Visitors to the Midlands of England should visit the historic town of Warwick, set on the banks of the River Avon, a small town with a population of just over 27,000 people.
Most people come to Warwick to visit Warwick Castle.
A majestic castle initially built by William the Conqueror in 1068 in wood.
It was rebuilt in stone in the 12th century and with major additions in the 14th and 17th centuries.
It’s also lovely to stroll through the old town Warwick and look at the beautiful architecture.
When you visit the castle, you will find history depicted in a modern, exciting way.
The entrance is by the Stable Courtyard, and you will see a reconstruction of a Ballista, a siege catapult.
Entrance to the walled castle is through Clarence Tower, and once inside, you will view the large grassed area and gardens which lie inside the walls.
Warwick Castle has many towers built for defence around the walls.
Caesar’s Tower has the 14th-century gaol where you can still see the names of the imprisoned scratched into the cold, dark walls.
Clarence Tower is a reconstruction of the 15th-century building.
As you walk around the walls, the views of the surrounding countryside are spectacular.
At the far end, beside the river, you will see the Trebuchet, one of the world’s most significant siege engines, which were built as a reconstruction in Denmark and brought to the castle in 2005.
This 18-meter tall catapult, weighing 22 tonnes, can fire large rocks over 200 meters.
At various times during the year, demonstrations of its throwing power take place.
Away from the lawns, you will find the Sword in the Stone area depicting the legend that Arthur pulled the sword Excalibur free, showing him the rightful king.
The Earls of Warwick were owners of the castle for over 400 years since King James 1 gave it to Sir Fulke Greville in 1604, who converted it into a stately home.
Since the end of the 17th century, it is available for tourists, and Queen Victoria visited in 1858.
In 1978 the castle was leased to the Tussaud’s group (of Madame Tussaud’s waxwork fame), and this company has now merged with others to become the Merlin Group.
The castle’s main buildings have had 6 million pounds spent on them in the last ten years.
The Great Hall and State Rooms use wax models to help depict life in the castle as it used to be.
It is the largest room in Warwick Castle, and there are over six rooms that depict the Edwardian and Victorian high society lifestyles.
There are also 12 rooms depicting the Royal Weekend Party, where the primary guest was Edward Prince of Wales, later to be Edward the seventh.
Entertainment and events outside Warwick Castle
Inside the walls, mainly on the grass area, daily events are held. These include the “flight of the eagles”, where birds of prey fly around the area, archery displays and jousting.
For young children under 10, there is the Princess Tower, where young children pretend to break a curse.
Entry here is included in your entry ticket, but because of its limit of 30, you must book a time slot when you buy your ticket.
There are modern, extra attractions that give a unique atmosphere to the castle.
Individual tickets, which must be bought separately, are for the Merlin Castle Dungeon and the Merlin Dragon Tower, both with timed entry tickets.
The Merlin Castle Dungeon has ten rooms depicting the most frightening of times in the castle’s history.
It is interaction with live actors and special effects.
The tour takes about 50 minutes and is unsuitable for children under ten years, for pregnant ladies, for those with heart conditions or those easily frightened.
The Merlin Dragon Tower is based on the TV drama “Merlin” and shows the young magician trying to protect Arthur.
You will get a chance to talk to the dragon and to look in the magic mirror.
The dragon breathes smoke and fire.
The tour takes 15 minutes, and under 18’s are only allowed when accompanied by an adult.
Children under four are allowed free.
It’s so much to see, so it is good to spend an entire day in the castle.