This post is written in collaboration with Warwick Castle*
Eleven reasons to visit and stay at Warwick Castle: Half term has been and gone but if like me you are already making plans for the Easter Holidays then an overnight stay at Warwick Castle could be exactly what you are looking for. We stayed last weekend and I was very impressed with just how much there is for kids to enjoy. To me Warwick Castle looks like how I imagined fairytale castles to look when I was a little girl. I guess the question is did all the boys knightly dreams come true?
Ten reasons to visit and stay at Warwick Castle
Horrible Histories Maze – A themed maze made up of several different areas all relating to a Horrible Histories moment in time. At the entrance you can pick up a passport which you collect stamps in at various points. We got a little lost which is obviously the whole point.. but not to the extent that it becomes an issue with young kids if you know what I mean? In each area there is something to keep them entertained. I also like how the walls of the maze match different eras. Such as sandbags for WW1 and willow for the Middle Ages. Even Kipper managed to work the stamps. It took us around twenty minutes to complete and the paths are wide enough to manage a buggy easily.
Bow Man – One of the things that stands Warwick Castle apart is that there is always something on. At the entrance you can pick up a leaflet which tells you when all the different shows are on. The Bow Man is always worth a stop. Not only are his archery and long bow skills impressive, the session is highly educational and also geared towards an adults sense of humour.
Trebuchet show – One of its kind across Britain its not to be missed. There is a fair amount of commentary around how they were used in the Middle Ages. Much of which made Monkey laugh out loud, along with the rest of the crowd. Participation is a must. Although there is something very impressive watching it fire a cannonball the size of a basket ball across the river.
Falconry – When we visited they had their Winter birds of prey show on. Where we got to meet several different birds including an owl called Ernie. As impressive as this was. In April they are launching The Falconer’s Quest. It will be the UK’s largest display of avian adventure, coupling a riveting storyline and live action with amazing aerial feats by a wide array of birds of prey ranging from Red Kites to the largest winged star of the show, the Andean Condor with a wingspan of 10 feet. The Falconer’s Quest will run as part of the daily activities at Warwick Castle, through to October 2019.
Knight School – This was by far Monkey’s favourite. In front of the castle you get to train with the castles resident knight. Initially defending yourself but fast turning into inflicting pain on your parents. The knight come comedian entertains both the children and parents alike. There was definitely some oscar winning performances from the parents that became victims of the knight’s sword. So don’t forget your swords or pick one up at the numerous shops.
Monkey also took part in the Have a Go Archery, which cost £5 for 12 arrows or £3 for 6 arrows. I was very impressed with the set up as he got one on one help and advice. Which meant he even managed to hit the bullsie.
Castles Dungeon – Designed for children aged 10 and over. Although not for us its good to know that there is plenty to amuse children of all ages. Priced at £5.50 per person you get to witness some of the darkest, bloodiest and most frightening times in Warwick Castle’s history. As live actors and special effects bring to life these gruesome tales. You should pre book timed tickets in advance for this attraction.
Ramparts & Time Tower – Of course you can not visit a castle without walking around the ramparts. It gives great views of the surrounding countryside and town. Of course the kids just love being high up, pretending to fire make believe arrows out of the slits in the side. In Caesars Tower there is also an interactive experience called the Time Tower. The audio visual multimedia experience captures the essence of Warwick Castle’s rich and vibrant history.
Not forgetting going inside the castle itself. Where you can see all the armour in the Great Hall. Always fascinating for little ones. Plus wander through a number of different rooms. Including my favourite which is the blue room. The pale blue silk wall coverings brought to life as the sun shines in through the double aspect windows. Bounding off the the gold framed portraits of King Henry the 8th and his many wives.
Meet the Peacocks – In the conservatory there is a little cafe, perfect for sitting on the patio over looking the formal castle gardens. A great place to recharge before more knightly fun. Its also the home to the peacocks that wander free amongst the box hedging. Trying their luck at peoples picnics.
Dinner Duals – As we were staying in the Knights Village we ate in the Medieval Dinner Hall. Booking is essential. Considering its a captive audience the price is very reasonable at £9.95 for children and £19.95 for adults. The menu selection is not huge and service ultra quick. However this was more than made up for by the knightly dual at the end of our meal. Monkey was enthralled as two knights fought in front of his very eyes. He had sided with Sir Samuel from Kent after striking up a conversation with him earlier on in the evening. It really was something and now I understand why the amour was quite so dented. It was really good fun and the perfect end to the day.
Themed Accommodation – We stayed in one of the Woodland Lodges which sleeps up to five people. There was something magical walking along the wooden walkways amongst the pine trees looking for the lodge number. Compact with all the mod cons it has everything you need for a short break. In the kids bedroom there are bunkbeds and third pull out bed if required. Both boys were excited by the prospect of bunkbeds. I was a little worried we would hear next door but not a peep. The shower room is spacious and stylish with its grey tiles.
There is plenty of storage, along with free Wifi and plenty of kids channels on the TV. However what I really liked was the sense of community. In the morning before breakfast many of the children were outside playing. Practicing the skills knight school had taught them, running around with their swords and shields. It really kept the magic alive and meant by the time we went for breakfast they were starving.
Staying overnight in one of the lodges nestled in the forest not far from the castle itself its definitely a fairytale end to a fairytale adventure. Plus by getting priority entry to the castle for two days. It means you get to beat the queues at the turnstiles and you get to experience all the fun again the next day. There really is so much to do that having two days means that you can slow down the pace a bit.
I really wished we lived closer as Warwick Castle have recently launched a special Little Warrior Pass. Available exclusively online it means that an adult and under 5 can visit the castle for £10. Under 3s are free and additional children aged between 3 and 5 cost £5. So it would make the perfect day out during term time.
Have you been to Warwick Castle? What are your plans for the Easter holidays I would love to hear about them in the comments below.
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*We were gifted entry to Warwick Castle and overnight stay in return for writing this blog post. All words and opinions are my own