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This review of Warwick Castle is by Mammy Flynn who writes a blog called Fun with the Family which you can read by clicking here.
After we had made the decision to take the long journey down to Southampton to visit Peppa Pig World, we thought about making a stop along the way to break up the journey. Having been to Warwick Castle a few years previous with my mother and also armed with the knowledge that my family love castles, the choice had been made. We booked our tickets online direct with Warwick Castle, they offer up to 30% discount for tickets booked in advance and even a Rainy Day promise! There is also the option to upgrade your day ticket to a two day ticket for only 70pence each, fabulous bargain which we took full advantage of.
We arrived at the castle very late on our first day so were extra pleased that we had booked the 2 day option. Upon entry we were directed to our destination Merlin :Dragon Tower, which is situated to the left of the main entrance in the Castle courtyard. There were two squires to greet us and send us on our way to the Tower where we were entered and started our journey. I won’t spoil this too much for you should you decide to visit yourselves, what I will say is that it was fantastic! A fully interactive story based on the TV series Merlin and full of magic and mystery. My 3 year old son Luca completely surprised us by standing up and talking to the Dragon who amazed him by knighting him ‘Sir Luca’, fabulous and really made the children believe. I thoroughly recommend booking this attraction, it can be booked in advance and time slots allocated to suit your visit. After the Dragon Tower, we did not have much time until closing so just had a quick wander around and made some decisions what we would like to do the following day.
The following morning bright and early we arrived at the Castle ready to re-start our adventure. We were given maps at the main entrance and also the children got a Horrible History trail each to complete. I was especially grateful to have pre-booked tickets as the queues on entrance were horrendous! We just scanned our ticket and in through the turnstile! Once inside you get to see just how magnificent this castle is. 2014 is the 1100th birthday of Warwick Castle and it has certainly seen its fair share of turmoil along with impressive visitors, Henry VIII and Elizabeth I to name but a few. It’s history is absolutely fascinating and worth reading up on before a visit. There is just so much to see and do here you do need the two days to be able to do it justice. Having a 5 year old daughter in tow, it was inevitable that we had to visit The Princess Tower and learn about the tragic story of Princess Felice and her true love Guy. Another fully interactive attraction where the children can get dressed up as princesses or kings and join in the story telling.
We were very lucky to be visiting whilst the Horrible Histories trail is ongoing. If you are not familiar with this, it is a wonderful series of books written by Terry Deary aimed firmly at making history fun for children. It is also an award-winning TV series. Check them out, they are really good. Warwick Castle has teamed up with Horrible Histories and come up with a wonderful array of activities for the children. We had our trail and pencil and off we went. There were five areas to explore, Smashing Saxons vs. Vicious Vikings, Gorgeous Georgians, Slimy Stuarts, Vile Victorians and The Measly Middle Ages. We had a great time following the trail and joining in with some ghastly acts. There were characters at every station dressed in period costume and really getting into the spirit of the era.
After completing our trail, we explored the inside of the Castle. It is now under the ownership of the Merlin Group who also own Madame Tussauds and you could certainly tell. Each grand room was dressed with waxwork characters and there was also a narrative in the rooms following Daisy, The Countess of Warwick’s preparations for her Royal Weekend Party. I liked the fact that we didn’t have to keep telling the children not to touch, don’t wander in there, keep away from that, there was a very relaxed feel to the Castle.
Throughout the day there are many different shows to watch including archery, birds of prey and jousting. We unfortunately only had time to see the archery show and it was excellent. Our archer was very entertaining.
I could go on and on and on even more as there is so much to do and we didn’t get to see it all. We would most definitely go back and are hoping to visit again next year to cover the areas we missed this time. I will leave you to hopefully make your own Warwick Castle discoveries and enjoy your time travelling.