It's quite a long walk from the car park (which has a £6 parking charge that you pay before you leave). We arrived before 10.30am and there were no queues to get in. If you use vouchers for entry make sure you buy any Dungeon Tickets and Merlin: The Dragon Tower tickets now. We didn't and had to pay individually, missing out on 'buy one get one free'.
At 10.30am they Raise The Portcullis - we just missed this because of a toilet visit!
Before we even went in, the children were given a Horrible Histories lanyard with a card to stamp. One of the first things you see, aside from the first part of Warwick Castle, are some of the Horrible Histories areas. Vikings and Saxons are immediately as you enter.
We spent some time playing a Saxon game sort of like Tennis with shields and bean bags, writing our names with runes, trying on costumes and interacting with the actors.
This is also where the old Millhouse is, which is full of the history of the Millhouse and the machinery, but also houses the Vile Victorian schoolroom. The actor was fantastic! He really knew how to work his crowd and had everyone crying with laughter.
|He was brilliant - but wouldn't stand still for a photo!|
You can go in through the gate, or walk to the top of the hill and go through a gate in the wall. We chose the latter. The view from the top of the hill is stunning - and it was a perfect place to watch the Trebuchet fire a flaming missile - it went an immense distance into the woodland.
The Trebuchet Fireball Spectacular is at 11.30 and 4.30 each day - weather permitting. It's definitely worth watching.
Through the gate in the wall and you get to see the courtyard and the rest of Warwick Castle. It really is incredibly impressive. Merlin have spent over £6m on restoration since they took over.
We went into the Castle Dungeon before lunch. It costs £9 each and you are given a time slot. The attraction is a walk-through attraction which takes 50 minutes. It is not recommended for children under 10, but you can leave any time if you need to.
We took our little boys in because they're used to all kinds of terrifying stuff having lived with 5 teenagers, and fully expecting to take them out when they were too scared. There were a couple of other children around 7/8 years old too.
|This lady wasn't scary at all!|
|But the Jester was terrifying - and very stern!|
There are no phones or flash photography allowed in the Dungeon, and that's right - it's very dark and lights would spoil it. The fact that it's very dark, in a real actual castle with spiral staircases and tiny, windy, narrow corridors means the first 3 rooms are not accessible by people with physical impairment, but guests using wheelchairs can visit the rest of the Dungeon for free. I was fine even though I still have issues with standing for long and climbing stairs. I just took a little longer and there's regular seating. The Dungeon is definitely not suitable for anyone carrying a babe-in-arms, nor can you take a pushchair or small child in.
We did opt to buy the photo package at the end of the attraction. Usually I hate the hard sell, but on this occasion for us they were truly awesome! £20 buys you 3 photo's in a booklet, keyring and fridge magnet and digital downloads.
You may well have spotted another tip here - don't wear a green t-shirt like our 5 year old!
Unless of course you want to be invisible....
The Castle Dungeon is a show attraction - the actual Castle Gaol is next door and doesn't have the queues it used to have!
We ate lunch sat outside watching the battle re-enactment. The entertainment does vary, so if you want to see something specific check before you visit.
My children went into the Princess Tower - I didn't, but the cast were lovely...
Then the rest of my family visited Merlin: The Dragon Tower. This again has allotted times to avoid queues and overcrowding. I dipped out to take some more photo's.
Through a huge entrance archway and there was masses more to see. A row of shops where my boys bought themselves wooden swords, and archery and knight lessons (which cost extra) that we watched for a few minutes, but didn't take part in.
Here we also found the Measly Middle Ages. Truly gross history - pouring poo into the street and horrible cures for every ailment.
Towards the greenhouse and the back of the castle - and the out-of-place portaloo's.This is the area where everyone comes to watch the Birds Of Prey. Sadly we didn't have time, but we saw the crowds and heard the cheers!
Across the gardens to my favourite Horrid History of the whole day - the Gorgeous Georgians.
Never in my life did I think I could learn so much about Royal history in 5 minutes, nor that it would be so interesting! The actor was fabulous, she really was.
To get your 2 free adult tickets to Warwick Castle simply join for £7.99 a month and enjoy a summer of unbeatable family deals. Learn more here: The Sun Superdays
The Sun is partnering with Merlin to offer a whole Summer of deals. Part of the campaign is the #Sunfession - a competition asking parents to share a cringeworthy or funny parental confession on Twitter or Instagram, along with the hashtag #Sunfession. To see yours and other Sunfessions appear on the Sun's website visit: The Sun: Sunfessions
I'm going to admit to "once driving off leaving my 5 and 9 year old boys at home because I thought my partner had them in his car. Fortunately we were only going 5 minutes away and I shot back to find them choosing toys to take with them, completely unaware we'd left!"
The Sun have kindly offered one of my readers an amazing £250 to spend having a fabulous day out at Warwick Castle themselves. Entry is by Tweeting your own parental confession using the hashtags #Sunfession and #Brickcastle and then paste the URL of the tweet into the rafflecopter form below.
To find the URL click on the time since you tweeted - shown just after your username on the top line of your tweet. The tweet will open in a new window and you can copy the URL. If you can't find the URL then tweet me @thebrickcastle and I'll help you - it may not be instant though, I have 7 children here!
An example tweet would be -
I have included a rafflecopter form so that the giveaway can be fairly and randomly drawn rather than me just choosing from entries.
The giveaway will end at midnight on Sunday 13th July when the rafflecopter will close and no further entries can be accepted. This giveaway is open to UK entrants over 18 only. Please see full t's and c's at the bottom of the rafflecopter form.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
We were given 2 x free entry to Warwick Castle and some spending money in order to travel down and review.