All you need to know about popular Warwick Castle – the perfect family attraction
What is it?
Warwick Castle is a medieval castle, originally built by William the Conqueror as a wooden fort in 1068, and rebuilt in stone in the 12th century.
This historical tourist experience is hugely popular and attracts visitors from all over the world – we heard plenty of American accents on our visit.
There is lots of to see and do plus there are live shows and experiences during the year including large arena jousting performances and the UK’s biggest birds of prey show, to help bring the castle alive for visitors.
Where is it?
It is unsurprisingly in the town of Warwick in Warwickshire on the River Avon, less than two miles from junction 15 of the M40.
*A fantastic show, the Falconer’s Quest – an outdoor bird show, made into a story.
There are a few rows of benches, but hundreds of other people sat around on the grass and on picnic blankets nearby to watch and had just as good an experience.
*The Horrible Histories Maze, where children can get a little book stamped at various stages.
*Archery and jousting lessons with enthusiastic staff dressed in medieval outfits.
*Interactive storytime in the Princess Castle.
*For younger children, there are attractions based around the Julia Donaldson character Zog, including a great outdoor play area.
Warwick Castle Top Tips
*The Castle Dungeon is a 50-minute walk with live actors and special effects but is scary and so for over-tens only. You have to pay extra for this attraction, it isn’t included in the entry price.
*Get there early – we arrived about 9.30am for a 10am opening which meant we were at the front of the car park – although it was still a bit of a trek – and one of the first through the doors.
*Pay for your car park at the start – about 50 yards before the entrance on the right – there can be queues if you leave it to the end and it’s a set price (£6) anyway.
*If you want to extend your stay, you can sleep over at Warwick Castle in the Knight’s Village. There are 24 standard Woodland Lodges which sleep up to five and four Knight’s Lodges which are bigger and sleep up to seven people.
*There are tours running every half an hour covering different areas of the castle and its history. We joined a 30-minute tour which explained the 1,000 year story of the castle with an enthusiastic guide. It was well explained to suit children and gives you a good grounding for your day at the castle.
*You can scale the towers and ramparts but be aware this is a one-way trip and there are a lot of spiral stairs to climb that will tire out little legs (and big ones). But there’s a great view from the top.
*We used a Shakespeare’s England Explorer Pass which gives you entry to 10 top attractions across Warwickshire including Warwick Castle, Avon Boating and Stratford Butterfly Farm.
There are plenty of food and drink options but it isn’t cheap. There was a pizza van making fresh pizzas (£11.90 for a basic Margherita), along with a fish and chip stall, ice cream vans and drinks outlets.
Lots of people brought their own picnics and there are plenty of lovely places to eat on the lawns and loads of benches to sit at.
Our video tour
Where did we stay?
We stayed at the gorgeous Mallory Court Country Hotel and Spa, which was about 15 minutes away.
Address: Warwick Castle, Warwick, CV34 6AH.
Parking: The castle’s car parks are a fair walk from the castle as its grounds are protected.
Accessibility: There is a drop-off point where people with mobility restrictions can be dropped off.
Some areas of the castle are not wheelchair accessible – see here for a full guide.
The castle supports the Sunflower Lanyard Scheme for those with hidden disabilities.
Opening times: Open every day except Christmas Day. Hours vary.
Prices: From £24. Under threes go free.
Website: Warwick Castle