Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Mediaeval Glamping at Warwick Castle

Last week Family W went to Warwick Castle for a Mediaeval Glamping experience. I'm not a fan of camping (we camped when I was young which I don't remember minding, but I also tried it once in my twenties and I hated it - I'm not keen on communal facilities; urgh), but now that DC is on the scene, it's all about him (she says, through gritted teeth) and we were pretty sure this was something he would love. And it was only one night, plus it was billed as "glamping" so I figured I could just about cope.

We set off from home early on Tuesday morning and arrived in Warwick at about 11am. We registered at the Glamping site then headed off to explore and enjoy the castle. We got the hard work out of the way first, climbing up and down the 530 steps of the towers and ramparts. It was fairly busy which meant we had to climb the steps slowly because of the people ahead of us, which was a great excuse not to get too puffed out.
There are some wonderful views over the castle, its grounds and the town from the tops of the towers.

After a little rest, mostly involving eating ice cream and looking in the handily-placed gift shop, we wandered down to the jousting arena.
Which gave a beautiful view of the castle from the bridge over the river. 
The jousting tournament was a little slow to start as the jester got the crowd going with his 'witty' banter, but once the horses and riders were in the arena, it was pretty much non-stop.

After the jousting we walked back up to the main courtyard for the swordfighting display. We were bombarded with facts about how knights, soldiers, etc would have fought in the 'olden days', which was interesting, no doubt, for adults and older children, but not so much for our small child who was disappointed with the lack of actual fighting - he wanted a bit of cut and thrust and, probably, some bloodshed. I'm sorry to say we came away from this show somewhat disappointed and, dare I say, a little bored.
But at least one young warrior got to display his own sword skills.

Finally, come 4.30pm we were starting to flag and decided it was time to head back to the glamping site. We were given our padlock and key and directed to tent no. 19, our home from home for the night, already set up and complete with two air beds, a table and chairs and a storage chest. And that was pretty much when my phone battery died and I didn't get the chance to take many more photos until I managed to charge it a little bit later.
This was the view from the airbed that hubby and I shared. It was fairly comfortable-ish, but darned cold (even wearing a thermal vest, pyjamas and fleece and covered with a duvet) although I think we would have slept well were it not for the noisy people in the next door tents who had come en-masse and decided to sit up talking loudly (about such riveting things as whether keeping dog food in the fridge is a good or bad thing - who cares, frankly?) until late (well, 11.30pm is late for us.) Still, we got our revenge in the morning when DC woke up at 6.30am (normal enough for us) and started playing with his toy figures. Hubby later overhead one of the ladies who had kept us awake complaining about how loud some people were. Ha.
Here's a general view of the campsite. There were 35 tents in total (I think), each sleeping between 2-6 people.
In the background of the photo below you can see the dining tent (a full English or continental breakfast was included.) Behind the brown fence were the toilets, showers and 'Pamper Tent' with hairdryers, plug sockets, dressing tables, and mirrors. To the right of the dining tent, where the bunting is hung, was the area where the Knight School took place in the evening - the children got the chance to have a go at archery, sword fighting, and could learn how to be a jester. There was also giant Jenga and Connect 4 to help keep them occupied.
The following morning after breakfast (which was very good) we walked into Warwick and spent a very pleasant couple of hours looking round the town and shops before heading back to the castle. First stop was the playground.
Then we watched the Flight of the Eagles show.
Which also featured vultures. 
And finally we decided to watch the jousting one more time, but this time from up on the hill.
By this time (1.30pm-ish) DC was absolutely worn out (as were we) so we decided to call it a day and head home.

All in all, we had a great couple of days. If you take away the inconsiderate, noisy tent neighbours, it was a great experience and definitely worth the money if you have a child or children who are interested in castles, knights, history, etc. We paid £150, which included priority tickets into the castle for all three of us for two days, overnight camping and breakfast, evening activities for the children and two days' car parking. Tickets alone (if you pay at the gate rather than booking in advance) would have cost £113 for two days, plus £12 in parking for two days, making a total of £125. So the £150 cost was a very good deal. I'm not sure we would do it again in a hurry as we feel that we've 'done' Warwick Castle for the time being, but perhaps in two or three years' time, we might give it another go.


  1. Sounds like fun, but I'm like you and no fan of camping, did a lot of it in my 20's and now I want room service.

    1. I shall do my best to avoid camping in the future, if at all possible!


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