Warwick, Warwickshire, England
A medieval castle developed from an original built by William the Conqueror in 1068.
Top Reasons to go:
Loads to do
Fun for the little ones
So...at this point I'd like to say I haven't been to Warwick Castle since it was taken over by new management. But it's a medieval castle and I can't imagine that the structure has changed that much since I last visited.
Having said that what I have seen is loads of complaints, I'd like to address these complaints as I would hate to think that issues of these sorts would be enough to put families off going to visit a truly stunning castle and an important part of history.
• The 20 min walk from the car park - Per the management, paraphrasing here, being that the building is a listed building and that the town was built up around the castle there's not much to be done about the length of the walk without destroying historical sites. You need the exercise anyway.
• The cost of the car park - park somewhere else and walk, you're going to have to any way.
• The crowds - Do your best not to go in the summer months or around other school holidays. There will be crowds at these times. Avoid it if you can. If you can't brace yourself and your family and get on with it. Maybe you'll make some new friends.
• The food - Apparently the pizza is bad? Don't eat it. There's a lovely little town just outside the castle walls with lots of fabulous little shops and restaurants to explore. If you can't survive the 2 -3 hours of castledom without food then sneak a bag of nuts or a couple of granola bars in your handbag/nappy bag/trouser pocket. If you are staying for full day don't eat the pizza...apparently...
• The extra cost of things inside - I've read there are extra charges for attractions inside such as the Dungeon and Archery. The Dungeon is extra because it is set up as a scare (haunted house type) experience. Where actors startle guests and act out tortureesque scenes. Probably not ideal for the little ones anyway. Skip it. There's the original dungeons on the grounds which are still free. (See pics in the slideshow below) They are denoted as The Gaol. Go there, for free and don't accidentally punch an actor paid to scare the shite out of you in the face, because he won't be there. Yay! As for the archery, meh, tell the kids you'll get them their very own set for Christmas and then conveniently forget. Christmas is ages away, they'll be fixated on something else by then.
• Kids bored with wandering around an old castle complaining about the manniquin displays and boring artwork - See pics below for fun entertainment for the whole family. Failing that stick then in the oubliette. If they are that bored at an awesome castle then odds are they are watching too much television/playing to many video games/ a combination of the two.
So there you have it. Essentially it's what you make of it. If you are going to go and be a grump about it you will undoubtebly find something to be grumpy about. If you go with a positive attitude and a mind filled with the superior knowledge of first hand experience which I have now bequeathed unto you, you will indeed have an excellent time. They've even got a new maze, which sounds aMAZEing. (Oh yes...I went there.)
Hours of Operation & Fees
Open 7 days a week
Typically from 10am - 4pm or 5 pm
There are some later hours in late October for Halloween type events.
Check the website to be sure.
Starting at £19 Entrance if you book online.
BOOK ONLINE!!! or PAY!!!
Car park £6 (there's about a 20 min walk from the car park to the castle)
Check website for further info.
Utterly fantastic place to go with the kids. Loads to do and see. Check their website for kid themed events. Very young children may get tired as there is a lot to see. Bring the baby carrier, easier than getting a push chair up and around the narrow twilry castle staircases!
Tons of different events going on through out the year.
Check their website before you go to see what's happening and plan your visit accordingly.
Best to go off season to avoid crowds.
Keep an eye out for kids go free events.