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Warwick Castle – August 2008

August 26, 2008

It was a lovely Saturday morning in August when my wife and I visited Warwick Castle with our young daughter. We had planned a weekend with friends and Warwick Castle was on the way.

The Castle is easy to get to by car, well signposted and the car park is large. The walk from the car park to the Castle entrance was longer than we expected and little daughter was asking to sit on shoulders before we even arrived at the ticket booths. Signs in the car park reminding you that you need to purchase a £2 token to exit raise the cost of visiting the castle.

Fortunately for us, a friend had a get in free voucher for one adult and with darling daughter getting in free as an under 4, our entry cost was significantly less that we would have paid otherwise. We felt that the full entry cost was been higher than we would have been happy to pay, but since we were only paying the entry cost of 1 full adult, we were very happy with the price that we paid for entry. My opinion is that the cut-off age for children getting free entry is too low. Paying close to £10 entry for a 4yo is too much. Paying for the tickets also became rather confusing, on arriving at the ticket booths there is a clear sign for a ticket booth which takes cash only. It wasn’t long before a group of people crowded together wondering how they were going to pay for entry as alternative payment points were not obvious. It wasn’t until a member of staff pointed out that we all had to go through the arches to the Castle entrance for more ticket booths, which would take other payment methods. Quite why the tickets booths are separated like that is a mystery and while, in hindsight its obvious now that one must go through the arches into the entry courtyard, for a first time visitor it is slightly confusing.

Entry and ticket costs were the only disappointments of the day, once we and had entered the castle grounds it was fun and distraction all the way. We really did enjoy our day there and the Medieval experiences that went on were good fun for children and adults.

Arriving at 10am was definitely the right thing to do as it enabled us to wander unimpeded on the castle walls and around the rooms. Later in the day, specifically the afternoon, the queues to for these were significant and would probably hamper the enjoyment somewhat, especially with a toddler in tow. Staff on hand in the rooms were helpful and informative and seeing them in period dress added to the value factor. We estimated that at about 2pm the number of people on site was three times the number who were about shortly after we arrived, yet the grounds did not feel crowded and there was still plenty of room to wander about freely. There were noticeable queues at the food stall and to get onto the castle wall.

The entertainment on display was good with well choreographed fights and amusing incidentals. It made for good entertainment for the whole family.

The trebuchet on site claims to be the largest in the world and is certainly an impressive site. We managed to miss the firing of it, which is a shame as it was something I would have really liked to have seen.

The day we visited included a birds of prey display which was well presented, informative and hugely enjoyable with spectacular flights from the birds.

For lunch we bought burgers from a stand, one of several on site, and picnicked on the lawn. There are table you can eat at and there is a restaurant with children’s menu available. Eating early is advised as the queues build up. Taking in your own food means having to carry it from the car park (note the walk length) which, unless you have a pushchair to put it in, you may not wish have with you all day.

In Summary:
Definitely worth the visit and somewhere I will visit again, though I will try to avoid paying full price again as well.

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  1. Hever Castle - August 2008 « A limey’s ramblings

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