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Warwick Castle

I've read it has become very commercialized. Is it still worth a stop?

Posted by
1170 posts

Well it felt like Disneyland when I went 20 years ago, and it wasn't worth it in my mind, I doubt it has gotten better.

Posted by
6816 posts

It’s been very commercialized for a long time. It is a nice, authentic, castle and worth visiting if you enjoy castles. It would be more fun if you had children since all the activities are geared towards them. If I recall it’s paid parking and depending on how busy it is when you go, it could be a decent walk just reaching the castle itself.

Posted by
203 posts

Me and my wife went 2 years ago and I liked it but it would have been much better without all the “kid stuff “ . However if I gone with my kids when they were young I would have loved it. Still a cool castle.

Posted by
7016 posts

I was there almost 30 years ago, and enjoyed it, but it was commercialized even then. I skipped it for this trip I'm on now, but I plan on going next year with my two grandkids (pre-teen and teen) as I think they will really like it. It is an authentic castle, after all.

Posted by
5383 posts

You can still get proper guided tours of the castle and grounds. Falconry and riding / jousting shows are entertaining and not too long. You can avoid the more theme park elements such as the Dungeon. Probably best to visit very early or later in the afternoon to avoid organised parties of children.

Posted by
33330 posts

Both Kenilworth and Warwick castles are the real deal.

Kenilworth, taken care of by English Heritage, is a ruin because it was slighted. The castle’s fortifications were dismantled in 1650 after the English Civil War. Later, the ruins became famous thanks in part to Walter Scott’s 1821 novel Kenilworth, which romanticised the story of Robert Dudley, his wife Amy Robsart, and Elizabeth I. The what is left is genuine Elizabethan.

Warwick is of a similar vintage, never slighted, and all that tourist money has allowed them to keep the building together and allowed them to provide a real castle and knights and ladies experience to the kiddoes and their parents and grandparents. You don't often see a castle with full size firing trebuchets and jousting tournaments.

So similar but different and in adjacent towns. So you pays your money and takes your choice...

Posted by
4303 posts

I loved it. It's got some commercialization, but I thought it enhanced the visit. There was an especially good display about knights preparing for war.

Posted by
2744 posts

It’s been 20+ years since we went there with our kids. It’s a really great castle, and I enjoyed it despite the commercial elements.

Posted by
3821 posts

Warwick Castle has an amazing and great history including connections with Shakespeare's famous King Richard III. He married the owner's daughter, Anne Neville (in 1472). Her father was the famous Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick, known as "Warwick The Kingmaker" for his power and ability to put kings on the throne of England....and to remove them.
He was a famous knight in his day and won all jousting tournaments in which he participated. Thus the reason for the jousting entertainment.
All the people mentioned above played a part in the Wars Of The Roses (well, except for Shakespeare). And some of it was played out at Warwick Castle.
An interesting time in English history.

Long before that, it was a wooden fort built by William the Conqueror shortly after 1066.
Long before that, it was a fort in Anglo-Saxon times, little more than a fortified hilltop.
An old Roman road runs through the property, left over from the Roman occupation of England.

Ignore the modern attractions/entertainment stuff that's been added if that bothers you.
Concentrate on enjoying a real medieval English castle that is still intact (rare).
The falcon and hawk flying demonstrations are really interesting.
There are lots of venues for food, ice cream, and accommodations there; not a bad thing.

Read the history before you go.
There's a lot more history associated with Warwick of interest to me than with Buckingham Palace, which is relatively speaking a much newer building.
NOT like Disney; not by any stretch of the imagination, at least in my opinion.
Not a mouse in sight, nor a rollercoaster ride.

Posted by
122 posts

I was there last summer. It was mobbed and, in my opinion, very much like a theme park and quite commercial with souvenirs stands everywhere. I would not go back, but I can see the appeal if one is traveling with children and can manage a time when it's not jammed with people.