants we managed to solve the codes written in hieroglyphics, braille, Morse code and by shining a UV light into a secret black box, plus it tested our nautical flag knowledge too.

Sudeley Secret Spies collage of images

After we solved the riddle in the warm shelter of the castle we took a blustery walk in the beautiful castle grounds and popped into St. Mary’s Church, the resting place of Queen Katherine Parr.  We then strolled through Sudeley’s Pheasantry, home to 17 breeds of rare pheasant, before returning back to the Visitor Centre to hand in our trail sheets for which we were awarded with a very cool spy pen.

Prior to jumping in our car for the 20 minute scenic journey back to Cheltenham we couldn’t resist a visit to the huge adventure playground with wooden fort, bridges, climbing wall and zip line. We weren’t there for long before the rain started to fall heavily but we fully recommend a visit to this outdoor play area on a dry day.  With the onsite café shop nearby it’s the perfect spot to enjoy a few refreshments whilst your kids burn off their energy pretending to be knights and dragons!

Images of Sudeley Castle

Everything you need to know – Sudeley Secret Spies

  • Trail runs daily from 10am until the 23 February 2020.
  • The event is included in the cost of normal admission.
  • Book online at least 24 hours in advance to save 10%.
  • Family tickets and annual membership are available.  

Our top tips – Sudeley Secret Spies

  • This event is partly indoors and partly outdoors so a great all weather option for the spring half term holidays.
  • Wear wellies for your walk around the castle grounds (and be prepared for your kids to ask a million questions about Henry VIII beheading two of his ex-wife’s!)

The next event to take place at Sudeley Castle is afternoon tea for Mother's Day weekend. Check out the full details here - Celebrate Mother's Day weekend at Sudeley Castle


Sudeley Castle & Gardens
Sudeley Castle

COVID UPDATE - Tickets must be purchased in advance and a face covering or mask worn when inside any building. Award-winning gardens surrounding Castle and medieval ruins. Exhibitions, rare-breeds pheasantry, restaurant & cafe, adventure play area.

Sudeley Secret Spies
Sudeley Secret Spies

Solve the Sudeley mystery this February Half Term by completing a trail of puzzles, codes and riddles



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