I was rubbish in History at school, like seriously pants. I didn’t even take it as a GCSE option as I found it SO boring. So if someone suggests spending the day at a castle I roll my eyes in boredom, convinced I’d rather eat my own toe nail clippings than traipse around an old ruin. However, my attitude has changed since my dad’s birthday when we had a day out at Warwick Castle.
I’ve actually been here once before. Last summer I ran (ok more like a fast walk/jog) through it en route to Kenilworth Castle when I completed my first 10k run. So it was much nicer to be here to mooch around rather than sweat it out.
It’s owned by Merlin Entertainments (they also own Alton Towers, Legoland etc etc) so unlike many other castles in the UK, this one has been slightly ‘Disneyfied’. Ok, so it might be a bit kitsch and true historians would probably be grumbling at the fake swords and coats of arms on sale in the gift shop, but for those looking for a taste of the past without the dull droning voice of their history teacher *raises hand* then it is perfect.
You can get free guided tours of the stately rooms where VIPs used to wine and dine their guests. The grand hall is so sumptuous, those Tudors went OTT with their interior design tastes. No minimalist spaces welcome here. If you didn’t enjoy or appreciate the crazy parties or feasts you may have found yourself locked up in the onsite tiny dungeon. A damp, mouldy chamber where graffiti from the 14th century is still visible on the crumbling walls.
We refueled in one of the restaurants on site, an old refurbished stables where we stuffed our faces with full English breakfasts and warmed up from the biting wind outside. Eating in a horse stall was a new experience!
One of the stars of the day was a beautiful eagle called Bruce. This attention loving bird of prey flies around the skies as part of the daily bird shows, capturing the hearts of the audience. People huddled up on benches and waved from turrets calling out ‘Go Bruce!’ as he soared over our heads.
To work off lunch we climbed 530 winding steep steps up to the look out tower. Once you had stopped wheezing and caught your breath (seriously, I NEED to get fitter) the views of the Warwickshire countryside are worth the heart attack inducing climb.
So yep, Warwick Castle you’ve changed my mind about history being boring and stuffy. Have you ever been?