In 1608 William the Conqueror built Warwick Castle, one of England’s most magnificent medieval castles, on the banks of the River Avon and encircled by beautiful parklands. Now a historical theme park run by Merlin Entertainments, it’s a full-on medieval experience filled with fascinating exhibits, interactive tours, and activities for the whole family.
A Warwick Castle tour includes access to the castle’s armory, state rooms, and Great Hall, as well as the towers, ramparts, and gardens. Optional extras include entrance to the Castle Dungeon Experience or a traditional cream tea at the Warwick Castle Conservatory Tea House. Warwick Castle tours from London are often combined with a visit to William Shakespeare’s birthplace in Stratford-upon-Avon, the university city of Oxford, or the Cotswolds.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Warwick Castle is a must-see for history, architecture, and castle buffs.
- Visitor facilities include luggage lockers, ATMs, restaurants, gift shops, and car parking (fees apply).
- Audio guides are available in eight different languages.
- Some parts of the castle are accessible to wheelchair users. Strollers are not allowed inside the castle, but free stroller storage is available.
How to Get There
Warwick Castle is located 30 miles (48 kilometers) southeast of Birmingham, about a 40-minute drive; from central London, it’s a 2-hour drive along the M40. Direct trains run from London’s Marylebone station to Warwick Station, about a mile from the castle.
When to Get There
Warwick Castle is open daily throughout the year, but the busiest times to visit are July, August, and during school holidays. Although visiting outside of these times is advisable if you’re hoping to avoid the crowds, many of the castle’s shows and activities close down or offer limited availability in low season. The most atmospheric times to visit include Christmas and Easter, when the castle hosts special seasonal events and festivities.
Things to Do at Warwick Castle
There’s loads to see and do at Warwick Castle. Watch one of the world’s largest working catapults launch a flaming fireball, learn about the castle’s history at the Time Tower multimedia exhibition, attend a medieval banquet, or watch the spectacular Dragon Slayer show (selected dates in August only), which includes fire jousting, daring stunts, and a thrilling display of lights and pyrotechnics.
Kids will love following the Horrible Histories adventure maze, dressing up in period costumes, and watching displays of medieval jousting, archery, and falconry. You can even spend a night at the castle, either staying in one of the luxury Tower Suites, a lodge, or a glamping tent in the Knight’s Village.