Warwick Castle – The most underrated Merlin attraction?

I LOVE Warwick Castle and I really don’t think people understand just how amazing it is. Although yes it is just a castle, there is so much to do, see and watch – you can easily fill a couple of days here!

With over 64 acres including its gardens you will be sure to find lots to do during your visit.


Where to find Warwick Castle

Warwick castle is located in Warwickshire (CV34 6AH).

Parking

There is ample parking available at Warwick Castle but the cost does vary.

For Cars, mini buses under 12 seats, motorbikes and disabled parking

Stratford Road Entrance Field (CV34 6AH)

Stratford Road Car Park – Which could be in the carpark or the overflow field. This is standard parking and depending on where you end up is around a 10 to 20 minute walk from the entrance. This is £6 for the day.

Stables Car Park (CV34 4QU)

This car park is small and spaces are limited you’ll find it just off Castle Lane. It is however right next to the entrance so alot less walking is involved. The cost for this is £10 for the day

Warwick GOLD Pass & Premium, Gold and Platinum Merlin Annual Passholders receive free parking in the Stratford Road car park.


Entry to the Castle

We are Merlin Annual Passholders so Warwick Castle is included within our passes but for those who aren’t passholders theres a few different options for you.

Day tickets

Day tickets are available from £24 when booked in advance. It is £37 on the day.
Children under 3 are free.

Parent and Toddler Ticket

If you are visiting on your own with a child under 5 you can get a parent and toddler ticket for just £20 on selected dates (generally Monday to Friday in term time)

Students

If you are registered with Student Beans there are tickets available from £12. Unfortunatly I don’t have access to the site so can’t tell you any more about it

Annual Passes

Warwick Castle only annual passes are available for £45 per person (300 days of access – excludes Peak Dates) or £65 for 345 days of access with some special event dates exclusions.

Merlin Annual passes are available from £89 to £299 per person for the year

I did also find some really good deals with Attraction Tickets Direct you can find those here


The East Front

As you come through the entrance and before you enter the Castle (next to the horrible Histories maze) you’ll find the East Front. Not only will you find lots of seating and food stalls (see below) but you’ll also find this live swordfighting show.

Round to the right of the castle you will also find the Bowman show. The skilled archery shows you his talents and incredible accuracy with his bow and arrow.

There are daily shows until 21st October 2022.


Entering the Castle

The entrance to the castle is as grand as you would expect. Crossing the bridge across the moat and in through the castle gates.

This is a picture perfect spot, we also got a beautiful backdrop thanks to the blue skies today!


The Castle Forecourt

When you come through the main castle gate you’ll enter the castle forecourt and it was decorated beautifully. With rainbow bunting leading you to the centre stage.

We were super lucky to have some beautiful weather today too which allows you to see Warwick Castle in its full glory.

The Queen (Queen Elizabeth I) was being paraded around on her horse with her staff leading her around the castle before heading down to The Midsummer Horse Show (see below)


Inside the Castle

Even as I am writing this it makes me so excited of all the things you can do at Warwick Castle!

You couldn’t do it all in one day and I wouldn’t recommend you try as you should definitely take time to just take the atmosphere in and wander round the grounds.

Royal Weekend Party

Within the castle you will find the most extravagant walk through experience. You can join one of the Free guided tours throughout the day or you can explore freely in your own time.

There was a wedding happening at the castle today so this part was closed from 3pm.

I love wandering round these displays and Holly and Oscar did too. Holly was convinced they were real people who were standing super still and I didn’t tell her any different. She was impressed by how well they kept their places and didn’t move!


The Dungeons

I love being scared – give me a crazy rollercoaster any day of the week. But I draw the line at the Dungeons. I am SO scared of the thought of people touching me that I have just never been able to do it. (I am still traumatised from doing the scare mazes at Thorpe Park around 5 years ago!)

But if you are braver than me you will find the entrance to the Dungeons just on the left as you come through the main Castle gate.

This isn’t included in your entrance ticket and is an extra £8 to do. Annual passholders get reduced tickets at £5.

It isn’t suitable for under 10s and all under 18s must be accompanied by an adult.


The Falconers Quest

This has always been one of our favourite shows at Warwick Castle. It used to be a much smaller show but it now, quite rightly, has a huge purpose built show area down by the River Island.

The show is INCREDIBLE the falconers, and the birds of course, put on the most amazing show.

If you want the best views try and grab a seat on the actual allocated seating but if you want some more space then it is better to sit to the right of the seating when looking toward the river.

Shows are daily until 31st October and you will see up to 60 birds during the show including Hawks, Owls, Eagles and Vultures.


New for 2022 : Zog

Zog Trail

As soon as you come through the main entrance gates you’ll find your Zog – the Quest for the Golden Star Trail cards. Follow the trail around the castle, complete the tasks and collect your prize from the castle shop (Next to the dungeon entrance)

Collect your stamps

You will find 5 interactive tasks around the castle for you to take part in. Don’t forget to stamp your card!

I won’t spoil the tasks for you but they all loved the roaring one!

You’ll find the stamping stations located next to each task. They are embossers so you do need to press down quite hard to ‘mark’ your card but the kids do love doing it themselves.

Once you have completed your card, grab your prize from the shop next to the Dungeon entrance. If you are a pop badge collector let them know and there is a 2nd Zog pop badge too.

I also had these doughnuts while watching the Zog show and they were so good, they are available at the stand next to the stage. Although they look like they have a filling they don’t but you can add toppings to them.

Zog Show

We didn’t know the Zog story before today but we do love The Gruffalo and Room On The Broom which are also books by the same author, Julia Donaldson. There are 5 books currently in the Zog series.

This live show based on the book with a set based on the original artwork by Axel Scheffler. Just be warned if you sit near the front you will likely get wet!

The Zog show is running until 30th September and is around 25 minutes long.

Zog Playarea

The playarea has had a much needed upgrade for 2022. Continuing with the Zog themeing it is now a fresh, bright engaging playarea for children of all ages.

In the middle of the playarea is another refreshments stand selling hot and cold drinks and a selection of snacks which is super handy for while they all played.

At the bottom on the entrance ramp on the left hand side you’ll find a little crawl space and inside there is a TV screen showing Zog on loop.

The refurb and new theming really has been well done and we struggled to get them to leave!


Horrible Histories at Warwick Castle

Chloe and Lottie went off to explore the Horrible Histories maze on their own while we sat and watched the sword show with Holly and Oscar. Chloe then took Holly round for us. As with the Zog trail, you collect your stamps on the way round and collect your reward from the shop.

For those who aren’t annual passholders there little circles are called pop badges and they are collectables. You can get them at most merlin sites, we do find Warwick Castle is one of the best places to get them from.

A few years ago they had some really cool shield shaped ones (they are generally just round) You can also swap them with staff and other guests – You may have seen my ‘stop me for swaps’ lanyard, Holly wore it for the day at Warwick Castle but we didn’t see anyone to swap with.

So as I didn’t go with them, there’s no photos from this visit but I did dig out these from a past visit – don’t they look so small!

The maze is really great actually and when we were home schooling it was a really educational but fun thing to do. No matter how many times we visit they always want to go round it again.


Princess Storytime

Can you help the Princesses reunite the cursed Guy and his bride to be Felice? Guy is frozen in time and you need to help the Princesses solve the riddle and release him – are you up for the challenge?

This is included with your entry tickets you just need to grab a timed ticked from one of the princesses who you will find at the entrance to the Princess tower.

No photos or videos are allowed in the Princess Tower but I did sneak in this one of Oscar in the waiting room.

There is also a professional photo opportunity on the way in – they take 2 photos its £13 for one or £18 for both. You get the photo(s) in this lovely Princess Tower booklet which is filled with activities for the little ones to do. Merlin Annual Passholders do recieve discount on these photos too.

We have done this activity over a dozen times and they love it every single time. Unfortunately it is up a flight of spiral stairs so there is no access for pushchairs, which have to be left outside.


Have a go Archery

Archery is one of our favourite things to do, it’s for both children and adults and costs £10 per person.

Again we didn’t do this on this visit – Theres so much to do you can’t do everything in one day! But the girls did have a go when we visited a while back and if you’ve read our other posts you’ll know they also love doing Archery at Haven.


Eating at Warwick Castle

There are so many more places to eat now at Warwick Castle than when we last visited.

The Undercroft Cafe

The Undercroft Cafe is located in the main castle under the Princess tower. In here you can eat in or grab a takeaway. The menu includes hot and cold choices including sandwiches and pastries.

We have never visited this cafe as it’s a bit out of the way and it very busy during the main lunchtime rush.

Riverside Fish and Chips

This is where we opted to eat it is located along the river front by the Falconers Quests seating area.

The portions were HUGE we definitely didn’t need to buy one meal each and could easily have just shared 2-3 between the 6 of us.

The queue wasn’t too bad and they had the food ready pretty quickly. Along with Fish and Chips you can also get Nuggets, Fish Cakes, Jumbo Sausages and Curry Sauce. Hot and Cold drinks are also available from Riverside Fish and Chips.

Food Stalls – Outside the Castle

Once you come through the main entrance you’ll find a row of food and drink stalls (next to the horrible histories maze)

The Dog & Goose bar was open and serving Pints of Beer and Cider. Pre-mixed spiritis including Jack Daniel & Coke, Gordon’s Gin & Tonic, Smirnoff Vodka & Cola and Pimms & Lemonade. Footsteps Wines with a choice of Chardonnay, Shiraz and Rose along with a Prosecco. Soft drinks are also available.

There is ample seating by these food stalls to sit and enjoy the views while you eat.

This cookie dough stall wasn’t open but I’m hoping it will be when we next visit. Some of the stalls weren’t opening until 6pm which was a shame.

Food Stalls – Inside the Castle

There are food stalls in the Castle forecourt and also out towards the have a go archery. You won’t be short of choices!

Knights and Princess Shop

You’ll find the Knights and Princess shop out towards the Have a go archery field (and opposite one of the Zog tasks – in the area that used to be the bird of prey display)

You will ifnd everything you could possibly need to kit out your Knights and Princesses for their visit. You can also grab ice cream and ice lollies here.

On the opposite side of the field you’ll also find a proper ice cream too. In the middle of the green is another one of the Zog tasks.


River Island Warwick Castle

The Midsummer Horse Show

Over on River Island in the Jousting area we had the Midsummer Horse Show. The Queen was overseeing the show and it was amazing.

The horses are just incredible as are their trainers. The show was full of drama, excitement and of course explosions! The show only runs until 10th July 2022 so you’ll have to be quick to catch it.


The Mill & Engine house

When you cross over to River Island you get beautiful views of not only the river but all the Mill and engine house at the side of the castle.


Create your own Coat of Arms

Always been interested in your family names origin? Here you can create a unique scroll with your surnames history brought to life. They are around £20 for a basic one.


Would we recommend Warwick Castle?

In summary, in case I didn’t make it clear, Warwick Castle is one of my favourite attractions. We have been so many times and always find things we either haven’t seen, or haven’t done. For example this time we didn’t walk up the towers and along the walls. The views are incredible from the tops of the towers, however the walk is not for the feint hearted and I remember doing it heavily pregnant and honestly thought I might die.

ChrissyJ xxx

Views from the top of the towers

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Published by Chrissy J

Slighty crazy Married mum of 7 :) Love to be busy, never a dull moment in my day!

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