Today is the day. Leanne and I are finally going to Warwick Castle.
Where Bella had been so grumpy this morning we were hoping Bella would fall asleep on the drive over. We had been staying about 45 minute drive away from Warwick Castle and Bella decided she was going to fall asleep in the last 10 minutes of the drive.
We had quite an easy drive, the weather wasn’t too bad. The only issue we had was coming into Warwick. The road layout wasn’t too clear on the Waze app. I ended up taking the wrong turn off of a round about coming into Warwick. Luckily there were signs to bring us in from another side of Warwick. Once we started to come into Warwick I followed the good old brown signs. Like I’ve said previously I don’t trust SAT NAVs directions especially coming up to tourist attractions.
We made our way through Warwick following the brown signs. Soon we found the entrance. Considering we’d arrived an hour after it opened the place was packed. We were sent all the way through to their last overflow car park.
We parked up and set about getting ourselves out of the car, ready to go see what we could find. We layered up with coats and I changed my boots to slightly more waterproof ones as the weather looked likely to change. I’d grabbed a few snacks to put in Bella’s bag for if she got a bit hungry. I thought that was pretty likely considering she’d eaten practically nothing at breakfast. Once we’d geared up and loaded the pram with bags and Bella we set off on the long walk to the entrance of the castle.
It was a very long walk from car park E all the way to the castle. A good ten minute walk. It was quite pleasant though. The path weaved through the wooded grounds and past the knights lodge and Warwicks short stay accommodation. The accommodation looks really pretty. Leanne and I discussed staying at the castle as we walked along the path. We also chatted about another over night experience – The Husky Experience at Eagle Heights. I had camped there over night with the huskies and we were chatting about how I’d love to do it again but it’s so expensive to stay now as you have to use their own teepees. I’d still love to do it again.
The path up to the castle was on a constant slow incline – and I don’t do hills. Bless, Leanne offered to take the pram off me and push it but I was determined to make it by myself. We soon came out on to a road leading up to the main entrance, we were nearly there!
Eventually the courtyard was in sight and we headed through the gate to go get our tickets. We had another one of those two for one vouchers off the McDonalds Happy Meals . That’s one of the main reasons we had been able to make the trip. It’s brilliant because Bella is free at the moment but it’s expensive to be an adult and visit these places. They all add up.
We bought our ticket and then lined up again to go through the security gate. We had to have our bags checked before we could go in. Once Leanne had got through security, she was able to get straight though the gates and into the castle grounds. I however was stuck waiting for the security guard to let me through the disabled and pram entrance. However the poor guy was in charge of letting people in to the castle through the access gate and then seeing people out of the castle and stamping them so they were able to return later during the day. He seemed a little stressed but I waited patiently for him to deal with a family leaving. I know a lot of people get bothered if they have to wait. Everyone seems to want everything now on their terms whereas I just like to go with the flow. Getting angry and stressed because the process is going slowing isn’t going to make it go any faster. All it’s going to result in is me getting stressed and angry.
He soon finished with the family leaving and even made a comment to me that it was busy so he was sorry for the wait. I told him I didn’t mind and it looked like he could do with some help.
We were finally in the grounds. A dream finally achieved. Leanne and I have been wanting to do this for at least 7 years I think. We came out into the grounds and followed the crowds down the hill towards the castle entrance. As we walked down we both stopped to take photos of the castle. It’s a very pretty castle, not as big as we thought though.
Bella had wanted to get out of the pram as soon as we got into the grounds, so she slipped out of the pram and walked down the hill by herself. Luckily the crowds weren’t too big to stress me out. I really don’t like lots of people, it makes me so paranoid. Leanne seems pretty intune with my anxiety so it was nice to have another set of eyes to keep and eye on Bella and things.
We carried on walking round to the entrance. The crowds seemed to disappear and there was only us and a couple of families. Behind us as we looked at the castle was the maze. We weren’t going to the maze yet though.
To get into the castle there is quite a steep ramp up into it. There is an accessible entrance up the hill but this entrance seemed quite accessible. It was just steep. I pushed the pram up through the gate house while Bella walked up herself with Leanne following us.
I didn’t enjoy pushing the pram over the cobles. I would have rather had my other pram for this weekend but my Babiie folds up so nicely in one, whereas my Orb folds down into two piece. Not a fun pram to take away. It’s not so compact. But the Orb is a kinda multi terrain pram so would have managed with the cobles pretty well. The Babiie’s wheels were going mental on the stones. It meant it was a bit of a task to push it up the hill.
We came out into the central courtyard. There was lots going on. There’s the Castle’s Dungeon, there were shops, food stalls and various towers each with different exhibits. You could see people walking around up in the battlements.
We decided we were going to do the main part of the castle first. We weren’t able to take the pram in with us so I parked it up outside along with the many prams that were already parked and into the castle we headed.
We entered the Great Hall first. It was full or various types of armour. There were weapons up on the walls and by the doors sets of various sets of armour and along one side of the room were two sets of armour sat on top of horses also wearing armour. Bella liked the horses but she was more fascinated by the lights pointing up at the armour. Apparently they weren’t in the right position. Bella decided she was going to alter them. After a bit of playing, much to my annoyance, Bella was satisfied they were pointing in the right direction again.
Once we left the Great hall we entered the State Rooms. Bella wasn’t happy, she wanted to exit the Great Hall on the opposite side but the route they advise was the one we were following.
We found in one of the rooms wax figures of Henry VII with all six of his wives. I thought that was quite appropriate considering we’d been to Hever Castle on Wednesday. Bella is learning all about Henry VII and his wives this month.
The State Dining room was very pretty. I loved all the red and gold. The dining room wasn’t a very popular room it seemed. We ended up being in the room all to ourselves. On the table cloth, text about the castle was being projected onto it.
We looked at a few other rooms before we ended up in the Green Drawing room. The ceiling is really pretty. They have a mirror table in the centre of the room so that instead of staring up at the ceiling and ending up with a busted neck, you can look into the mirror and see all the detail. Bella really liked this mirror.
We loved the Queen Anne Bedroom. The bed was huge. Leanne and I kept commenting how small people used to be back then but how their beds are huge. Why would you want to sleep in a bed that you need to climb up a ladder to get into. I realised how stupid that was as I typed it. I mean kids have cabin beds, bunk beds, high sleepers.
In the bedroom there was a mini set of a sofa and two arm chairs. They would have been perfect for Bella. I was scared she was going to disappear under the barrier rope and I’d find her laying on the sofa. Thankfully she had listen to the instructions that she wasn’t to go under the barrier.
We walked through the rest of this side of the castle and came across a huge porridge pot. It’s called Guy’s Porridge Pot. I really wanted to pick Bella up and just pop her inside but I think that would have got me in trouble. I found the story of the porridge pot quite interesting especially the part about George Greville using it to celebrate his 21st Birthday. It was filled 3 times with a brandy and rum based punch. Now that was some party.
We finally came out from the little corridors that were bringing us back towards the Great Hall. As we appeared out of the corridor we came across a massive floor to ceiling mirror. Of course we had to get a photo of all of us chilling in the castle.
We entered back into the Great hall, taking a quick peek into a large room just of it. It was obviously where they perform weddings at the castle. It did look really pretty inside.
We were now off to view the other side of the castle. The display in this side of the castle was called the Warwick’s Royal Weekend Party. This is a display they’ve got showing what life was like in the castle during the victorian era and after.
There were lots of wax figures in this area. They were obviously there to show what people would actually be doing in those days. There were people playing the piano and singing in one room. In another room there were two men playing cards.
We came across what looked like a ladies drawing room. Leanne and I said we could quite easily see our selves hanging out there and relaxing. It had a pretty teal and rose colour scheme to it.
We walked around all the rooms on the ground floor then headed upstairs. We found some of the servants rooms and a bathroom. It was very interesting with the wax figures (I think I keep saying that) It was good to see what they felt people would have been doing back then. We even came across a wax figure of Winston Churchill.
We walked though the corridors and came out in one that came across the top of the Great Hall. It wasn’t a very wide corridor. There were little windows cut through into the Great Hall where you could look down into the Hall. Bella enjoyed looked down in the hall. I’m not a huge fan of heights especially as the only barrier was a metal framed barrier. I don’t like that they have holes in them. I know I won’t fall through them but they still scare me. Bella liked looking down over the Hall.
We finished up in the main part of the castle and exited. We ended up coming out via a little doorway down a hill no where near the main entrance for the Great Hall. We walked back up the hill to locate the pram.
We found it exactly where we’d left it. I always get a bit worried when I leave it that someone’s going to take it or something is going to be taken off of it. The pram was fine and it hadn’t rained thankfully so the pram was still nice and dry.
We decided the next area we were going to was the Time Tower. Once again we had to abandon the pram as the start of the Time Tower exhibit was up a stone staircase. We left the pram at the bottom headed up the stairs. We had to wait a little bit to enter the tower. They are timed displays so you have to wait until the last group have finished. Bella had decided that she wanted an apple as a snack while we were waiting.
We didn’t have to wait long though just as we’d got back to the pram to decide whether we wanted to wait or go find something else to do. Just as we were debating the crowds came out of the bottom of the tower indicating the next display was about to start.
We quickly headed back up the steps and into the exhibit room. Now I have learnt that people don’t read instructions. We entered the room and as we did, we noticed there was a timer above the door. This timer said that the door would close in 45 seconds and then to wait until the light was green to enter. Well we entered within the 45 seconds before the door closed and sat down. Then just as the door was closing someone pushed there way in. And instead of actually coming into the room and then allowing the door to close. Nope they stood in the way of the automatic door and everytime it started to shut they would push it back open. Now the door was set to close so the holographic display could be seen but these people didn’t seem to care. They just stood there pushing the door open every time it shut on them. I mean is it so hard to read simple instructions. Just really annoys me.
Once the holographic display had finished it gave us instructions to go through the door at the back of the room and up the stairs to the battlements for the next section of the display. Bella nicely climbed the stairs holding my hand and we went up to the battlements.
Once we made it to the top we saw a holographic display showing how the castle had been built up over the years. It was cool to see the little model get built up and then burn down. We watched this section of the display and then we were instructed to move into another room.
In this room there were video portraits of all the people who had owned the castle over the years. Obviously they weren’t the real people, they didn’t have the ability to film in the 1600s but they were acting as if they were the owners. It was quite funny the way the actors portrayed the owners. They did like to include humour.
Half way through us listening to these video displays we suddenly had a few more people come up the exit stair case and walk right through us up to the battlements. Again a few people had failed to read that the door they had come through in the first display room actually said ‘Fire Exit’ I mean if they’d listen to the lady in the first holographic display they’d have known they were suppose to go through the door at the back of the room. Not the one clearly labeled as a ‘Fire Exit’ What is the world coming to when people can’t follow simple instructions.
After our display had finished being disturbed by randoms we were able to watch the rest in peace. Once it had finished we headed out of the tower and back to the pram.
Once we’d been reunited with the pram we wanted to take a walk down by the river. We didn’t realise but just as we got down by the river we came across the birds of prey display. Boy was it impressive.
They had these huge birds of prey just flying around. They would send them from a huge tree on the opposite side of the river to a handler on the river and then another stood up on a shelter off the shore behind the crowd. They looked so impressive these massive birds flying over the crowds and river. It was spectacular to watch.
We only caught the end of the display but it was so good. It was a display set in the style of a story. It was all about a falconer who wanted to bring birds of prey to Warwick castle. It was great how they told the story how he found each bird and how. Each bird was brought out in turn of the story.
At the end of the story all the birds were released into the sky, They was about 20 – peregrines, falcons, eagles, vulchers all flying about in the sky. It was so spectacular! I would truly recommend it to anyone who goes to Warwick Castle. It is so worth it. I’ve never seen a display like it before.
We enjoyed watching the birds fly around the sky for a while and then decided we’d make a move off to our next activity. We couldn’t get any further down the river so we thought we would go and find some sort of lunch.
Part 2 coming soon.
Love CiCi x