A couple of weeks ago we took a sneaky Monday off school and visited Warwick Castle for the day (we were offered the tickets in return for a review). We had a wonderful time and I can safely say Warwick Castle has something for every age, but at 7 and 8 the boys had a super time and we can not wait to go back as we didn’t manage to see everything.
We arrived at opening time and started our day at 10:30am watching The Raising of the Portculli, which is a great way to learn a little more about Warwicks defences.
The boys then decided that they needed to climb the walls before doing anything else. 220 steps do not slow them down at all! One of the great things about Warwick Castle is the daily shows, so we made sure that we took them all in.
So next on the agenda was watching the firing of the trebuchet. We watched as the largest working Trebuchet in the world threw its missile over 150 metres! The boys were particularly taken with the human hamster wheel aspect of it!
After that wonderful show, we decided to catch the birds of prey, which is called Flight of the Eagles.
The boys sat opened mouth watching the birds do their thing. You can also get a closer look at them in their area later if you want to.
Next was the Bowman Show. This is what made my boys want to be archers and beg to have a go (which we did and Maxi is a natural). It was 12 arrows for £5 or 6 for £3. You can see the photo’s on my Google+ page.
We also did Merlin’s Tower, which was short, but AMAZING and the boys were smiling about it for the rest of the day and still keep telling everyone about it.
The adventure playground is great and perfect for larger children, not just the littlest one.
We had a great day, the only down sides for us where that we couldn’t fit it all in and that the food and service at the Coach House Family Restaurant was really poor. Our meals were not brought out together and everyone had finished before mine was delivered to the table, inspite of us asking where it was three times (it was only soup and a roll, so I do not understand why it was so hard). It was even more infuriating, as there was only three tables in use and all the rest were left with the detritus of precious visitors.
Our Top Tips
- Get their early and book your tickets (free but timed entry) for any thing like the Princess Tower
- Do the same for any paid activities, including Merlin Tower and the Dungeons.
- Buy a refillable hot drink voucher. It was £7, but my boys love hot chocolate and it cost £2.25, so soon paid for itself with that and our teas and coffees.
- See the free shows, they really make the castle come to life.
- You can not do it all in one day if you see the shows. We didn’t get to do the dungeons or the Kingmaker exhibition, but are looking forward to returning
- Book in advance online, that way you get a discount.
- Keep an eye out for the special events online – We are really looking forward to the Horrible Histories Stormin Summer event, which runs from 20th July to 1st September.
Where to stay:
We stayed at at Chesford Grange hotel, which was delightful and less than ten minutes driving time to the castle. The hotel is set in 17 acres of stunning green Warwickshire countryside, so there’s plenty of room the children to have a good old run after any travel and the hotel also has a brilliant pool with designated family splash times, so the kids can enjoy themselves in the pool . My boys cooled off after our journey in the pool which is open till 9pm each evening.
Our family room was spacious and the beds were comfortable, so we all managed to get a great nights sleep followed by a superb breakfast. Children are well catered for in the hotel restaurant with a nutritious “Quackers” menu and we had a “Quackers” activity pack left in the room for each of the boys.