Helen Annetts, together with Wayne, Charlie and Joe Statham, visit the past.
On a joyously sunny, actual Spring day we headed out on a family adventure to Warwick Castle, primarily for the preview of their new show The Legend of the Trebuchet, but also with access to the whole castle, which has been on our list but unbelievably we’ve never visited before.
We arrived early afternoon and resisting the obvious delights of Zog playland, headed toward the castle itself. Before we’d even got to the castle gates we were drawn in by a lone archer! He promptly showed off his second-best bow – his best bow was resting, he had found a split in the wood that morning – and we were impressed, by his skill and with our new found knowledge that the target was originally called a ‘butte’ with a silent e. Show me a child who is not delighted by permission to say butt loudly and on repeat….
Our next stop was the castle towers and ramparts. Up towers, along ramparts, into nooks and crannies over 500 steps – to my husband’s delight as he has less than a week to smash his most step month ever – we loved exploring the castle walls and the views were amazing in all directions. Up high it was breezy but it was the perfect weather for gazing out over the horizon.
We headed beneath the castle to the gaol, which was damp and dark and we spent perhaps a little too long imagining the horrors of the prisoners kept in there. We didn’t visit the Castle Dungeon as time was against us but we agreed we would make a return visit, perhaps around Halloween to enjoy a spooky dungeon tour.
The Great Hall and State Room were as grand as you’d expect, suit after suit of armour, weaponry, chandeliers to die for and we briefly tagged onto the end of a tour to hear the sad story of Queen Anne and marvel at the actual bed she died in! I would strongly recommend going on one of the free history tours when you visit. We finished our time in the castle grounds by going up the Conqueror’s Fortress, more amazing views and we caught the tail end of the Falconry Show in the distance.
Our visit ended with an after-hours preview of Warwick Castle’s new show The Legend of the Trebuchet, the reason for our visit. We were treated to cupcakes, Knights and Ladies in the Peacock Garden with the most show-off peacocks we have ever seen before being led to Riverside Arena for the show. I confess my knowledge of trebuchets is limited and the show does a great job of sharing the history and workings of the massive construction as well as producing a great show complete with cannon fire, explosions, a horse and some have a go peasants.
The launch of the ‘missile’ was pretty impressive, the cannonball genuinely shot high with a real arc covering some distance. And of course all was well again at Warwick Castle.
We would strongly recommend a family day out to Warwick Castle this Easter or Summer. The grounds are beautiful, the c is a wonder and throughout the day there are performances, walkabouts, tours, things to see and get hands on with, and the programme changes season by season so plenty of reasons to make a repeat visit. The Legend of the Trebuchet runs from 1st April until November so plenty of time to make your visit!
More information can be found at warwick-castle.com .