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Warwick Castle (Warwick)
Member Name: Ellen_85
Warwick Castle (Warwick)
Advantages: Lots to see and do, scary dungeons, falconry and battle re-enactment shows on regularly
Disadvantages: Expensive normally
Warwick castle is one of the best days out I have had in a really long time. It was a boring Friday night some months ago and with no plans for the weekend ahead I decided I wanted to go out for the day. So I spent the night searching either cheap days out or places with vouchers that I could go visit.
Warwick castle was top of the list so the next day my mum, sister and I drove to Warwick for the day.
First of all I want to say that normally it is quite expensive, £20.43 for castle and dungeon, or £15.33 for castle alone,so if there is a large party of you the price can really stack up. Luckily we had some online vouchers for buy one get one free, these didn't include the dungeon entrance but that was only £7 each so as we had saved money on the main tickets we bought that separately.
Despite the fact that it is expensive and I don't think we would have gone otherwise, it is clear from the moment that you step onto the castle grounds that you certainly get a lot for you money.
The castle itself is intact and in incredibly good condition, unlike most local landmarks, and there is so much to visit you almost don't know where to start. There is a 'battle' section where you watch a short video on the castle preparing for battle. Then outside there is a section of grass set up for archery and you can have a go. My sister and mum both had a go while I declined, and took photos of their attempts instead.
Then we went for a walk along the top of the battlement. They warn you that it is a long long walk and that once you've started it you have to finish as its all one way. We bravely decided to try it, you had to walk up hundreds of steps to get to the top of the first bit then you walk along the top of one side of the castle in the open air. It was freezing cold and the wind was obviously very strong but the view was absolutely amazing. You could see the whole of the castle grounds brilliantly as well as the surrounding views of the Warwickshire countryside, it was breathtaking. We walked up one of the towers to see abit higher then across and round the rest of the castle top walkway and then came down.
Once down we went to watch a falcon show for a while. At regular intervals in the day they put on battle re-enactments and falconry shows both of which are very impressive. They are very popular though with huge crowds so if you really want a good seat you need to note the time and get there early.
There was a huge pink banner hanging from one of the towers announcing the 'princess tower experience' which looked fantastic. The signs proclaimed this was aimed at girls and we excitedly joined the queue although left it when we realised it was for very young children only. But if you had children it looked like a fantastic tour and opportunity to dress up in princess outfits.
Next we went on a tour of the dungeon which was one of the funniest and scariest parts of the day. The tour guides were characters in costume and took you on a tour through various rooms in the dungeons where other actors were stationed to jump out, scare us and also gives us talks on methods of torture etc. I definitely wouldn't have taken children into it, I was scared enough myself!!
The actors picked volunteers in each room and I was unlucky enough to be one. I had to sit with my head on a block while they pretended to chop my head off. At the same time they did this they dimmed the lights and squirted the room with water. My poor mum on the front row screamed the loudest when this happened.
We left feeling pretty shaken although still giggling and had a photo taken by some gallows to take home as a souvenir.
Feeling like we needed a rest after that we stopped for food in the medieval themed restaurant. We had a really nice cream team, having already grabbed sandwiches in another of the food places there. There was a fairly decent range of food to buy on the day, not too badly priced and you got to eat in a themed banquet hall which was lovely.
In the afternoon we went on the tour round the main bit of the house, through the great hall and through some of the rooms. These were all themed in a much later period, some were Victorian and some were a late as the 2nd world war. The rooms were all very interesting to look around and we even found one room that had period style jackets and hats for you to try on, which of course we did.
We then realised we had missed out a part of castle where they had mannequins made up to depict the troops preparing for battle. This was very interesting to walk around and had lots of photo opportunities.
The best bit of the day for me however was the fantastic gift shop. Not only did they sell the usual mugs, pens etc that you find in such places but they also had dress up outfits, princess hats and toy swords. I came away with a jesters hat, a princess crown hair band and some funny pens for various friends. My best buy of the day however was a printed family tree of my dads family name that I gave him for Christmas. It was £15 but was a detailed A4 description of the origins of the name, along with the family crest and the family motto. As my name is very unusual and you never see it anywhere I was really chuffed with this.
Summary: A fantastic day out for all ages
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