Without doubt, Warwick Castle is one of the best preserved and most visited castles in England. As the world tries to recover from the COVID19 pandemic, all attractions are having to change. Here’s what we found on our latest visit…
First things first, if you’re planning to visit Warwick Castle you’ll need to buy your tickets in advance. Shop around, look out for special offers on UK cereal packets and try a range of online sellers. We recommend GetYourGuide: Warwick Castle Best Priced Tickets
After the long walk from the car park and the temperature checks at the turnstiles, you are greeted by the stunning sight of the impressive castle gatehouse and bridge over the former moat. It’s the only way to enter a castle after all!
Once inside you’ll need to decide what you want to do and when. A sign board as you enter usually gives you the show times of the main events. We have 2 tips for you at this point, try to do the castle walls in the morning as they get busy in the afternoon and don’t miss the falconry show called the Falconer’s Quest down by the river.
Everywhere you go there is plenty of hand sanitiser and all the staff wore face masks. When we visited, face coverings had to be worn in all public indoor areas including toilets and the castle towers, so don’t forget yours when you go.
In recent years, much more of the castle interior has been made available the visitors. The castle tour had a one-way system to avoid congestion and you get to see two floors now with various bedrooms, apartments and the Great Hall (pictured above). There’s a bit of a story along the way too about the Royal weekend parties which used to be held at the castle. It’s always annoyed us in the past that you never got to see very much of the interior of the castle so we were pleased to see this.
You can also see more of the castle by taking the walk-through ‘Kingmaker’ experience. This charts the preparations for a battle showing you all the castle workers who would be involved. It doesn’t take long to do it and our 3 year old liked the various waxwork figures who were demonstrating their crafts.
Down by the river a natural arena has been created with a large oak building at its centre. This is the home of the Falconer’s Quest which is very much a show rather than an educational experience. You sit socially distanced on benches or the grass hill. There’s a storyline about a budding falconer collecting birds of prey from around the world but it’s the birds themselves flying low over the crowd which are the stars. We won’t give too much away, but the finale is extraordinary. The people sitting next to us said it was the best bird show they’d ever seen.
If you have the legs for it, the other unmissable experience is climbing the ramparts and towers of the castle. There is often a queue for this and the first tower is a killer on the muscles, but the view from the top is incredible. You also get to climb the gate house and a further tower before coming back down.
Look out for other interactive experiences like the knight training school. This is included in your ticket price but bear in mind that some others, like archery, incur additional charges. One other tip, if you want a bit of time away from it all, head to the beautiful garden (pictured below) with a nice tea room in the conservatory. Book ahead for afternoon tea if you fancy a real treat. Talking of food, there weren’t the usual number of outlets available and so there were some lengthy queues, even though the castle wasn’t very busy. We waited almost 25 minutes to buy an ice cream for example.
We certainly enjoyed our family day at Warwick Castle and we felt safe even with Coronavirus still out there.
While at the castle, try to grab a little time in Warwick itself. You can exit the castle and have you hand stamped to allow re-entry. The castle is just a few hundred yards from the main shopping street, but there are lots of fascinating landmarks in the town to look out for. See our Historic Warwick page for more.
Warwick Castle is currently open from 10am to 4pm. Car parking is £6.
LOCATION & CONTACT
Address: Warwick Castle, Warwick, Warwickshire, CV34 4QU
Tel: 0870 4422000 (within the UK)
Tel: 0871 265 2000 (Recorded information within the UK)
MORE ON WARWICK CASTLE
Warwick Castle Discount Tickets
Warwick Castle – Official website
Hotels near Warwick Castle – We recommend Hotels.com for the best rates
Warwick Hilton – Where we stayed – it’s a lovely hotel
Shakespeare Country – Official website with accommodation, special offers and more information. Alternatively call +44 (0)1926 471 329