In the heart of Warwick town centre is Warwick Castle, originally built by William the Conqueror during 1068.
What originally stood was rebuilt in the 12th century. Over time, it saw many battles, just like many other castles around the UK.
As time went on, it was eventually converted into a country home, a rather stately one at that, and was owned by the Greville family, who each in turn became Earls of Warwick until 1759. And now guess who owns it? Well, the Tussauds Group, owners of Madame Tussaud’s, who then became Merlin entertainment.
What is there to see in Warwick Castle?
There is plenty to see when you arrive at Warwick Castle. Sweeping grounds, a Horrible Histories maze, and the main castle keep itself, with famous towers, including Guys Tower.
Because it’s owned by a business that relies on tourism, the castle has more to offer than other castles that you can visit. There’s a whole interactive display of a walk through time, with a video show in different rooms explaining the history of the castle. It’s quite fun watching this, as it’s different from reading boards left to gather dust.
There are also food vans set up around the castle and grounds, so walking to those is a must. So whilst you looking at historic architecture, you’re also looking at a Dunkin Donuts and burgers. And the food is very expensive, too!
Walking through the iron gates, below a viewing point where soldiers would have once trapped enemies that managed to get into the castle, and taking a short walk into the circular grounds, you are surrounded by the towers and the entrance to the country home.
I went during half term, and on Halloween, it was quite busy at the castle. I chose an early time to visit, therefore it wasn’t crowded. They had their Halloween tents up when I went, where visitors could find a scare at night.
There’s also a viewing platform at one end of the castle. Walking up curving ramps, you come to the room that offers views out onto the gardens, as well as wider Warwick. There are information boards up here telling you what you’re looking at.
The Links to Henry the Eighth
Going inside Warwick Castle itself, being greeted with a huge hall, why not take advantage of the views to the grounds and river below? There are coats of armour and knights wear, which is quite a magnificent sight, and a way into another room, that maybe would have served as a dining or entertainment room.
There are many statues, including Henry the Eighth and his wives.
History buffs will know that Henry didn’t live at Warwick Castle, and there are no records of him visiting. However, it was under his ownership at one point.
There’s also a portrait room, where you can see portraits of Earls, Lady’s and Henry again, with information on who they are and why they’re at the castle.
Once you’ve been into the castle, take a walk across the courtyard to the entrance to the towers. You are able to climb spiralling staircases, fighting vertigo and any height fears, and find yourself on the walkways alongside the castle walls, where soldiers would have fought for the castle’s defences.
As you walk up the steps, you get higher and higher, so try not looking down or looking behind you!
A walk over these advantage points, and through the towers, will take you around the castle. It’s a one way system, so you shouldn’t have to worry about meeting someone on those narrow stairs. What surprised me, too, was seeing that there are rooms you can stay in inside one of the towers. How cool is that?!
As you walk around the towers, you get wonderful views of Warwick, from medieval homes to the famous cathedral.
A visit to Warwick castle is a must when you’re staying in Warwick. It makes sense to visit such a historic staple in such an historic town. And if you’re looking for something else to do, why not visit the most photographed place in Warwick?