When I had arranged to go to The Rose and Crown, I started looking into what else I could do in Warwick. The obvious thing was to visit the castle and Edd was pretty excited when he realised I'd never been before. We booked tickets online the night before at about £13 each. There's lots of offers available for families or if you book in advance but we were a bit late!
After a stroll through Warwick and lunch at Catalan, we found the town entrance to the castle. I liked sneaking in through the mysterious door!
We found our way to the ticket gate and scanned our print-outs.
Through the gates and we found ourself in the courtyard. There was plenty to do and look at. Here's some of the things we got up to.
The Great Hall and State Rooms
The waxworks were a tad cheesy but I liked how things weren't roped off and you could get close and pick things up.
It gave a real sense of what life would have been like for people living in the castle in more recent times. We often think of castles as being purely medieval and forget that people lived in some of them until recently.
Birds of Prey
We stood up on the stairs to watch the bird of prey demonstration. The handler was very funny as they always are and showed us lots of exciting eagles etc. They are on display in their huts too so you can have a closer look.
You have to climb up towers when you're at a castle! We climbed one of the towers which was surprisingly high but was less terrifying than climbing the Bell Tower in Florence.
Here's me, thinking about food probably.
We were a bit excited to find some peacocks wondering around.
There's a whole peacock garden with peacocks bobbing about the place, shouting occasionally and putting up with idiots like me.
Apparently sometimes they break out and are found exploring Warwick. Can't blame them. It baffled me that they just stayed there- is there something about the topiary that they like?
Edd was excited to find out there was a working trebuchet (the world's largest in fact). I did not know what this was but it turns out it was a giant fireball throwing machine. The poor soldiers had to march inside the wheel to create energy. This doesn't sound too complicated but it was back breaking work and once they started they couldn't stop or they would get caught up in the turn of the wheel. The light came in at fast intervals too and would make the soldiers feel dizzy and sick. Apparently blind people were often used for this job because they would be less affected by the light.
And I learnt all this in about ten minutes watching the performers pretend to be soldiers. In this case, they shot a fireball which was really exciting, but in medieval times they would also shoot dead animals to spread disease.
We visited on a February weekend which was perfect timing. It wasn't too busy so there was plenty of room and we didn't have to queue for anything.
Since we've visited, there has been the opening of the HORRIBLE HISTORIES MAZE. Written in capitals because I am equal parts jealous and excited. There's also the Time Tower which was an audio-visual history of the castle. I really enjoyed this and liked the way it was timed so doors opened at certain times to take you through to the next part.
I had such a fun day at Warwick Castle and would highly recommend it to anyone interested in history or to families. There's always offers on cereal boxes and so on. Plus you get to visit Warwick which is lovely in itself.
Warwick Castle, Warwick
Photos by Edd and myself.
Tickets paid for ourselves.