A full and fun family day out at Warwick Castle – and we didn’t even make it into the castle!

Yes, over a thousand years in the making, it’s the biggest summer in history at Warwick Castle. From incredible evening events to action-packed days, they’re pulling out all the stops to give families an epic day out this summer. Not too far from Leicester for a summer day out, we went over to see what was in store.

We arrived at the castle shortly before lunchtime. It’s open from 10am, and if you manage to organise yourselves better than we did, it’s probably worth arriving then so you get a bit more time to look round the castle itself. We’ll need to plan in a return trip for this!

The summer spectacular is obviously focused on kids – and it’s done really well. The second you walk through the entrance, you’re met with Zog figures for a perfect photo opportunity – and there are booklets for kids to pick up that they can stamp at points around the castle grounds.

A quick playground stop (lots of different equipment for varying ages) followed by a picnic lunch on the grass in the shadow of the castle, and we were ready for the day’s activities. There are a number of food options around if you don’t want to bring your own, as well as places to buy hot drinks, ice-cream and slushies.

The kids thoroughly enjoyed the Zog live show, which is on at the Woodland Theatre. It’s a nice set up with loads of beanbags in front of the stage to sit on. It’s worth getting there a few minutes before the show starts though, as they do fill up!

Warwick Castle

The Legend of the Trebuchet show takes place by the water – and this was great. A live-action retelling of how villagers protected the castle, with a demonstration of firing a 60ft trebuchet. Some good bangs and a bit of fire (all safely across the other side of the water) had the kids hooked and wide-eyed!

Back to the Woodland Theatre and the Horrible Histories live stage show about Wicked Warwick was really excellent. There was so much information given out, but in such an effective and easy-to-digest way. The 6 and 7 year olds we were with found it fascinating.

We took a break from the outdoors to go and take part in the interactive storytelling experience in the Princess Tower. The kids really enjoyed this (it’s recommended for children between 3 and 8), and it was good for them to have something smaller and more interactive to break up the other events. Tickets for this are included, but you do need to get a timed entry ticket from the entrance (you can do this during your day).

Back outside for the Wars of the Roses re-enactment, with actors showing the story of the Battle of Bosworth using real weaponry and with the actors on horseback. This really brings the famous battle to life – and for kids who have recently learnt about this at school, they loved it!

As our day came to an end, we went to the final falconry show at 4:30pm. Sitting on the grass, looking out over the water, we had no idea how good this would be. A variety of birds of prey, from owls to falcons to a condor and even an eagle…this was truly spectacular. The birds themselves are just so impressive in flight, and they swoop so low over the audience’s heads – there was lots of shrieking and ducking! We all agreed that out of a thoroughly enjoyable day out, this was the highlight and not to be missed.

Warwick Castle is open daily throughout the summer, with a number of different special events planned as well as their regular castle opening and historical displays. Full information and booking details are available from warwick-castle.com.

Words by Alexia Aston