Visiting Warwick Castle: How to get the most our of your day

Visiting Warwick Castle: How to get the most our of your day

Updated: October 4, 2019

If you are visiting Warwick Castle, spending a little time to plan your day will ensure that you don’t miss out on the many activities Warwick Castle has to offer.

We visited Warwick Castle at Halloween and was really surprised at how much there is to do. You can cram pack your day full of activities and still find you haven’t enough time to do everything.

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There are plenty of shows, activities and entertainment scheduled throughout the day at various locations. And there are other attractions that can be done at any time during the day.

It’s impossible to do everything, so spending 5 minutes when you arrive means that you can plan and make the most out of your day.

If you are visiting Warwick Castle at Halloween, the you’ll learn all about the Halloween activities that are specific to the Haunted Castle event. However, many things are the same or just change slightly to reflect whatever the theme is at the time of your visit.

Visiting Warwcik Castle - Castle View

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Visiting Warwick Castle

Situated in the heart of the Midlands and just a few minutes drive from the M40, visiting Warwick Castle is really easy by car. There are three car parks – the closest is located right next to Warwick Castle entrance and costs £10 all day. The other two car parks are a little further away and accessed from a different road. They cost £6 all day and are approximately 5-20 minute walk away from the entrance (depending on which on you park in).

Top Tip – get the correct postcode for the car park you want to park in here

You can also find more information on getting to Warwick Castle by coach or train here

We were directed by Warwick Castle staff to the car park that is further away but if you want to be closer, I would recommend asking as you drive through the barriers.

Top Tip – if you’ve had a long journey, there are toilets at the Knights Village entrance which you can drop off at on your way to the car parks.

It took us about 15 minutes to walk from the car park to the ticket entrance. The children enjoyed running in and out of the woodland play areas on the way.

It also gave us chance to have a sneaky peek at the Knights Village, which looked amazing and made us wish we had stayed. If you are visiting Warwick Castle during Halloween or another event (Christmas, Easter etc), I would consider staying overnight to make the most out of your visit.

Visiting Warwick Castle - Knights Village

Top Tip – make sure you’ve got everything for the day before you walk to the entrance. You don’t want to be walking back to the car if you’ve forgotten something.

Plan your day!

As you enter Warwick Castle, make sure you pick up a map which shows you the locations of all attractions, as well as the show and activity times.

During the Halloween Haunted Castle event, some of the themed attractions are categorised by how scary they are – ‘Scaredy Squires’ (suitable for all of the family), ‘Daring Dukes’ (recommended for 10 years +) and ‘Brave Knights’ recommended for 12 years +). Most activities are included in your admission but a few are an additional charge such as The Castle Dungeon.

Once you’ve picked up a map, head over to the central courtyard and take a photo of the activities and times on the boards next to the central stage and outside the Great Hall entrance.

Visiting Warwick Castle - Shows
Visiting Warwick Castle - Stage Shows
Visiting Warwick Castle - Tours

Once you’ve got all of the information from the back of the map and the boards, find somewhere to sit down and make a quick plan of your day.

My advice would be to look at the scheduled activities first and decide which you want to do and when. Then go back and fill in the gaps with the activities that can be done at any time of the day.

Before I go into more detail, here is a quick plan of how we spent our day visiting Warwick Castle…

Visiting Warwick Castle - Our Plan

The Haunted Hollows

After coming up with a loose plan for the day, our first stop was the Haunted Hollows.

The spooky trail walk is full of scary cobwebs, skeletons and creepy characters including a pumpkin and swamp monster (who were both very friendly, chatting to the children all of the way along the trail).

The whole thing took about 10 minutes and was completely stroller friendly and suitable for all ages.

Visiting Warwick Castle - Haunted Hollows
Visiting Warwick Castle - Skeleton

The Mighty Trebuchet

A great show for the whole family and a must when visiting Warwick Castle at any time!

The giant catapult is a pretty impressive beast by anyone’s account and is the largest of its kind in the world!

Watching from the bank opposite, the actors talk you through the dramatic demonstration of how it works as you watch each step. And finally, with a big countdown, you witness it hurling a huge rock 150 miles per hour through the sky.

Visiting Warwick Castle - Mighty Trebuchet

After watching the Trebuchet demonstration we sat at one of the picnic tables and ate our picnic lunch. If you’d rather buy food on site, there are a couple of restaurants and food stands within the castle grounds.

Flight of the Eagles

This was an incredible experience and our youngest (aged 2) was particularly excited to see such magnificent birds soaring overhead and landing so close to her.

We’ve seen birds of prey many times at shows but they just sit there on display.

Never have we seen them in their mighty element like this before, swooping and gliding over the castle.

It was fascinating to hear about each bird, their personalities and interesting facts about their particular breed. Definitely, one not to miss!

Visiting Warwick Castle - Flight of the Eagles

The Conquerors Fortress

Originally a motte-and-bailey castle, this outdoor trail climbs up the oldest feature at Warwick Castle.

There are lots of information boards to read along the way with some interactive parts for kids.

Part of the trail is a smooth uphill path but there are some steps, so it might be easier to leave strollers at the bottom.

Visiting Warwick Castle - Conquerors Fortress

The Witches Tower

Usually known as the ‘Princess Tower’ but if visiting Warwick Castle at Halloween, it will be taken over by the scary witches. You will need to collect your free tickets for a scheduled slot from next to the Great Hall entrance.

This is a great little show for the kiddies with audience participation required.

You will need to leave strollers outside as there are some narrow staircases to climb.The whole thing lasts approximately 15-20 minutes.

Visiting Warwick Castle - Witches Tower

The Time Tower

Travel through time as you learn about the history of Warwick Castle and its owners by watching interactive videos.

This is a really clever attraction that is completely unmanned. You wait for the door at the entrance to open and enter the first room. All rooms have timed doors that allow you through to the next room at the right time.

There are some steps up to the entrance and a few inside so I would recommend leaving strollers outside but you could take them through with some lifting up steps if needed.

Visiting Warwick Castle - Time Tower

The Ultimate Castle Tour

This was one of the free history tours that are scheduled throughout the day. This one in particular, was a talk about the entire history of Warwick Castle and lasted approximately half an hour.

Not particularly fun or engaging for the kids but we found it really interesting. Luckily, it took place outside so the girls entertained themselves by running around on the grass.

Some tours are more interactive for kids so be sure to check out the boards and keep checking them because they update them throughout the day.

Visiting Warwick Castle - Grounds

Horrible Histories Maze

Our experience of this attraction was slightly unfulfilled because they had run out of time zone passports.

The idea is that you find your way to each zone of the maze which represents a different historical period in time. Once you find each zone, you can stamp your time passport and there are lots of interactive stations and information boards.

Regardless of our lack of a passport, we still had lots of fun getting lost and stumbling upon each zone.

This attraction is completely stroller friendly.

Visiting Warwick Castle - Maze
Visiting Warwick Castle - Giant Scales
Visiting Warwick Castle - Climbing

House of Wax

Next on our agenda was the House of Wax, one of the Warwick Castle Halloween scare mazes.

This is recommended for 10 years + but the staff advised us that it was only a recommendation. Our 5 year old wanted to do something scary and we thought our 2 year old would be oblivious, so we decided to take them in.

It was short in comparison to other scare mazes we have done (approx. 5-10 minutes) but similar in that you make your way through different rooms and actors jump out and scare you.

The girls weren’t terrified but they didn’t want to do another one. Therefore, I would take heed of their guidance on the recommended age for entry.

Towers and Battlements

This one is certainly not suitable for strollers as you climb 530 steps up the narrow spiral staircase to the top of Guy’s Tower.

You may have to stop to catch your breath but once you reach the top, you are rewarded with incredible views over the castle and the town of Warwick.

Visiting Warwick Castle - Tower Steps

Outbreak 1369

Another Warwick Castle Halloween scare maze, this time we chose to take turns to do the 5-10 minute maze, whilst the other looked after the children.

This is slightly scarier than the House of Wax so if you have children and are thinking about taking them in, I would recommend the House of Wax first.

Great Hall, State Rooms & Chapel

You can’t visit Warwick Castle without taking a tour of the castle itself.

We were lucky enough to stumble upon a tour as we entered the Great Hall (this wasn’t on our plan so a bonus)!

The tour was aimed at kids and the guide was really good, giving them tasks to do that educated them on the history of the castle, whilst being fun and engaging at the same time.

Visiting Warwick Castle - Entrace Hall
Visiting Warwick Castle - State Rooms
Visiting Warwick Castle - Castle Halls

Other things to do whilst visiting Warwick Castle


Journey back to 1471 as Richard Neville prepares for battle. This was converted to Outbreak 1369 whilst we were there as part of the Haunted Castle event.

The Castle Dungeon

This attraction is an additional cost and not recommended for under 10s. I did suggest to Warwick Castle staff that they should put on an activity that kids can do whilst parents visit the Dungeons. You can do the dungeons if visiting Warwick Castle at any time.

Evening Entertainment

During the Haunted Castle event at Halloween, Warwick Castle stays open until 10pm (normally closes at 6pm). During this extended opening, there are fire shows and fire jousting taking place. To make the most of the entertainment, you might want to consider staying overnight at the Knights Village.

Unfortunately, we missed the Fire Joust show because the children were getting tired and we still had to make the journey home.

Visiting Warwick Castle - Entertainment
Visiting Warwick Castle - Haunted Castle

Other tips for visiting Warwick Castle

  • Get there early to make the most out of your day
  • Take waterproofs as many of the attractions are outside
  • Take a picnic lunch and water bottles if you want to save money on food and drink
  • Strollers are not suitable for many of the activities but there are buggy parks available

Family hotels near Warwick Castle

Staying overnight will allow you more time to get the most out of your visit to Warwick Castle. Especially is visiting Warwick Castle at Haloween or another event, the castle often stays open late.

If you’re looking for family friendly hotels near Warwick Castle, then take a look at the map below:

Or if you want a real medieval experience, why not stay in one of the Knights lodges at Warwick Castle itself!

Click on the banner below to see current deals and availability.

Our Verdict

If you are planning on visiting Warwick Castle, you will certainly find plenty of things to do for the whole family!

The thing I love about Warwick Castle is that they make learning about the castle’s history fun, exciting and simple. It’s clear that they want to keep the visitor experience focused on the heritage of Warwick Castle, which I think is really important.

If you are visiting Warwick Castle during normal opening hours of 10-6, a day trip is perfect. However, if you are visiting during a themed event such as the Warwick Castle Halloween event or Christmas when they have entertainment on into the evening, I would consider staying in the Knights Village.

Booking your tickets to Warwick Castle

You can buy tickets at the entrance on the day but it’s cheaper to book online in advance.

Check out the ticket prices at the official Warwick Castle website – click here or the picture below.

It’s also worth checking the prices at 365Tickets – click here or on the logo below. We bought ours through 365Tickets for the Haunted Castle event as they were much cheaper.