This guest post has been written by Emma who visited Muncaster Castle with her husband and two children whilst on holiday to the Lake District.
We visited Muncaster Castle, in Ravenglass, Cumbria, on the request of our eldest son Freddie (almost aged 4, we also had our 2 year old son, Bobby with us) as he wanted to see where the King slept and if there were any Knights. When we went (23 August 2014) it was the final day of their ‘Living History’ week, so there was even more to see than normal.
The first thing to mention, if you get the chance, is to book tickets online. You save 15%, and the tickets are valid for the full season so if you know you are going up there it’s definitely worth doing. There is free parking (always a bonus). However be aware there is a long and scenic walk of about 15 minutes to get to the castle which could wear out little legs before you get started. We didn’t take the pram but I saw that most other families had done.
Upon arriving, as we were a little early, there was a lovely lake to walk round and a play area to keep the boys distracted. We visited the castle first which has the most amazing views.
We were given a handset with information loaded on to listen to as you tour the rooms, but as anyone with small children knows you don’t get the chance to listen to them so we handed them back! The staff were great though in explaining things, listening to Freddie’s questions and giving some great answers, for example, there is a dragon who sleeps under the castle and keeps it warm in winter by breathing fire. We got to see the Kings bedroom (tick for Freddie) and I would have loved to find out more about the place being haunted, but the boys were getting restless and I didn’t want to scare them by reading it out to them.
As part of the living history week there were lots of activities; we watch a bottle reenactment, then had a go at firing bows and arrows, they even let Freddie shoot one!
There are also some fabulous gardens to explore including a maze but we had so much to do we didn’t make it round these.
A really great day helped by the fantastic people we met!