England

Review: Warwick Castle, UK!

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In the 5 years that we have lived in Birmingham we have driven past signs for Warwick Castle frequently and added it to our to do list. Sadly time has never allowed a visit and then when Annabelle arrived we pushed it down the list thinking it wasn’t going to be baby friendly.

We were wrong!
On Saturday we were invited to check out everythingΒ Warwick CastleΒ had to offer, as a family,Β  including The Falconers Quest – the new birds of prey show for Summer 2019.

As summer had finally arrived in the UK we decided to head to the castle after Annabelle’s nap so that we weren’t out in the hot sun all day. We had headed to my parents in Stratford-Upon-Avon so Annabelle could nap there and we were only 15 minutes from the castle.
It worked perfectly, Annabelle woke up at 1.30pm and we were at the Castle check in at 2pm. With map in hand we headed off to explore. We had taken the baby carrier as we knew that there was going to be walking involved, it ended up being a great decision – although Annabelle was happy to enjoy the grounds when the opportunity allowed.
We started with the towers and ramparts, it involved 500 steps, most of these were inside the towers so were steep and small – they really built castles for a purpose back in the day πŸ™‚ The views at the top were well worth the work out though. Annabelle was entertained with the climb and we had remembered water so I was able to stay hydrated, so all in all it went well.
The rampart walk wasn’t all about the steps though. Along the route were rooms jam-packed full of displays, one thing Warwick does really well is bring history to life. The displays included life-size models, plenty of pictures and stories, interactive guides and surround sound to make you really feel part of the past. As a history buff I LOVED IT! Thankfully Annabelle was also into it.
It took us around an hour to complete the walk and after we finished we headed straight to the Kingmaker – a journey through preparations for war with sights, sounds and scenes that would have happened back in 1471. Being inside allowed us to cool down and have some respite from the sun.
As we finished it was almost 3.30pm, time for the afternoon show ofΒ The Falconers Quest. We headed to the riverside arena and took our seats on the grass verge. There was seating available but with Annabelle ready to stretch her legs we decided the grass would give her more space to roam.
As soon as the show started we didn’t have worry about Annabelle wandering, she was mesmerized. We all were. From the beautiful barn owl to the gigantic Bald Eagle, the sprightly harris hawks and the huge condor it was amazing. The trainers had the birds flying low over the crowd and the story being told kept us all engaged. It was the first time we have ever taken Annabelle to anything like this and based on this experience we would definitely do it again.
To continue the bird theme we headed to the peacock garden to check out the beautiful flowers. What we discovered was numerous peacocks hiding in the bushes and wandering the gardens, we were able to get up close and even get a selfie! It was a lovely experience.Β 
The walk back to the main castle ground gave us a real perspective of the size of the castle. There were so many places to sit and enjoy a picnic or let children run wild. We strolled past the archery area where people were learning the skill and set up a blanket so Laura and Annabelle could relax while I headed up the Conquers Fortress – the oldest part of the castle.
The walk up the mound was on an incline but it was made easier with the distraction of signs packed with interesting facts. Warwick was chosen as a strategic castle due to its central location and was visited by plenty of royal family members previously. It’s proximity to the spa town at Leamington also helped. Or so I found out! At the top the reconstruction is impressive and is another castle.Β 
After making it back to my girls we finished the trip at the Time Tower. This for me was another highlight. Taking you back to the very start of the castle an walking through the ages you got to meet people who had played a part in the history. From battles to restoration, from family relations to family squabbles you get it all. I particularly liked the talking pictures that really bought it to life.Β 
With the ground closing at 5pm we made our way out towards our car with smiles on our faces and so much to talk about. There were still things we wanted to see so we will be back. We may even looking into doing the overnight stay there – it sounds like quite the experience!Β 
As I say we were wrong about how family friendly the castle was – it is the perfect place to take kids of any age. There are things for every age and so much to do that you can really make your own day. I loved the history, I loved the way the history was bought to life, I loved the effort that Warwick Castle put into everything and couldn’t recommended it enough as a day out.
We’d like to thank Warwick Castle for the gift of tickets, the review is entirely our own words and thoughts.
Have you been? What did you think?

Sarah is from Reading, in England, her loves (as well as Laura) include potatoes -a meal simply isn’t a meal without them- cheesy music, musicals, relaxing baths and long country dog walks. Sarah is our main blogger, does most of our Instagram Stories and Twitter, and tends to write any articles we are asked to put together for other sites. Sarah works full time as the head of a team of relationship managers at a company based in London, and she loves playing netball weekly with her team, the Netchix.

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