- WHERE TO STAY
- PUBLIC TRANSPORT
- CRUISE PORTS
The first thing to say about Warwick Castle is that yes, Warwick is historic and a well preserved castle, not a ruin. But it is run by the same company - Merlin - that manages Madame Tussauds and Legoland and is run primarily as an entertainment.
As Warwick Castle is part of the Merlin group entry is free with a Merlin Annual Pass. Check out our page: Merlin Annual Pass including Warwick Castle - what's it all about?
If your requirement is pure heritage and history you may be disappointed. If you are looking for a medieval castle where you kids can fulfill their fantasies, this is probably the place for you.
Unless you arrive by tour coach, parking is not free at Warwick Castle. The less expensive car parks involve a 10-minute walk to the main entrance.
It is about a 15-minute walk from the train station at Warwick. There are regular trains from London's Marylebone Station. Trains on this line go onto nearby Stratford Upon Avon.
The Castle can trace its history back to the 10th Century. Warwick acquired the classic moat surrounding a large earth mound supporting a fort with the arrival of the Norman's. Warwick was one of a whole chain of castles across England that included Windsor Castle.
The 'serious' side of a visit to Warwick revolves around visiting the Great Hall and rooms adjoining. This is very similar to any tour of a more 'staid' castle, but won't take more than 10/15 minutes of your time.
The castle walls offer exercise and great views.
The rest of the castle is focused on events that take place throughout the day.
These are biased towards entertaining children, in fact Warwick Castle is geared as a family attraction where you could easily spend the whole day. It's a kind of low key medieval theme park.
Events like mock fights, demonstrations of medieval weapons and jousting happen throughout the day.
There are demonstrations of archery and stalls where kids can live out fantasies like archery and sword fighting.
For a family, the extras can work out expensive. The whole setup is a very slick cash machine, the events keeping you within the Castle with pauses long enough between them for your kids to plead to joust, fight etc - a constant drip feed on your wallet.
There is a wide range of food options, but prices reflect the monopoly Warwick Castle has over you. The grounds are vast with sweeping lawns with plenty of space for a picnic you can bring along. You should find a space of your own, even at the busiest times to have a family picnic which can be idyllic on a nice day.
If you aren't towing kids along or you arrive on a coach tour you will probably spend only a couple of hours at Warwick.
Warwick Castle, Shakespeare's Birthplace in Stratford & Oxford guided day tour from London
• Adult £103
• Admission to Warwick Castle • Entrance to Shakespeare's Birthplace • Visit to Oxford & walking tour • Panoramic tour of the Cotswolds • Professional guide • Luxury air-conditioned coach with free Wi-Fi
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