This Monday me and the family decided to have a day out to Warwick Castle, taking advantage of The Sun’s 2 Free Tickets promotion and also the National Lottery Days Out campaign which meant the entry tickets cost us £11 for 5 people.
The Sun’s promotion has now expired but if you regularly play the Lottery then the National Lottery Days Out campaign is still running at the time of writing and you can still get £25 off going in.
I have been to the Castle before but hadn’t done some of the things on previous visits, such as The Castle Dungeon which my sister and her other half wanted to do, which I’ll start with first as it was the real highlight of the day on this visit for me.
The Castle Dungeon
The Castle Dungeon is an attraction which does carry an additional charge and can be pre-booked or can be booked on the day – at the time of writing tickets are £8 per person with no concessionary / under-18 charges (though Merlin Pass Holders can pay £5).
The attraction takes you through some of the darkest periods of the Castle’s history, at a time when the Black Death or bubonic plague was rife and also women were frequently accused of being witches (an area more well known for this is Essex which I touched on during my walk around Chelmsford post). The attraction is for over-10’s only and under 18’s must be accompanied by a parent or guardian and anyone looking to do it I would also recommend you read the safety notices on the weblink above before booking.
I found the experience to be very fun and enjoyable but it is definitely very scary and jumpy in places, especially if you haven’t done it before. In particular, the final two rooms were terrifying and me and my sister both screamed out loud at what happens in there.
You do also get some photos at the end which you can also pay extra to put into a short video which you can download online, ours is below.
The War Of The Roses Live
The War Of The Roses Live is a jousting show which takes place jut outside the castle walls. Myself and my dad had seen this on a previous visit but my mum, sister and her other half hadn’t so it was there first time. It is included in your entry fee to the Castle.
The show is a retelling of the actual War Of The Roses which is taught in most primary schools so every UK child will be aware of the story. In brief in the 15th Century the War Of The Roses were a series of civil wars fought by two houses, the Houses of Lancaster and the Houses of York, who both had claims to the English Throne.
The wars culminated in Henry VII of Lancaster marrying Elizabeth of York and together they formed the House of Tudor which became the Tudor dynasty that ruled throughout the 16th Century from Henry VII through to Elizabeth I.
The show is essentially a historical re-enactment of the wars. However when you walk across the bridge to the arena you as the audience get the choice of which family to side with, the House of Lancaster symbolised by the Red Rose and House of York with the White Rose by choosing the left or right hand stand.
At the beginning the actors warm the crowd up by having you chanting your houses name which is great fun and definitely for young kids will get them interested in the story which is well acted and engaging.
The jousting which is used to symbolise the wars themselves is is amazing to watch for the adults and kids alike. There are also some brilliant fight sequences and horse choreography that is stunning to watch and keeps it interesting. The show also makes use of fire and smoke to good effect although there are also some loud bangs which can be quite jumpy.
On the day we went there were two showings in the morning and afternoon so you can fit this around your day.
Here are a couple of my photos from the show. Unfortunately it was a bit grey and overcast during the show but it did add to the drama of the show.
The Falconer's Quest
A third show that we managed to squeeze in was The Falconer’s Quest. This show is also included in the entrance fee and also had two showings during the day.
Warwick Castle did have a Birds of Prey show on my previous visits, which again me and my dad did see but this is an updated version and in both of our opinions was much better.
The over-arching storyline is a man named Hobby who leaves Warwick to find the rarest birds he can find and bring them back to the Castle. The previous show was more of a straight demonstration of the birds but the storyline is engaging and adds some drama. The location of the show has also moved to the riverside arena which makes for a beautiful and dramatic backdrop to the show.
However of course the birds are the stars of the show and they are beautiful to watch, from Oscar the Barn Owl, to Barty the Bearded Vulture and the amazing flights the Falconry team make the birds do are incredible.
Again there isn’t really too much to say, only to have an umbrella as the heavens really opened up on us during the show!
Horrible Histories Maze
We also had a little explore around the Horrible Histories Maze. It is also free to enter with your entry and whilst it is mainly for kids it is fun to have a wander around. For the children, there is a time card given to them which they can stamp by visiting all of the time zones within the maze.
The maze covers area from the Vikings to the Tudors to the First World War and as a family you could spend a good hour wandering around. Unfortunately we did notice some of the activities weren’t working (for example in the Victorian section there is a street lamp with a hand crank which didn’t seem to be coming on when you turned it) however it is quite fun.
We also found a rather fetching throne in the Wicked Witches section which we all sat on quite regally.
However we also all got punished as we ended up in the stocks 😂
Finally I will wrap my photos up with just a couple from the Castle entrance.
I will also add a couple of pointers for those visiting for those looking to visit that you will need a decent pair of shoes as the walk from the car park is quite a fair distance – around a 15-20 minute walk from the furthest one to the Castle. Also parking for the day at the time of writing is £6 for the field car park where we parked (which you pay at a machine to get a ticket for the barrier).
We did have a problem with our machine as it did not print out a ticket but it did print out the receipt so I would make sure you get a receipt just in case as you can show this at the barrier.
Overall it was a really fantastic day out and I would recommend it as a day out for the family. If you have been to Warwick Castle I would love to know about your experiences.