Warwick Castle, Warwick
This was probably the cheesiest part of the castle experience for adults but fun for kids, a joust between the bad knight, dressed in black with an evil sneer of course, and the good knight dressed in pretty blue, the joust presided over by a king, just which Henry or Edward I'm not sure. We didn't get there when the joust started so I really didn't get the history behind what was happening but it's supposed to be a fight between the knights of York and Lancaster, the opposing sides on the War of the Roses (1455-1487). Because we got there late, we were also not able to see very well.
A new addition to the 2008 Mediaeval Summer Festival is a demonstration of various birds of prey on the Oak Tree Lawn showing their ability to capture prey and scale heights. I never really thought much about how a bird got up to such high altitudes, I figured it was instinctive, but the trainer showed how the birds have to be trained to calculate how to get on top of the various towers at the castle, not as easy for them as you'd think, they even had to rest in between the shorter and taller towers.
Some of the birds that were used for the demonstration were vultures, a milky Eagle Owl, a bald eagle and a Stellar's sea eagle who was still getting the hang of flying, his landings were like watching a small plane in severe turbulence trying to land. I'm not quite sure what kind of prey they were using to get the birds to do the demonstration but it appeared to be a naked mouse, one of which the bird missed and landed somewhere in the crowd, that'll teach them not to stand with their mouths open!
This was the only thing we had to wait in line for on both visits as they will only allow so many people up at one time. If you get there early in the morning, it's probably best to do this first especially if it's a hot day. It's a one way walk from Clarence Tower over to Caesar's Tower with a lot of stairs, both up and down, but you can go as slow as you want since they don't overcrowd it. There's a sign at the beginning that says precisely how many stairs, 530 in total, but I assume they are counting the down stairs as well as the up stairs.
The first picture attached shows the start of the Rampart Walk (Bear and Clarence Towers). You can see part of the line to go up.
Not a part of the 2008 Medieval Festival, I think they recycled the Red Knight and turned him into the archer
A Medieval Festival is held during the summer months, even on the weekdays. There is a programme of events that you get when you enter that lists the cast of cast of characters roaming the castle grounds giving you an idea of what it was like to live back in the days of knights and castles. I thought these performances would be a little cheesy and geared more towards young folks, but I enjoyed the ones we saw, especially the bowman.
The first character we encountered was the Red Knight astride his steed who humorously recounts the life of a knight. We ran across him at the East Front near the entrance at noon and watched his performance, he also does a show at 2. After the performance he leads folks over to the River Island for several more performances, we decided to go the other direction.
The Castle contains many interesting rooms such as a dungeon, torture chamber and rooms outlining the castle's history and describing important events which occured. Some of the history is recreated with model figures - and some of these figures do look quite real!
Warwick Castle is the town's most impressive sight and is what most visitor come here to see. There have been fortifications on the castle site for over 1,000 years, and it has built upon and extented by many of the family living there. It is operatred nowadays by Madame Tussaud's who, in addition to providing some great displays and waxworks in the castle rooms, have charged very high entrance fees!
Experience a thousand years of history at Warwick Castle. See the medieval preparation for battle in 'Kingmaker' and join a Victorian 'Royal Weekend Party'. There is rooms available which include themed evenings most Fridays and Saturdays. The new attraction 'The Mill and Engine House' is worth a visit aswell.
Adult: £10.75-£13.00, Children:£6.65-£7.60, OAP £7.70-£9.50, Family: £30-£34
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.
Once you climb up Guy's Tower here at Warwick Castle, you can get some great views of the town below. It's really awesome to see all the old-fashioned Tutor buildings and narrow little streets. If you can manage the long flights of stairs up and down these turrets, you can sit back for a bit and soak up the sun (if there is any).
This was the highlight of my brief day in Warwick, going to see Warwick Castle. I've seen pictures and was always curious to visit it. Little did I know that when I'd arrived in England from Scotland I would. It was very expensive to get in, but you see quite a lot of stuff while inside. The price for one adult is £15.95. The grounds are vast so you probably won't see everything. Right as soon as you walk into the gates, you can see Guy's Tower (the big fat turret of the castle). It's amazing to look at. Usually in the morning they hold archery contests. We just missed that. If you can spare the change, go and have a great day here at Warwick Castle.
Warwick Castle is very well preserved. At certain times of day they have jousting tournaments, falconry exhibits, and the launching of a giant siege machine called a trebouchet. The dungeon is small and they only let a small group of people in at a time but it's always fun to see where people suffered, so it's worth the wait.
This was another drive-by site. Like Alwnick castle it's easy to miss the town. Warwick castle is a very cool site. They had many period actors walking around doing demonstrations, singing and playing instruments. Nice. The castle is well preserved and has some fantastic views from the top most battlement which is accessible. Inside the castle they have a gift shop and some dioramma type scenes inside with life-size dummies. They also have a dungeon that you can venture into and see some devices that don't look pleasant.
Of course you must see the castle but you do not have to pay full price for entry.
Search on EBay for Warwick Castle and you'll find for sale loads of "Buy One Get One Free" vouchers at giveaway prices.
Entry to the castle is now £17.95 at peak time for an adult ticket so you can make a substantial saving if there is a group of you!
Take your own food too, you are welcome to picnic and the grounds are a beautiful place to sit and eat.
It was no surprise to me to find out that the gardens and grounds of Warwick Castle had been designed by none other than Capability Brown. He must have been one busy man - he seems to have designed most of the stately homes and famous gardens in England!
The rambling grounds of Warwick Castle are beautiful, with a wonderful backdrop of the River Avon. Giant Cedar trees, a Rose Garden, topiary peacocks and ornamental fountains are just a few of the things you'll find here.
As you enter the conservatory at Warwick Castle, you will be faced with a huge stone dish placed high on a pedestal.
This is a replica of the Warwick Vase, an ancient Roman vase which was excavated in 1771. The original vase is now in Glasgow.