Warwick castle makes a great family day out with a mixture of fun and educational value. We went along for the day, thanks to 365 tickets and would recommend it to other families.
Travelling up to the castle took us less than 2 hours from London. It’s 2 miles off junction 15 of the M40, and since it’s centrally located in the UK it is pretty do-able whether you’re coming from the North or the South. They also now have glamping tents that you can stay in, or you can get a room inside the castle! But we kept our visit to a day trip on this occasion.
When you arrive at the castle, there is a choice of two car parks. 6 for the regular car park, and 10 for premium parking which is right next to the entrance. Once you go through the turn styles to enter, you’ll be greeted with the view of the castle that you can see above, and you can also check the time table for the various talks that are available throughout the day.
We started off with an archery display and talk by the bowman, which included lots of historical information to suit all ages. I found all of the talks at the castle really interesting and it was great for the boys to be able to pick up history and general knowledge while having a day out!
The boys were also keen to try archery for themselves, and had great fun with this. Archery comes at an additional cost, but this is the only extra charge we paid while in the castle as everything else that we did was included, and the archery was reasonably priced.
Another talk that the kids really enjoyed was the kids tour of the castle. Children gather together in the entrance and then are led around a few different rooms of the castle, shown armour, told stories about the past owners of the castle and the history of the town and even shown the secret door that’s built into one of the walls. The staff member running this was very enthusiastic and engaged with the kids really well. My boys were enthralled with it, and have been talking about some of the stories since they came home – so I know that they absorbed the info well!
We also did the Time Tour interactive tour, which includes video, a 3d model of the castle and a talking wall of portraits – which reminded us of Harry Potter.
You can also walk up around the main walls of the castle, and get the view down from some of the higher towers.
Another of the really cool features they have at Warwick Castle is the Trebauchet. This is a real working one, although on the day of our visit it wasn’t able to be fired due to some issues with the weather – but they still gave a talk all about it, and demonstrated as many of the features of it as possible. I learned a lot from this myself, as did the kids. I had no idea that one of the most dangerous jobs in medieval times was running in the wheels of the trebauchets to wind and unwind the rope, and it was fascinating to hear about how long these impressive machines took to make and how they would be used to gain the upper hand in any stand off.
The talk was given by the same historian who gave the bowman talk, and you could really feel his enthusiasm on the subjects which is great. Here, he’s demonstrating a mini version of the trebauchet, which they were able to shoot to show just how precise the aim is with these.
For lunch, we went to the pizza and pasta buffet which is inside the castle and is decorated in a knightly castle theme to keep up the atmosphere. The restaurant there was quite busy, and fairly expensive for what you get but it is very typical of all of the Merlin attractions, and it does offer food that will keep the kids happy. The buffet format allows you to have a quick turn around so you don’t need to spend too much time on lunch – which is handy too. You could also bring in a picnic from home if you prefer, and there are other sit down restaurants on site too.
The kids loved the playground at Warwick castle which gave them a chance to run around and use up some energy – although the whole site is good for allowing kids to keep active, with plenty of walking and fresh air.
If you have time, you can explore the gardens of the castle too. There are lots of peacocks roaming around, which are beautiful to see.
Don’t forget to check out the mill and engine room too, which is away from the main part of the castle.
If you like scary stuff, you can upgrade your ticket to include entry to the dungeons too. We are all quite easily scared, so did not go for this! Perhaps it would be a great option for older children though.
If you have kids who are fascinated by knights and castles, they will love a day out at Warwick Castle and it offers plenty for adults too which makes it a great day out for all the family.