Merlin Entertainment’s roster of theme parks, which includes Lego Land, Thorpe Park and Alton Towers, to name but a few, might not seem like the logical fit for a Castle steeped in such staggering history, but that’s where the incredible Warwick Castle sits. Amongst all these loud, boisterous, all-singing, all-dancing, thrill seeker day-trips, stop and consider Warwick Castle for a wholly different and wholesome day out, and turn it into an overnight adventure, staying in their Knight’s Village or Medieval glamping. You can also experience their brand new Dragon Slayer immersive live show, being held during August 2018.
The Castle during the Day
Warwick Castle was new to us when we visited: my family consisting of two girls aged 4 and 9, myself and my husband didn’t know quite what to expect.
We visited the Castle during the day, and soaked up the history as we toured the multitude of rooms and strolled the grounds, pointing out incredible sights, stunning scenery and landscapes, and took a walk through their Horrible Histories Maze, much to the delight of the kids. Be sure to plan and schedule your visit wisely, so you don’t miss the truly awesome Flights of the Eagle show, held at their Birds of Prey arena. You’ll watch vultures, eagles, owls, and the impossibly impressive condor (goodness, it was enormous!) swoop and sail through the skies, while learning a little about the falconry: we were all mesmerised by this mini event.
We’d also suggest you don’t miss the War of the Roses event: a fantastic live action jousting experience. It’s likely you and your children will have never seen anything like it before. Prepare to place your tongue firmly in its cheek, as the battle unfolds: my children were utterly enthralled and enjoyed it massively.
The Dragon Slayer show
The Castle have just launched their brand new Dragon Slayer event for August. It was a billed as an ‘evening extravaganza and live action event’ and it didn’t disappoint. It commenced at 6.30pm and after a rather slow procession through to the Castle, we were offered dinner in the shape of a hog roast bap and some rather basic salad.
We headed over to visit a mini Birds of Prey show while you chow down your hog (take a picnic blanket), and then take in the sights of pyroman (we’ve coined him this name!) – a rather handsome chap who plays with fire: he blows fire, eats fire, sets swords a light and generally made my children’s jaws drop, with, you guessed it, fire: my youngest daughter was mesmerised by him!
Following on from pyroman, we were escorted to the real start of the show in the jousting arena, where a live action tale of the 10th century warrior, Guy of Warrick unfolds. Jousting, damsels in distress, ironclad men on horses, it has got it all. As the sun set, we were convoyed over to the Castle, which is as dazzling at night as it is during the day: and this is where the Dragon Slayer show unfolds, on the walls of the Castle with an absolutely jaw-dropping light show, telling the rest of Guy of Warwick’s tale, closing with some cracking fireworks.
There were so many children of all ages there, and bearing in mind bed time had been and gone hours ago, (it was almost 10pm by this point!) every child was dumb struck by this spectacular show, as we took it all in, from the comfort of our picnic blanket.
The Knight’s Village at Warwick Castle
The hidden gem in the Castle experience: we utterly fell in love with the little cabins in the wood of the Knight’s Village. Whether you decide to go glamping in a tent, or opt for sublime cabins, each one is perfectly designed for your overnight stay.
A room with a double bed, and an attached, separate children’s room, with a bunk and trundle bed (so three can fit in there) alongside a luxe wet room, these little cabins were the perfect way to spend the night after our Warwick Castle adventure. Who doesn’t want to wake up to the twinkling River Avon, rolling with lillypads and ducks outside their window?
READ more about our stay at the Knight’s Tent at Warwick Castle too.
Good to know
- The Dragon Slayer is billed as suitable for 8 years upwards, but my 4 year old (almost 5) who is terrified of everything from Robots to Moana, thoroughly enjoyed it and watched the show awestruck.
- Take a picnic blanket as it will come in handy while watching some shows: there’s no real seating at Warwick Castle (except in their tea room) so it’s a case of rolling out the blanket, and relaxing on the grass.
- Take a buggy. There are various places to park your buggy, but they’re not allowed within the Castle itself, but if you have a child aged 3 or under, you’ll appreciate having it there.
- Additional experiences such as archery and the Castle Dungeon incur an extra cost.
- As this is a Merlin Entertainment experience, you can expect gift shops a plenty selling swords and shields and various other knight based paraphernalia.
- Food: as you’d expect, there are various places to stop and order a hog roast bap, ice creams a plenty, and be sure to visit the stunning tea room, where you can sink a Costa Coffee while peacocks majestically parade around you, cawing their very strange bird call.