We visited Warwick Castle 02.09.2015-03.09.2015 staying in the glamping village.
Price Paid: £218.80 for 3 adults and 1 child (5 years old)
Price Included: One night stay in a glamping tent (beds, linen, fluffy blankets, storage chest, entertainment, all you can eat buffet dinner and breakfast, two days entry in the castle, parking – although we went by train)
Opening Times: 10am-5pm
Extra’s – Dungeons tour, similar to the London/Blackpool/Edinburgh Dungeons – £9 per ticket holder. Not suitable for under 10’s.
Glamping – Bird of Prey experience £5 each.
Archery, Knight School – up to £5 per ticket holder, free at Glamping Village if staying overnight.
Facilities – Plenty of toilets, some with ramp access, fairly clean.
Food & Drink – Can get a Quencher for £5 for unlimited soft drink refills throughout the day. Restaurants and food carts all around, some better value for money than others.
Shopping – One large gift shop at the entrance and a few tents in the courtyard and on the way to the Riverside Arena.
==Why Warwick Castle==
We like to try and do something different each year for my daughters birthday and we booked Warwick Castle in June to visit this September when she turned 5. We thought it would be good for her age and a nice way to celebrate her birthday before she starts school. I like that Tussauds are bringing in more hotel or overnight options to their attractions as I think you get more out of visiting for two days and arrival and departure times can be a little more relaxed. We took a good look at what was on so we had an idea of what we wanted to see and do before our trip.
Warwick Castle is situated in Warwick, Warwickshire and really is a beautiful place to visit. There is plenty of parking which comes at a cost however we came by train. The train station is about fifteen minutes walk from the castle itself and it’s a relatively easy walk through the town centre and quite clearly signposted.
===Arrival & Activity===
When we got there I displayed my email confirmation at the ticket office and we were allowed straight through to enjoy the day. Check in for the glamping village wasn’t until 4pm so we went straight into the main grounds where a fire alarm had just gone off so we needed to wait a bit before going into the actual castle courtyard. We arrived at around 12noon so first headed off to the Horrible Histories live stage show which is situated at the Riverside Arena. There isn’t any seating so we had to sit on the grass on a hill, we were quite close to the top and had a good enough view. After this we watched the Birds of Prey show at 1.30pm and 3.30pm, having lunch in between and then checking into the glamping village. We walked through the Peacock garden to get to the glamping village which was very pretty.The second day we spent at Princess Tower, Bear Tower, watched the Bowman Show, had a bit of fun in the medieval village and had a walk along the ramparts. We didn’t take part in the dungeons tour as my daughter was a bit too young and missed out on Time Tower but that’s just another excuse to go again. There is also the Rose Garden which looked beautiful and a playground for children.
===Shows & Towers===
The first show we saw was the Horrible Histories show which was brilliant. It was a really fun way of educating guests old and young about the history of Warwick Castle incorporating many daytime TV celebrities. The actors were very funny and got the crowd involved nicely. It kept my daughter occupied for the duration of the show as well even though she didn’t know who was being impersonated, I think she laughed because we were laughing but she was mesmerised by the music and activity on stage.
The Birds of Prey show was really fantastic. We watched both because each has different birds flying and it was great to learn a little bit about them and watch them in flight. There were vultures, stellar sea eagles, bald eagles, and owls. Each show displayed about five birds and showed them flying quite incredibly in and out of the arena.
We caught the Bowman show the next morning which was brilliant and the whole crowd got involved with shouting commands. The resident Bowman is an excellent shot shooting at a target across the river. He gave a nice little history lesson on Longbows too which was really interesting.
The Princess Tower is just perfect for children and my daughter loved it. It is on a one child to one adult ratio and you go in small groups. The tower is beautifully decorated and tells you the story of Guy of Warwick. You need to solve the mystery with the princess and my daughter loved this especially. It was a nice birthday treat for her to be called Princess for twenty minutes. They had a beautiful photo album available for £15 which I would have loved to get and will have to get it again next time.
The Bear Tower is really interesting and a small piece of history too with a little surprise waiting for you underneath.
My partner and daughter walked up along the ramparts and up and down the tower which was amazing as it was over 500 steep steps and they both came out sweating. This isn’t really suitable for wheelchairs and prams and guests need to be able to walk unaided. There are plenty of warnings for this and it is a one-way road so once you’re up you can only keep going forward. I was amazed my daughter did the whole walk to be honest as it’s quite a big ask for a five-year-old but she enjoyed the views from the top.
On the first day we had lunch at the Coach House Resturant in the Stables Courtyard at the entrance which was really good value and had things like burgers, sandwiches, jacket potatoes and other light bites on offer. For the four of us it was less than £30 which was ideal for lunch. Some of the food carts were quite expensive when it came to drinks so it made the Quencher really good value at only £5. I believe there is also an All Day Dining option which allows you to eat wherever you want throughout the day.
I’ve never been glamping before and I haven’t been in a tent for a very long time so I wasn’t really sure what to expect. What we found was the tents sleep four people very comfortably with space for a travel cot and air bed on the floor too. We had a storage chest, mirror, table and two stalls to use as well as a bin. We were situated at the farthest point in the glamping village but still close enough to toilets and the banquet tent.
Checking in is very simple you just need your name and they give you your tent number. A member of staff walks you to the tent and unzips it for you, pointing out where everything is on the way. There are toilets, showers and a designated smoking area. The staff were really friendly and helpful as we booked our Bird of Prey experience for the evening and confirmed our sitting for dinner that night.
We were really happy with the size of the tent and found the beds very comfortable. An extra fluffy blanket was provided too for added warmth although it was very, very cold. It rained, which didn’t help keep the cold out but the tents are completely waterproof so nothing got wet. If we had travelled by car I probably would have brought slippers, extra blankets and dressing gowns too to keep warm at night.
The entertainment was really fantastic. The only thing we paid for was to hold an owl which was amazing. His name was Alan and he was 14 weeks old. I loved this and thought it was well worth the £5 each as he flew straight on my arm and we had plenty of pictures taken. We also had a go at Archery. Evie hit all four of her arrows on the target with a little help from the staff and I had a go on the Crossbow which is for over 16’s. I had two bolts to use and was the first one to explode the apple that night prompting my boyfriend to become a little fearful of me…should a crossbow ever be in reach! He had a go with the Longbow and had four arrows to shoot. Knight School and Jester School was also available and looked like a lot of fun.
The banquet tent has a huge range of food. A nice soup and plenty of choices for children and adults. I had some roast pork with apple sauce, piri piri chicken, chips, bread rolls and some soup too. All really delicious. There was soft drinks, water, juice and tea and coffee available 24 hours as well which was great when you needed to warm up in the tent or a midnight sip of water.
We had a fantastic time at Warwick Castle and I loved how attentive the staff were. Evangeline had happy birthday sung to her at dinner, where a pudding pile was brought out to her without any prompting, at breakfast on her birthday, in the medieval village by the Cook, Jester and Maud (who took a liking to Evie’s toy dog and Princess Sword) and was wished a happy birthday by the Princess in the tower which she loved. Everyone made her feel very special which was just fantastic and the experience of seeing her so happy was incredible. Well worth every penny spent.