Warwick Castle in the West Midlands is a great place for a fun family day out. There is lots of fresh air and exercise in a stunning setting, amazing shows and you can learn while you are doing it. A lot of the attractions are inside so if it is raining you can still enjoy your day, although you will need to pack a raincoat to see the shows outside. I would suggest checking out some deals and discounts from Bydiscountcodes.co.uk before planning your visit you might be able to save some money for your bookings.
During half term, the castle is open 10-4pm and you need to give yourself at least three hours to make sure you fit everything in. It is worth getting to Warwick castle early as the car park was full when we arrived after lunchtime.
There are lots of other parking options nearby, so no need to worry. We park at St Nicholas Park, which was a short ten-minute walk away through a really lovely park which we would visit again. Warwick is a lovely place to visit so it is worth making a day of it.
There are so many shows on during February Half Term, even though it is the Winter, that it is definitely worth planning your day so you don’t miss out. The shows are repeated a couple of times so you can see them and fit them in. There are also several activities around the castle to do, like archery, this costs an extra few pounds. The only thing which is closed for the Winter is the adventure playground as it would be too slippy. There are lots of booths for buying drinks, snacks and souvenirs around the castle grounds as well as a restaurant and Costa coffee.
We started our visit with a trip around the Horrible Histories maze. This is a fun activity for kids and there are lots of facts spaced around the maze so you can learn about different periods in history as you try to navigate your way out of the maze. You can also collect stamps in your Horrible Histories passport and win a prize at the gift shop at the end.
The best thing about visiting Warwick Castle is definitely getting to explore the castle grounds. There is access to so many parts of the castle. You can climb the battlements and go up the turrets and towers as well as see the gaol and where the bears were kept.
The views from Caesar’s Tower are amazing and it is well worth climbing the five hundred plus steps. The route up is a one-way system so if you are scared of heights it is hard to go down if you change your mind. A less challenging climb with an equally impressive view is up to the Mound, one of the oldest parts of the castle. This has views of the grounds at the castle and on sunny days you can see as far as Stratford on Avon.
As well as climbing on the battlements you can also go into the castle itself. There are suits of armour, shields and weapons displayed in the Great Hall. I love the cheeky looking armoured horse which greats you.
There is a fascinating tour through the rooms, which are set up to recreate scenes from the past using waxworks of the historical figures. These are so life like you have to look at them twice to see if they are real. There is such attention to detail, including cakes which look like you could reach over and eat them and bubbles in the bath the maid is making. Twelve of the rooms are decorated to recreate a weekend in 1898 when the Countess of Warwick had royal guests, the Prince of Wales who later became Edward VII.
To delve even deeper into the history of the castle you can visit the Time Tower which is a multimedia experience recreating the key events in the castle’s history. If you have younger visitors, then a trip to The Princess Tower is essential. When you arrive at the castle, make sure you get a ticket which is included in the price. During this interactive experience you can feel what it’s like to be a real princess in a fairy tale.
The grounds at Warwick Castle are lovely, as you would expect from gardens originally designed by Capability Brown. There are sixty-four acres of landscaped gardens including a walk along the River Avon. Even in Winter, there is so much colour. Across the River Island is an island exotic which used to house a menagerie of animals. Now it is the site of the Mighty Trebuchet, an opportunity to see a siege engine getting fired. The range is definitely impressive and it is terrifying to imagine such a weapon being used in a real battle. Seeing it fired before your eyes really brings history to life.
One of the delights of walking around the gardens is getting close to the peacocks who live there. Their haunting cries can be heard throughout the castle grounds.
Our final part of the day was to watch the Bird of Prey show. You can get so close to these incredible birds.
This is such an entertaining and educational show. The handler allows a glimpse of the bird’s personalities as well as lots of facts about the birds themselves.
The snowy owl flies right over your head and it feels like it might land on you, although they are far more interested in the treats the handler is holding.
We had a lovely day at Warwick castle, and there is still time to go in half term. Tickets cost £14 online and £17 if you are brave enough to include a trip to the Dungeons.
We will be planning a trip again soon especially as we want to see the new Falconer’s Quest Show which starts on 6 April.
ALL NEW! Soaring into 2019 is the UK’s biggest Bird of Prey show; The Falconer’s Quest. Search the skies overhead as free-flying Birds of Prey take flight in an all action, dynamic display of aerial acrobatics. Join the Falconer on a quest for the finest birds in the land, all set in a stunning riverside location within the grounds of the castle.
Disclaimer: We were given a family ticket for the purposes of this review.