Last week we were kindly invited to Warwick Castle for a family day out. The last time we visited, Baby K was only 5 months old, so I was really looking forward to his reaction to ‘Castle Men’ now he was 2! Living only 30 minutes away, I know how lucky we are to be so close to many Merlin Attractions. And Warwick Castle is pretty special – a place that’s full of history, incredible detail and fun for all the family.
We arrived just shy of opening time which was 10am. It was a dry Sunday, and whilst there was a lot of people waiting to enter, the queue dispersed quickly enough. There is loads going on at Warwick Castle and we had a full day of shows, tours and attractions to get stuck in to. But first up, we got to meet an actual Knight!
Our first stop within Warwick Castle was the Horrible Histories Maze. This is situated a short walk down the hill from the turnstiles, and to the left. It’s a pretty large maze, with various areas focused on different periods of history. Upon entry to the horrible histories maze, help yourself to a ‘Get Lost in Time’ passport.
As you get lost within the different sections of the maze, be sure to stamp the correct time zone to add to your passport. The kids loved doing this and we had lots of fun…getting lost!
Come across the areas of: Vicious Vikings, Terrifying Tudors, Slimy Stuarts, Stormin’ Normans, Measly Middle Ages and Frightful First World War! There is various fact sheets scattered around the maze and it’s great to learn what these people got up to in the past!
Following our lengthly but fun maze experience, we then took a wonder through the grounds of the castle over to our next activity, and that was brunch! Near the area of The Mighty Trebuchet there are many picnic tables and a large grassy area to set up picnic. So we did just that!
Unfortunately The Mighty Trebuchet is currently not in action. After 14 years of throwing rocks (over 10,000 to be precise!) it’s recently suffered some technical malfunctions. However, they do hold a daily talk about this amazing piece of equipment. We didn’t get chance to listen to the talk (as we had three hungry children demanding sausage rolls!) but we admired The Mighty Trebuchet from a distance.
12.30pm was the first of two shows of The Wars of The Roses. This show is located Riverside and just next to The Mighty Trebuchet. Upon entry to the arena, you need to pick a side – The White Roses, or The Red Roses. This time, we chose to be on Team Red Rose! The show is fantastic and tells the story of Richard of York and his battle to win the crown.
The show is full of battle scenes, pyrotechnics and fire – it’s incredible to watch! The kids especially loved chanting ‘Red Rose! Red Rose!’ and it really felt like you were in the middle of a war! The horses were just fantastic and despite them being used for a show, you could see the passion and love from the trainers. The show lasts approximately 30 mins.
Next on the agenda was The Castle Dungeon. This live action attraction is recommended for over 10’s, however it is at the parents discretion if they wish to bring a child in from the age of 5. Neither Missy or Mr B felt they were brave enough, so Matt took this one alone. Overall, the attraction lasted 1 hour and he said it was really interesting, if a little scary at times. He did describe the end scene where a witch came into the room and the lights when out! Yikes!
Whilst Matt was having fun in the castle dungeons, I decided to get a ticket for entry into the Princess Tower. This works on a ticket system for the next available time and is free. All tickets are on a first come first served basis. Enter the Princess Tower up some winding stairs into the Princess’s waiting room where you can make a wish and explore her treasures. You will then join the Princess to solve the riddle to reunite the Brave Guy of Warwick and his Princess Felice. The experience lasts about 15 minutes which Missy enjoyed, but she did wish it lasted longer.
Warwick Castle is full of history both inside and out. We decided to take a break from the rain clouds and explored what the inside of Warwick Castle has to offer. We wondered through the Great Hall (which was set up for a wedding!) and came across Henry VIII and some of his wives! We took a walk around many bedrooms and took in the beautiful great interiors.
Both Missy and Mr B were quite fascinated with some of the facts, especially the gruesome ones!
On our way over the the Falconery Show, we stopped off at the Archery experience. You can either chose to fire 6 or 12 arrows for a cost of £2.50 or £5. It is a shame that there is an additional cost to this, but it was reasonable so we let the kids have a go, which they really loved.
This is a brand new show to Warwick Castle for 2019. I think birds of prey are fascinating, and didn’t they put on a show for us! It’s new location is situated just on the riverside opposite the Wars of The Roses arena. The show was entrancing and the kids loved how the birds swooped so low across the crowd!
There are many towers to explore at Warwick Castle. Our time here had unfortunately came to an end so we could only have a brief climb of Bear and Clarence Towers and The Gaol. The Gaol occupies the lowest chamber of Caesars Tower and is the original dungeon. The stairs are steep here, so take your time! It’s pretty powerful knowing that you are inside a dungeon where prisoners were entombed for many years!
There are a few shops scattered across the grounds of Warwick Castle where you can find gifts and memorabilia to take home. There is even a place where you can search for your surname and have it printed onto glass!
Within the castle, you can find a pizza and pasta buffet. Just outside the turnstiles, there is The Coach House Restaurant. There is also a Tea Room situation in the Warwick Castle gardens. Scattered across the lawns you will find several food outlets serving burgers, waffles and pulled pork baps! There is also several places to grab those ever so popular slushes!
We missed out on several attractions as we just didn’t have enough time. One of the activities I wanted the children to do was The Knights School. Simply purchase a sword (or weapon of choice!) from the shop and the kids can take part in learning tactical defence skills with a resident Warwick castle knight!
We also didn’t mange to explore The Time Tower or explore the 64 acres of beautiful landscaped gardens. But what we did do was have fun, and we all throughly enjoyed this fantastic day out in the heart of Warwick.
– Prebook your tickets online prior to your visit
– Arrive early so you make the most out of your visit. We felt that there just wasn’t enough time!
– The grounds are beautiful. Bring a picnic to make use of sitting on the lawns and taking it all in
– Keep on a good schedule with the daily shows – you won’t want to miss them!
– The cost of the Car Park is £6.
– Keep an eye out for special events – this Summer Warwick Castle are hosting a exhilarating evening show called Dragon Slayer!
Overall, we had such a great family day out at Warwick Castle. With it being in such great location in the Midlands, it’s a great place to visit along side some other fabulous attractions. If you fancy staying over, there are various local hotels or if you fancy a splurge, you can even stay in the Knights Village located onsite at Warwick Castle!
Thanks for reading xxx
Hi and welcome to The Willow Tree. I’m Michelle, also known as Shel and I am a mama to three beautiful crazy kids – I have two handsome boys and a wild and wonderful girl.
I really wanted a concrete place to share my thoughts, ideas and my ups and downs on family life, sharing our family adventures and love for fashion. I’d love for it to be a community of support and advice for others too.
I chat everything from Disney, parenting hacks to the latest haul from Primark! I love going on family breaks and holidays and love to document these times of creating special memories.