Saturday, 28 June 2014

Win £250 for a fabulous free day out at Warwick Castle

A couple of weeks ago we took 5 of our children to Warwick Castle for the day. I haven't been since the early 90's, so I knew it would be different but I didn't realise how much. It turns out pretty much the only thing that's the same is the castle itself.

day out at Warwick Castle with teens and infants review

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.

Warwick Castle Review - A fabulous day out for everyone

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.

Warwick Castle review  saxons vs vikings horrible histories

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.

Warwick Castle Review - Vile Victorians classroom
He was brilliant - but wouldn't stand still for a photo!
The Slimy Stuarts were here too - and I didn't take any photo's! The actor was brilliant and very funny, but my lot were keen to get into the castle itself.

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.

Warwick Castle Review - View of Trebuchet
Warwick Castle Review - View of Trebuchet

The Trebuchet Fireball Spectacular is at 11.30 and 4.30 each day - weather permitting. It's definitely worth watching.

Warwick Castle Review - Close up view of Trebuchet

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.

Warwick Castle Review - castle view panorama


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.

Warwick Castle Review - Dungeon entrance
This lady wasn't scary at all!
Warwick Castle Review - Dungeon entrance Jester
But the Jester was terrifying - and very stern!
This is where the cast really came into their own, they were really good. There were surprises and shocks and lots to make you jump and then laugh. There was audience participation at just the right level I felt. We all thoroughly enjoyed it, and our youngest took their cues from the rest of us and were fine. I think as a rough guide, if your children would be scared by Buffy The Vampire Slayer or Batman then they wouldn't enjoy this. The scariest room was the last one.

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! 

Warwick Castle Review - Dungeon photo

Unless of course you want to be invisible....

Warwick Castle Review - Dungeon photo

The Castle Dungeon is a show attraction - the actual Castle Gaol is next door and doesn't have the queues it used to have! 

Warwick Castle Review - Battle re-enactment

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.

Warwick Castle Review - Battle re-enactment

My children went into the Princess Tower - I didn't, but the cast were lovely...

Warwick Castle Review - Princess Tower Cast and Crew

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.

Warwick Castle Review - Tower waxworks

I was a bit disappointed however when I realised what I'd missed. After you have visited the tower you walk through what was the original attraction at Warwick - the period rooms are still there and protected for you to see if you wish, along with a selection of waxworks.

Warwick Castle Review - Waxwork

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.

Warwick Castle Review - Archery
Warwick Castle Review - Knight School

Here we also found the Measly Middle Ages. Truly gross history - pouring poo into the street and horrible cures for every ailment.

Warwick Castle Review - Measly Middle Ages Horrible Histories
Warwick Castle Review - Measly Middle Ages Horrible Histories
Warwick Castle Review - Measly Middle Ages ailments and cures

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!

Warwick Castle Review

Across the gardens to my favourite Horrid History of the whole day - the Gorgeous Georgians. 

Warwick Castle Review - Gardens
Warwick Castle Review - Gorgeous Georgians Horrible Histories

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.

Warwick Castle Review - Gorgeous Georgians Queen Horrible Histories

There was only just time before closing for some of my family to climb up and walk part way around the castle ramparts, with a final excellent view showing the Princess Tower, Merlin Tower, and the gateway at the top of the hill through which we'd come in...

Warwick Castle Review - castle from above

We had an absolutely amazing time visiting Warwick Castle, and from today (Saturday 28th June 2014) The Sun is partnering with Merlin to offer 2 free tickets worth £48 if you sign up for a new Sun+ Membership (The Sun's digital entertainment bundle).

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

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall


We were given 2 x free entry to Warwick Castle and some spending money in order to travel down and review.

28 comments:

  1. Boy has Warwick Castle changed (and looks like its improved) since I last went as a 10 yr old. Thanks for the cool review Jen.

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    1. Thanks Leon - it's completely changed, I couldn't believe it :D

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  2. I agree, it has changed so much, I think it was early 90s last time I visited.

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    1. I was glad to find out all the old stuff has been retained, so weird that it used to be the only thing there! I remember queuing to see the old 'hole in the floor' and the dungeon :)

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  3. It is nearly 15 years since I last went. We were hoping to take our kids there for the medieval glamping but they were sold out which is a shame. It looks like a fantastic day out. #countrykids

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    1. Oh no, what a shame about the glamping! We didn't know about it before we went, but it wouldn't have worked out any more expensive for us and it looks brilliant! :)

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  4. This looks like a fab day out it's not somewhere we've visited before but you have me hooked! Great pictures!

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    1. Thanks Jen! It was brilliant, I think your son would love it :)

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  5. What a fantastic family day out! Lots of activities, interactive fun and plenty of performances to enjoy - and the weather was lovely. Thanks for linking up and sharing with Country Kids.

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    1. Thank you for hosting! It was an amazing day out - we were there from beginning to end and everyone was shattered afterwards - the sign of a great day :)

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  6. One of my favourite places, but you can only really visit with a family on a deal as it's so expensive. Really object to the car park charge too on all of these attractions. But it is a fab day out #CountryKids

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    1. I did think the car park charge was a bit unfair - especially as they would clearly get a lot of money out of my lot!

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  7. Warwick Castle is on our list to visit x

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    1. Definitely do it - I really had a completely unexpected surprise :)

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  8. This looks like so much fun! I can't wait for my kids to be a bit older so that we can all go and really enjoy ourselves! Shame about the expense of course, sometimes that really puts my husband off whilst I try and look for deals to reduce cost and see it as a bit of a false economy not to go because it's generally a special one-off that will give you loads of memories and surely you can't put a price on that? #countrykids

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    1. I agree. The whole day wasn't cheap for 7 of us, but we've all made some amazing memories. Priceless :)

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  9. I went to Warwick Castle in early 90s too and remember it being such a good day out! :) x

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    1. I loved it when I last went too, yet there's so much more there now! :D

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  10. looks like you had a fab day out! :)

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    1. It was brilliant Kelly, a really lovely day :)

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  11. Brilliant post, as a history obsessive I am so desperate to get to Warwick Castle, been on my "to Do" list for ages. #countrykids

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    1. Thank you Kate - that's a really lovely comment :)
      It was a fantastic day - we made lots of memories :)

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  12. Oh I've not stumbled across your blog before! You family are beaut! This popped out to me as we have exchanged clubcard vouchers to go with our two and I must say after seeing all your fab piccys I cannot wait! I however won't be doing the Dungeon and scary things. Shudder. I shall pretend it's because the kids are too young ;) xxx

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    1. Awww, aren't you lovely. You can visit more often :D
      Kids are a great excuse for getting out of doing all kinds of stuff that's for sure! I hope you have as good a day as we did. Thank you for stopping by! :)

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  13. I love Warwick Castle, there is so much to see there even when there isn't an event on! Really lovely grounds to wander round and plenty of quiet spots for time out too.

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    1. It is truly gorgeous. The views from up at the top are amazing, but so is sitting out at the back of the waterwheel watching the river :)

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  14. I have never been but it looks fantastic. Always wanted to go.

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    1. It's a proper castle, really lovely for everyone, its all stunning to look at :)

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