Monday, 23 March 2015

Time Tower At Warwick Castle

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On Saturday we were invited down to Warwick Castle to a sneak preview of the exciting new attraction Time Tower. We love Warwick Castle but to get to see a new attraction before anyone else was an exciting bonus. From the Northwest it is a two hour drive so we decided to do the drive and stay over the night before in a hotel close to Warwick. You can read about our stay here - Holiday Inn Leamington Spa.
When we woke it didn't look the nicest of days. It was quite cloudy and when I opened the window it felt chilly but the day actually turned out to be lovely. Really sunny and although there was a slight chill in the air it was a lovely spring day and there was no rain which was perfect as most of the activities are outside. 
Every time we have been to the Castle we have parked in the Stables Car park. It is just a minutes walk (probably less) to the entrance. Its a premium car park and costs £10. Its perfect if you want to nip back to the car.
Once we parked, we headed to the Stables Courtyard. This is where your day begins. You purchase your tickets here and it also has toilet facilities and The Coach House. Great place to grab a cup of coffee or a snack before you start.





We headed to The Conservatory Tea House first which is opening 25th March to the public. We were treated to the most delicious afternoon tea I have ever tasted. The room which has got a lovely peaceful feel to it is decorated like a conservatory with glass windows and a gorgeous view of the gardens. There are also peacocks just outside which little J loved. He was so excited watching them and actually spent most of the time trying to catch them rather than enjoying his lovely cream cake. I could have sat in the conservatory all day it was so relaxing and chilled. 
Once we had finished our tea and yummy cakes we strolled over to the new Time Tower attraction. It was 11:30am at this point and it didn't seem very busy at all. Last time we visited was in the Summer and it was really busy, like anywhere it is probably busier in summer months or school holidays. 
I was worried that little J may be too young for the Time Tower but I was assured that the new attraction was suitable for all ages. There were other little ones in our group so I did feel better knowing little J wasn't the only toddler.


We left our pram at the entrance/exit of the Time Tower. There are steps up to the tower and it is not accessible for prams. I am not sure whether the attraction would be suitable for those in wheelchairs as I didn't see a lift but I would double check before you go.
We entered in groups of 20. We were in the second group and only had to wait 5 minutes. The attraction is split into three separate rooms and told the history of the castle over the last 1,100 years.




The first room had three TV screens telling the story of how Warwick castle was built and why. Then we walked further up the tower into another room. This room had a model of the castle and another TV screen showing what has happened to the castle over the years.



 The third room reminded me of Hogwarts Castle from Harry Potter as there were lots of portraits that talked and moved.
Big J could relate to some of the history as he is learning about it in school so he really enjoyed it. The attraction lasted 15 minutes approx and I think its a great addition to the castle. I like finding out about the history of places we visit and learning about it this way was far more exciting than just reading about it. Little J was well behaved so that was a bonus. I think because it was visual and audio based it wasn't boring so he was happy to watch along with everyone else.
If you have been to the Castle before, just to say the new Time Tower attraction is just by the Princess Tower in the top right hand corner of the central courtyard. 
So after our exciting preview we were free to roam the rest of the castle and grounds at our leisure. Like I said earlier we have been before as we are Merlin Pass Holders so can visit for free each year. 
This visit was a little different as little J is older this time so wanted to be out his pram and running around. Luckily Mike The Knight was visiting the castle and had set up lots of activities and meet and greet which was perfect for little J.


We first saw Mike when little J was having a snooze but he still stopped and posed for a photo.




We all tried plate spinning which was actually very hard and although we tried and tried our plates kept falling off the sticks. I love the look of concentration on big J's face on these photos. He was probably the best out of us all and really did try to keep the plate spinning.




 Little J loved the hula hoops. He put it round his neck and just walked around with it there. 





 Big J played a game were you had to throw a ball and knock down the targets. He didn't hit one but he gave it a good try.
There was also an arts and crafts area which we didn't use but lots of children were colouring and making stuff. 

Then Mike the Knight came for a Meet and Greet. There was an organised queue and we didn't wait longer than 10 minutes. Again it wasn't very busy but I assume there would be a longer queue in summer months.





Daddy and Big J went for a walk up in to the towers. There are lots of steps and it goes very high so little J and I stayed safely on the ground. We looked up and waved as they popped their heads out of one of the towers. It did look lots of fun but I'm a little bit scared of heights.


While we waited for them to finish their walk up the towers I took this photo of the Central Courtyard lawn. So pretty.


Located around the courtyard are information boards which tell you what is happening on the day. It's important to familiarise yourself with the different shows and the times so you don't miss out.


Also make sure you check out the upcoming events board. There is lots going on this year. Last time we visited Horrible Histories were there and big J loved it.


Unfortunately my little monkeys were not interested in this but if you have a little princess I'm sure she would love to pay a visit to Princess Tower.




As we made our way to the Birds of Prey show I took some photos of the Castle. Its so beautiful.





The Flight of the Eagles show was actually more exciting than I thought it was going to be. The birds actually flew really low, circling the arena and swooping in and out. They were so big and powerful and it was very entertaining. Their trainer was very passionate about the birds and knew lots. He told us how he has known one of them since it was 6 months old and is now 16 years old. You could tell he really loved them and enjoyed his job. I actually really liked this part of the day and would definitely recommend it.






The great hall and state rooms was worth a visit. It's all set out like it would have been and was very realistic. Even the ladies enjoying afternoon tea looked real.






 We finished off the day in Pageant Playground. It was a nice way to burn off some extra energy before the drive home. Its full of slides, swings and climbing frames. There is a little snack hut too and some benches so you can enjoy a cup of coffee and a seat while the kids play.

Our lunch was provided so we didn't use the restaurants on site although I did notice Undercroft Pizza and Pasta. I had a peek inside and it is very similar if not the same as the Pizza and Pasta restaurant in Alton Towers. Its an all you can eat buffet style restaurant. We have eaten there many times in Alton Towers and it is really good value for money especially if you are a family.  You pay for your meal and the waiter/waitress will bring you a plate, cutlery and a cup. You then help yourself to as much Pizza, Pasta, Salad and Cold drinks as you wish.

I haven't mentioned this above as we didn't get chance to watch it but the Trebuchet Fireball Spectacular is a must see. We watched it on our last visit and it really was exciting. 

If you are thinking of visiting Warwick Castle please do check the website to see upcoming events and attractions. 

Overall we had a really good day at Warwick Castle. The weather was lovely so we were able to enjoy all the outdoor activities. There is so much to do for all ages so a perfect family day out.


*we were invited to Warwick Castle to preview the new Time Tower Attraction. All thoughts, opinions and photographs above are our own*



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12 comments

  1. I love Warwick Castle - it's such a good day out. That cake looks yummy too.

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  2. Sounds like a fab day out. I really like visual stories into history, as I find someone just stood in front of me quite boring, but it sounds like they captured everyone in the new tower. We were looking at going last year when we went to Windsor, but decided against it at the time, but seeing this post, has really captured it again.

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  3. I love Warwick castle, it's one of those place that you can return to time and time again x

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  4. That looks like an amazing place to spend the day! Lots of fun and smiling faces :)

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  5. We went to Warwick Castle not long ago and loved it. This attraction obviously wasn't open then though. Some wonderful photos on here. Thanks for linking up to #CheckOutThatView
    New linky is up now x

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  6. I've heard lots of good reviews about Warwick caslte. Looks like you had a lovely time there. I wouldn't mind visiting there one day.

    Thanks linking up to #FunFamilyDaysOut

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  7. It looks like you had a great time - I've visited before pre-kids and loved it but wasn't sure it would be the best place to take a pram, but I think we will give it a try at half term! And I will definitely be sailing the cakes, they look amazing! x

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  8. Looks amazing lots to do and fun too food looks great think I'll try this place in the summer

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  9. Looks so much fun and lots to do summer holiday for me this year

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  10. Looks amazing lots to do and fun too food looks great think I'll try this place in the summer

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  11. I've always wanted to go here, it looks amazing! :D

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  12. looks a lovely place to visit

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Thanks for your comments. I love reading them :)

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