The town with a massive medieval castle
Warwick and Warwick Castle areboth found in the county of Warwickshire.
Warwick Castle is the finest (in my opinion) example of a medieval castle. It is intact and shows you how the castle dwellers, and their servants, lived in medieval days.
Madame Tussauds owns Warwick Castle, and there are magnificent wax figures displayed, which makes the ornate rooms come to life that much more!
November – Victorian Christmas Evening
Father Christmas, entertainment, food and a funfair are just some of the highlights of the ever popular annual Victorian Christmas evening combined with the official switching on of the Christmas lights. Craft, charity and festive food stalls wind through the streets around the market, shopkeepers and stallholders join in the fun by wearing period costumes which visitors are encouraged to judge in the Best Dressed Victorian competition on stage at 7:30. A lantern procession from St. Mary’s Church usually provides a colourful highlight just before the lights are switched on. The Grotto of Giving at the Market Hall Museum is also open on the evening, with people encouraged to donate gifts to be distributed by the county council to less advantaged families. There are also historical ghost tours around Smith Street and both St. Nicholas Church and St. Mary’s Church are open for carols and refreshments.
This year (2010) adding to the festivities there were flame-throwers, ferret races, merry-go-rounds, can-can dancers and carol singers.
Annually, usually around the last Thursday in November
Thursday: 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Lights switched on at 7:00 pm
Warwick Market Place
The chained bear.
If you look carefully, you'll see the emblem of the chained bear in many places (in Warwickshire as well as Warwick itself, for it is the county's symbol too). It was the emblem of the Earls of Warwick. The one in the picture is on the tomb of Robert Dudley (in the Collegiate church of St Mary) and is (in my opinion) rather cuddly. Other examples are far more fierce!
There are a number of hidden gardens in the town which are open to the public. The one in the photo is tucked away behind the Tourist information Office on Jury Street. They will tell you where the others are .......ideal places for a picnic lunch on a warm day.
Warwick Castle Grounds
After visiting the various attractions inside the Castle, take a walk in its beautiful spacious gardens landscaped by 'Capability' Brown himself, with the River Avon flowing right across them and an island in the middle. While you are there, have a look up at the castle and you will see a figure in period clothes in one of its windows. Having read about cases of sightings like that in other castles, my first thought was that it was a ghost. Later, to my great disappointment, I found out it was just a wax figure of Lady Mary Curzon, one of the guests at the weekend party in 1898 and then several months pregnant.
Climb the Mound, once an important vantage point with a timber stockade and a square tower in Norman times, now a nice place for romantic rendezvous with a wonderful view over the river and the gardens.
Another nice place to visit, especially if you have children with you, is the formally laid-out Peacock Garden, with real peacocks not at all afraid of the public. And while you are there, you may want to see some exotic plants in the Conservatory. On your way out you might like to admire the Victorian Rose Garden outside the castle gateway, with some beautiful old-fashioned roses popular in Victorian times.
I visited the castle in early May, too early to see any pageants, which the castle is famous for. If you go there in the summer months, especially at the weekends, you will almost certainly see one of their historical performances, which are said to be a lot of fun. You will find information about them at the gate.