Warwick Castle | A Day Out | Review [#AD]

Thursday, 25 April 2019
Warwick Castle is somewhere localish, and have passed a fair few times when visiting friends, but had just never got around to visiting. It was always somewhere on our list to visit at some point but hadn't as of yet. That's until recently, we were offered some tickets to visit the attraction so headed along to see the experience.

Warwick Castle has a very long history, one dating back to 914AD, when the first fort was built on the land by the daughter of Alfred the Great, the first castle was then built in 1068. There have been several Royal visitors to the castle, and several famous events taking place there, all which add their input to the amazing history of Warwick Castle.

These days, Warwick Castle is full of activities with plenty of history to take in along the way with interactive displays and plenty for children, and adults, to see and do.

When we arrived, I was not sure how much there would be to see and do and had expectations that we would only be there a couple of hours, but I was wrong. There was so much to walk around and see, and parts that we also missed which could have made the day longer too. 

When we arrived at the entrance, after walking forever from the carparks (why do they always do that at these kinds of places?), we went through the stable entrances and immediately were wowed by the castle in front of us. As we walked down to the castle we spotted the Horrible Histories Maze so headed in there first of all. 

Both Jack and Isla love mazes and the idea of getting lost, and anything that will keep them interacted throughout is always a bonus. We picked up a little stamp card at the entrance to collect the stamps as we went around (and at the end, you can collect a little gift from the shops). As we walked around the maze, we let the children decide the way and they both got excited when finding a stamp. Walking through Jack loved explaining everything he had learnt from school about history (he knows so much more than I'm aware of) and learning a bit more along the way. 

As we walked around the maze, there were lots of fact boards throughout providing a range of information, there was also interactive parts too, such as trenches and stocks. It was such a fun way for children to learn a little about history. 

After wandering through the maze, and making it out safe and sound, we headed towards the castle. As we arrived at the castle, we wandered through a barbican, which is a narrow passageway between two portcullises. Jack was interested to learn what would happen to anyone who would be stuck in there and was keen to share his knowledge of portcullises. 

After walking through, we ventured around the vast array that the castle had to offer, starting in the gaol, which was rather interesting. You wouldn't have wanted to be someone stuck down there. From here we wandered along the courtyard to see what else was in store. We saw a sign advertising the Princess Tower, which we thought Isla would love, you book time slots to take part, however, we were told there were spaces on the current one so went straight up, luckily! 

The Princess Tower is a lovely interactive story where the children are invited to help the Princess break the curse to reunite Guy and Felice. The story involved interaction from the children, to find clues, which both Jack and Isla and the other children in there really enjoyed. 

From here, we continued around the courtyard, heading to 'The Mound', which is the oldest part of the castle. From here we could see over the Trebuchet, Falconers Quest and some of the smaller activities which were happened. As we walked back down, we ended up on the big lawned area. From here, we walked around to the Falconers Quest show which was just about to begin. 

The Falconers Quest is new this year and the UK's biggest birds of prey show, and honestly, it did not disappoint. There was a story to follow along with the show, sharing a dream, following a journey, experiencing the challenge before experiencing the fantastic finale of over 70 birds in the sky at once. We did then wonder how they would get all of the birds to return but they did. 

Each of us were in sheer amazement at the display, and the vast array of different birds they had taking part. 

After watching the show, we wandered over to the activities which were happening, and Jack had a go on the longbow, it was an extra charge, but not too expensive, and worth it for the joy he had. 

After shooting at some targets, we headed to explore the towers and castles walls because that was something both Ashley and I wanted to explore. Firstly we went into the Bear Tower, the kids enjoyed comparing their handprints to those of the bears and learning that real bears were kept in there. We then went across to Clarence Tower, at the entrance, it stated there were over 500 stairs to climb and that it wouldn't be suitable for all individuals, as a one-way system, we took on the challenge! 

We began our journey up Clarence Tower, along the castle walls and climbed Guy's Tower, which seemed to go on forever. As we climbed the never-ending spiral staircase, Jack has a brief lesson on why they were so narrow and when we finally reached the top, the views over the castle grounds and into Warwick were just breathtaking. From the top of the tower, you could see for miles and miles. 

We then continued along the walls, explored the other various rooms, looked over the Barbican and across towards Caesar's Tower before heading back down towards the courtyard. Whilst there was a lot of steps taken, and a lot of stairs to climb, the views and the history that was there were well worth it.  

From here we went and got some food as we were all beginning to feel a little peckish. There were plenty of restaurants around which seemed reasonably priced, along with plenty of food carts around. We opted for a burger from one of the vans on the lawned area which was reasonable. However, there was plenty of seating areas and grassed areas for a picnic. 

After a spot to eat, we wandered around the peacock gardens, where we were greeted with some lovely peacocks. Although there weren't many gardened areas to explore there was a lovely conservatory and waterfall which were beautiful and a large lawned area back down towards the castle with plenty of places to play hide and seek.

As we walked back up towards the castle, we headed around to the Mill and Engine House. Jack was amazed at the different engines and seeing the watermill, (that boy has always been amazed by this kind of thing)

The final part we went to explore was the Chapel, Great Hall and State Rooms and viewed 'The Royal Weekend Party' whilst we were in there too. These were a series of large rooms with lavish interiors to match the scales. There were plenty of various artefacts, artwork, tapestries and waxworks on offer to help make the rea-deal. It was lovely to see behind the castle walls, and see some of the history of the castle and how it would have looked 'back in the day'. 

There were some parts of the castle we never did get to see, but we were all getting a little tired, so called it a day. We've already said we will need to plan another trip to watch the jousting, the trebuchet and other parts we missed too. However, the parts we did see, which was the majority were amazing! A fun filled day out, and one we certainly won't forget in a hurry. 

Warwick Castle is part of the Merlin Entertainments Group, so entrance is free with Merlin passes. You can also purchase a Warwick Castle Annual Pass which is just £35 per person for the year. Prices for a day ticket at the castle start at just £19, and there are always plenty of offers running on cereal packs for reduced entrance costs too. 

Please Note: We received tickets in exchange for a review of our visit. All views and opinions are our own and not influenced in any way. 

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