Kenilworth Things to Do

  • Re-created formal garden
    Re-created formal garden
    by leics
  • Huge windows in the Queen's apartments
    Huge windows in the Queen's apartments
    by leics
  • Ancient building for cafe, gift shop, exhibition
    Ancient building for cafe, gift shop,...
    by leics

Best Rated Things to Do in Kenilworth

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    Kenilworth Castle

    by leics Updated Nov 24, 2013

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    Kenilworth castle
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    If you are anywhere in the nearby area you really should visit Kenilworth castle. It is an excellent example of a classic English castle, developed and expanded from its original Norman 'motte and bailey' roots by such illustrious owners as John of Gaunt and Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester.

    Dudley made it particularly special...somewhere for his beloved, Queen Elizabeth l, to visit and enjoy his company. The formal gardens he had created in her honour have recently been re-created...gravelled walkways, box hedges, an aviary, beautiful vistas....just as they were in the 1500s.

    The Civil War demolished some of the castle, unfortunately, but there is still a great deal to enjoy and explore both inside and out. Like all castles, it's ideal for children: they love to run about, playing at being 'knights in armour'!

    There's a very pleasant cafe and a good gift-shop, as well as toilets and an exhibition which shows how the castle has developed and changed over the centuries.

    Well worth a visit.

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    Kenilworth Castle

    by Balam Written May 18, 2010

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    Kenilworth Castle is well worth a visit, it was once the power base for probably the most influential baron in England Simon de Montfort, a first generation English man of Norman aristocracy, his statue outside the Palace of Westminster pays tribute to the crucial role he played in parliamentory history.

    Kenilworth is noe one of the largest ruins in England but in the 1260's it was the headquarters for Montfords parliamentory movement after he defeated King Henry III at the battle of Lewes in 1264 the castle was prison for ther king, Prince Edward and the Kings Brother. Some time later following de Montfords own defeat and Death at ther battle of Evesham his followers held out for nine months behind the impregnable defences of Kenilworth castle (then protected by an encircling lake) in what proved to be one of the longest sieges of English history.

    John of Gaunt (fourth son of Edward III) upgraded the castle to a Royal Palace during the 14th Century extending the Great Hall (the remains of which are still impressive today) But the Castles Golden age came when it was owned by Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester and favorite of Queen Elizabeth Ist.
    The Earl of Leicester restored the castle/palace mainly for ther Queens benifit adding luxurious accommodation as well as a 'Pleasur Garden'. In 1575nhe laid on th most lavish entertainment for the Queen which amounted to 19 days of 'princely pleasures' which included hunting, jousting, music making and spectacular pageantry.

    Now thanks to a multi million pound restoration project there is a lot to see and do like exploring the beautiful Elizabethan Gatehouse built for the Earl of Leicester in the 16th century, Visit the fantastic Stable building to look at the castles 900 year histoy exhibition or have a drink and some food in the Cafe, Tread in the footsteps of Elizabeth Ist in the lovely re created Elizabethan garden that was originaly built to astound visitors in 1575, which features a bejewled aviary and an 18ft high fountain carved from marble.

    English Heratage Members and children under 5 Free
    Adults £7.60
    Concession £6.50
    Child (5 to 15 years) £3.80
    Family Ticket £19.00 (2adults and 3 children)

    Opening times
    1 March - 31 October 10 am - 5pm
    1 November - 28 Febuary 10am - 4pm
    Closed 24th to 25th december and 1st january.

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    Abbey of St Mary the Virgin

    by Balam Updated May 18, 2010

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    Abbey of St Mary the Virgin
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    The ruins of the Abbey of St Mary the Virgin lie in the 68 acre park called The Abbey Fields.
    They are close to the Carpark (which is free) and to the Parish Church of St Nicholas.
    The abbey was founded by Geoffrey de Clinton in 1119 as a augustine priory. It was raised to Abbey status in 1447 by King Henry VI and King Henry VII attended Whitsuntide Mass there in 1487 and 1488. In 1538 under Henry VIII the monasteries Dissolution bill was passed and within a few years the Abbey was dismantled and it later passed into the hands of Robert Dudley Earl of Leicester who removed much of the stone for repairs to kenilworth Castle.

    At the Abbeys height the Abbey had it's second highest income in the country but all that remains now are the ruined gatehouse a few foundations and a building of unknown origin called the Abbey barn.

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    High Street

    by Balam Written May 18, 2010

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    High Street
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    The High Street of Kenilworth is referd to as the Old town.
    High street and Bridge St form the east and north sides of Abbey fields and numerous examples of lovely listed buildings can be found here in excellent condition. we had a lovely walk around after visiting the castle and i'm only sorry that we could not spend more time in this lovely place.

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    Abbey Fields

    by Balam Written May 18, 2010

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    Abbey Fields
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    The Abbey Fields Park is situated right in the heart of Old Kenilworth. The park covers 68 acres and includes the remains of the Abbey of St Mary the Virgin as well as a small lake known as the Abbey pond.
    It is a great place to spend an hour or so walking or just sitting somewhere watching the world go by.

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    A Castle fit for a Queen

    by Myfanwe Written May 13, 2010

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    Kenilworth Castle
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    Kenilworth Castle is a great Castle which served as a Royal Residence for almost five Centuries. The 16th Century stable building is a good place to start, it houses an exhibition and a cafe. Leicesters gatehouse is a grand building which dates from 1570. It was modified as a house after the Civil War of the1640's. A number of the rooms are furnished to the style of a 1930 residence. Don't miss the exhibition on the top floor which tells the story of the relationship between Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester and Queen Elizabeth I.

    Some other great features which remain include the 12th Century Keep, the Great Hall with its' magnificent windows and Leicester's buildings which were built in 1571 specifically for Elizabeth I and used by her when she visited Kenilworth in 1572 and 1575.

    Kenilworth Castle also has some great formal gardens.

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    Abbey Fields

    by Myfanwe Updated May 13, 2010

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    Abbey Fields
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    The Abbey fields are a delightful green area surrounding the area where the Abbey once stood. Remains of which can still be seen. Here you'll find a childrens play area, tennis courts and an indoor swimming pool. We parked at the Abbey fields car park from here you can take a 10 minute picturesque stroll through the park to Kenilworth Castle.

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    The Abbey Gatehouse

    by Myfanwe Written May 13, 2010

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    Remains of the Abbey
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    The Abbey of St Mary was founded for Augustian canons in around 1124 and closed by King Henry VIII in 1538. By 1600 mosst of the buildings had been dismantled. Today some impressive ruins of the gatehouse remain with lovely red sandstone arches and some wonderful hexagonal brickwork can be seen nearby in the cemetary.

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    The Abbey Pond

    by Myfanwe Written May 13, 2010

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    Abbey Ponds
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    The Abbey pond is situated between the Abbey Fields and the Castle. The present pool in Abbey Fields gives an idea of a medieval water feature. There is a lovely path which hugs the perimiter of the pond if you fancy a stroll or it's an ideal place for a picnic on a summers day. It's also a great are for watching wildlife too.

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    Stroll around the village

    by Myfanwe Written May 13, 2010

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    Great houses of Kenilworth
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    We took a stroll around the streets of Kenilworth and were delighted to see some fabulous looking houses, quaint thatched cottages and some very grand residences indeed. Many of these great buildings are listed and are in excellent condition.

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    Kenilworth Castle

    by WorldRunner100 Written Jul 21, 2009

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    I would prefer to rate the castle a 3.5 out of 5. It really is an interesting historical site. It doesn't really look like the typical English castle, or what I would imagine one to look like, due to the red sandstone used to build it. The guide recommends spending 2.5 hours at the castle, but I think it could be done in an hour. I posted some photos and more information on my travel blog at:
    http://adams-travel-blog.blogspot.com/2009/07/kenilworth-castle-midlands-hike.html

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    Kenilworth Hike

    by WorldRunner100 Written Jul 21, 2009

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    I did a ten mile hike, starting from Kenilworth and looping back around to the castle. The countryside is absolutely beautiful in this region. I give a lot more detail and posted photos on my travel blog at:
    http://adams-travel-blog.blogspot.com/2009/07/kenilworth-castle-midlands-hike.html
    It is really a nice area, a good day trip from London. Either Kenilworth or Warwick castles are nice historical sites to visit.

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    Not exactly the Taj Mahal

    by sourbugger Written Jul 9, 2009

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    The clocktower

    Kennilworth's clock tower does share something in common with the most iconic image of India. It was presented to the town by a man to memory of his wife. G.W Turner was the man in question, putting up his small erection in 1906.

    G.W.Turner's wife stumpy small little thing who frequently had a clock on her face. So it is a fitting memorial.

    A german bomb damaged the top of it in 1940. The same bomb also led to the destruction of the nearby hotel with some 28 deaths. A plaque nearby records those events.

    The clocktower is sited in the modern part of the town which has little elso of any intererest or note.

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    Kenilworth Castle I - Facts

    by King_Golo Written Sep 27, 2010
    Kenilworth Castle

    Kenilworth Castle was built in 1124 by Geoffrey de Clinton who was the sheriff of Warwickshire at that time. As so often, the castle was a result of power games: King Henry I didn't want the already powerful Earl of Warwickshire to gain more influence, so he supported the sheriff of Warwickshire instead by donating him vast grounds in the countryside. Geoffrey de Clinton used them to build the monumental stone keep of Kenilworth which underlined his ambitions to become a great and influential man. Only a few years later, however, his heir married the daughter of the Earl of Warwickshire and immediately the need for such a big castle disappeared as they were on the same side now.

    Over the centuries the castle became larger and larger which was particularly due to another man: Robert Dudley, the first Earl of Leicester. He was Queen Elizabeth I's closest friend and a likely husband for her. Dudley owned the castle in the late 16th century and the queen visited it on numerous occasions. In order to impress her, he had several extensions built whenever a visit of the queen was due. It is pretty certain that the queen was impressed, alas the two never got married: Robert Dudley was already married, and when his wife eventually died, the circumstances remained mysterious. Rumours came up that her death (she fell down the stairs and broke her neck) was not natural at all but rather murder! Therefore a marriage of Queen Elizabeth I and Robert Dudley was out of question.

    A hundred years later the English Civil War lead to the destruction of Kenilworth Castle. While it didn't suffer any serious damage during the war, it was deliberately destroyed just after it. The slighting of the castle was conducted so that it could no longer be used by enemies. Its outside walls were brought down and many buildings destroyed. The giant artificial lake that had surrounded it since the 13th century was drained.

    The castle remained in the hands of several families over the next centuries and eventually, in 1984, became part of the English Heritage.

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    Kenilworth Castle II - Things to do

    by King_Golo Updated Sep 27, 2010
    The Elizabethan Garden
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    A typical visit to Kenilworth Castle starts with the former stables building which now houses a cafe and an exhibition about the history of the castle. Close by is the former gate house which has been turned into a museum that focuses on the relationship of Queen Elizabeth I and Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester who owned the castle at that time. After these informative parts it's time to discover the actual castle. Enter it via the Elizabethan gardens and you'll be in the oldest part, the stone keep, immediately. From there on, it's mostly a matter of climbing around and discovering the structures of the castle. Don't forget to check out the remains of the great hall and the tower behind it from where you can enjoy a great view over the countryside. Almost everything you see from up there was flooded during the heyday of Kenilworth Castle: It made out the giant lake (or mere) that surrounded the castle and turned out to be the perfect defense arrangement. In the 12th century, the castle was besieged for 6 months - and the lake made it impossible for the attackers to capture it. It was only due to famine and disease that the defenders eventually had to give up.

    While Kenilworth Castle is definitely worth a visit, the drawback is the high entry fee of £7,50.

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