It’s not everyday you get to say you are going away for the weekend, to stay at a Castle. But last weekend we got to do just that. Last year Warwick Castle opened their Knights Village. A glorious collection of wooden lodges, set right on the banks of the River Avon, within the grounds of the Castle. I would say that a stay there is an absolute must if you are planning a trip to the Castle, and not just because it allows you a second day into the Castle free of charge.
You arrive and despite the car park saying it is full, there is always a space for you, right by the reception area. The car park is secure so you can arrive when you like, and leave your overnight bags in your car. Wander off to reception, tell them you are here and then get your tickets for the castle. There is even a “Priority Gate” you can use so you don’t have to join the queues to get into the Castle through the main entrances. You can’t actually check into your chalet until 4pm but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a full day at the Castle first. My post on the Castle itself is here: Warwick Castle
Or indeed Warwick.
We had no idea that Warwick Castle is IN Warwick. Not only five minutes from junction 15 of the M40, but within walking distance of the town centre. Bustling with all the big names you would expect and also some thriving independents. Look out for The Merchants for lunch, superb food and great service. And also the Bakehouse on Swan Street, a little bakery selling a fabulous collection of cakes and breads. The queue on Saturday afternoon was out the door!
So after a wander around the town (and the odd gin) we made our way back to the Castle to get our key for the lodge. There are two different sizes, one that sleeps five, or one that sleeps seven. There are currently some great special offers where you can save up to 25% on your stay so do have a look and get your booking in, you can even book during the school holidays.
Checking in couldn’t have been more straightforward. And within minutes we were checked in and given our key. It was also great to see that there was a small selection of items for sale for those travellers that might have forgotten a toothbrush, or run out of nappies!
A short walk along wooden walk ways (all carefully lit, but do take their advice to bring a torch if you are staying when the evenings are much longer) and we were at our lodge. Spotless with everything you could wish for. Wifi, a kettle with tea and coffee, lots of storage space, a hair dryer, a wet room with toiletries, towels, and a separate bedroom with bunk beds for younger guests. And plug sockets everywhere, including beside the bed. It drives me mad when you have to charge your phone on the other side of the room to use the only plug socket but it is your alarm too so you can’t have it by your bed. There were plugs everywhere.
And a lovely verandah that I made the most of the following morning with a cup of tea.
If you are staying you MUST book in for dinner in the banqueting hall.
For less than twenty quid for adults and a tenner for kids you get the most amazing amount of food. You get to chose your starters, then have a roast dinner, that is the stuff of dreams, and to help yourself to any of the puddings in the fridge. We couldn’t decide which starter to have so had all of them. Ahem.
And as a really great touch for families all the soft drinks are included and literally on tap. There is a vending machine for fizzy drinks, or for teas and coffees so you just help yourself. No being ripped off for pints of lemonade or Coke. There is a cash bar if you want something a bit stronger and even those prices were reasonable and less than we pay in a bar at home.
Breakfast is included in the price of your stay and also eaten in the Hall. Buffet style you wont leave hungry, they have EVERYTHING (including waffles and maple syrup) and the same vending machines for all the tea and coffee you could hope for.
The best bit though is the entertainment after dinner. Real life actual knights (no they are no actors, behave) come along and chat to guests whilst they are eating and then at 7.30pm have a duel with swords that would do some serious damage in the wrong hands. It was superb, and a really fitting end to a great day at the Castle.