Days Out – Warwick Castle

 

When I told Master ATWWAH we were going to a castle at the weekend we had constant chat about Mike The Knight (thanks cbeebies) for days leading up to it.  Oh heck.  Warwick Castle has a fair few things aimed at kids but not Mike The Knight so I wasn’t sure if it would disappoint. I needn’t have worried.

We visited on the first day of the summer entertainment programme and the weather was kind to us too, although it was a bit overcast at times it was warm, which is a good thing at an attraction where lots of their seasonal entertainment is outdoors.

We’d arranged to meet my brother, Mr W and his son, Master W, who were arriving from the opposite side of the motorway to us so while we waited we walked up to the entrance and were greeted by the ‘Earl of Warwick’ and an assistant.  They both admired Master ATWWAH’s hat and then we wandered into the courtyard for a look around the gift shop.  We were still waiting for Mr W!

Earl of Warwick

The Earl of Warwick

I started a feminist rant at Mr ATWWAH about why girls toys were always pink.  There were loads of dress up choices in the shop but if a girl wanted to be a knight she got a pink shield etc.  I know if you were the parent of a girl you could just buy from the boys section but I really don’t get why clothes and toys are sectioned in that way.  Maybe if I ever have a girl I will understand.

Anyway, back to the Castle (which is definitely what Mr ATWWAH was thinking)  The summer entertainment consists of live shows which usually run twice a day and are timed so you can fit them all in.  There is a demonstration of how a trebouchet works, a birds of prey show, jousting and a Warriors show.  All of this is on top of actually going around the Castle and walking its walls, a Horrible Histories section with lots of actors and interactivity, the Castle Dungeons and an attraction based around BBC’s Merlin.

As Masters ATWWAH and W are both under 5 we avoided the Dungeons and Merlin.  Horrible Histories went over their heads but if you have kids a bit older I imagine they’ll love it.

Without doubt the best bit was the jousting.  It was the right mix of action, history and entertainment with a real War of the Roses element.  The kids were fascinated by the knights and they really looked the part.  Master W wanted the ‘baddie’ to win but changed loyalties halfway through when it became obvious he wouldn’t be the ultimate winner.

Jousting

White Rose or Red?

We have recently been trying to teach Master ATWWAH to solve disputes over toys at nursery with words and not through hitting/grabbing so we were kicking ourselves a bit at the level of ‘fighting’.  The number of times he shouted ‘fight, fight’ during the jousting was a bit disconcerting.  Still, he’s learning new words, right?

Jousting

The Battle of The Straw Hats

A valuable lesson was learnt later on in the Castle when the inflatable sword his uncle had bought him was lost forever.  As the weather was so hot several of the windows were open and he decided it would be fun to push his sword out the window on to the little balcony.  Sadly the windows only opened so far and it was impossible to retrieve.  Even now, a good week later, if you mention the castle he says ‘sword out of window gone’ He won’t be doing that again.

We didn’t think ahead enough to pack a picnic although loads of other people had and we ended up buying food from one of the stalls which was pretty reasonable for a tourist attraction.  The one thing you did have to pay for which wasn’t great was the parking.  It was £6 per car and that was the same regardless of how long you spent there.  £6 for all day isn’t bad but it was more the fact you don’t really have much choice other than to park there.

Overall though, it was a great day out and we left with loads more we could have done, so if you took kids who were a bit older you could easily spend two days there if you fancied.  I did notice on the way out that you could buy a ticket to return the next day for a £1 which isn’t bad if you are staying in the area and want to pace yourselves a bit.

Ticket prices aren’t that cheap but you can easily spend all day there (opens 10am – 6pm) with adult prices including the Dungeon and Merlin £30.60 and child prices £25.80.  Family tickets are also available.  Discounts/promotions can usually be found online www.warwick-castle.com

In the spirit of openness as mentioned before on this blog I work for Merlin Entertainments (who own and operate Warwick Castle) but this review is my honest opinion.  Entry was free as a staff member. 

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