We booked a 2 day trip to Warwick Castle with a nights stay over in their new ‘Medieval Glamping’ camp site. After weeks of excited anticipation – from us and the boys! – we arrived on our date with the car full of pillows and sleeping bags. Here’s what we all thought of the experience…
Activity – what was it and what was included/not included?
For our ticket we had included 2 days entry into the castle, a night in the glamping site with games and activities for adults and children to all do with breakfast the following morning.
The tent was a bell tent which meant we all slept in together which I was a little apprehensive of as 3 giggly boys all in the same room never really works for us. You each get an airbed (a double for couples) with a thick soft rung on so it was really quite comfy to sleep on. The tent was spacious which was great as we had 5 of us.
The food is broken down into options which, I think, is a great idea so you can choose what you’d like to do according to your wants and needs and also your budget. You can have the BBQ, Medieval Banquet or there is a very clean, large BBQ you can use on site to cook your own food with cooking utensils available from the food tent for you to borrow so you don’t have to bring your own.
We chose the Banquet which has a separate review here. I talked to others who had the BBQ and they were a little disappointed as it wasn’t strictly a BBQ more of a warm buffet of BBQ’d food that was being kept warm in metal dishes. They were also annoyed that there were each given a small plate – not a dinner sized plate – and could only visit the ‘BBQ’ once which meant the they had to pile their plates high as they were hungry after the whole day of walking round the castle. Once camper said that they could only just about get a burger on the plate and a few chips for their child and that was it. The price for the BBQ was £10 per adult and £5 per child which they felt was quite expensive for the food they were able to have. They said if they were to camp again they would either bring their own food or ring for a take out delivery! The breakfast was fabulous with a full cooked option as well as pastries and cereals and you could have as much as you wanted so we tucked in so we could get lots done at the castle that day without having to stop for lunch as early.
Evening entertainment/activities -I was really pleased that even after the 15 minute walk back to the campsite from the castle we didn’t miss out on the entertainment. The boys loved having a go at the archery and the Knight’s school which would have cost us another £24 if we’d done these activities in the castle during the day. It also meant they could go back and have as many goes as they wanted to as the activities were only for the glampers. Hubbie had a go at the archery (would have been another £3 in the castle) and treated us all to his juggling skills in the Jester’s school so adults and children all enjoyed the evening. There were also other games and toys out for the children to have a go with -a giant connect four and snakes and ladders plus stilts, a bike and other balance toys.
There were lots of toilets available for the 35 tents which were clean and well lit. Hubbie felt the showers could have been a bit more powerful and had it not been so warm he thought the little ones would have really got cold after they’d come out of the shower. The pamper tent was fun and at one point I saw lots of little girls doing their mums hair (under direction!) which was lovely to see.
Tea and coffee was available in the food tent throughout your stay 24hrs a day which was great and you could easily use this to make up flasks of tea and coffee to take into the castle the next day to save a bit of money I’m sure.
Well this is not a difficult category to write about from the boys point of view! They absolutely loved every minute of the glamping. They especially loved the activities but also playing (and sword fighting) with all the other children that were also glamping with us. They stayed up late but all the children were having so much fun all of us parents didn’t want to put them to bed. The darkness came and the tents are squeezed quite close together so they guy ropes can be a bit of a problem so they were all in bed by 9pm.
We did have one problem though as the Castle also had a film night on (large giant screen in the castle grounds and people bought in their picnics and chairs to sit and watch it) and the wind was blowing the wrong direction so we had a very loud rendition of quite a few ABBA songs (it was Mamma Mia showing) from 9.30pm onwards which meant that getting to sleep was quite difficult for us all. This could be solved by just checking the date of a glamping evening and making sure they didn’t have a film night on though. I mentioned it to the staff on reception the following morning and they apologised profusely.
Value for money
The glamping cost £250 (£50 per person) which you get 2 days entry into the castle, free parking for 2 days, evening entertainment a night in the glamping tent with breakfast the following morning. You get fast track entry into the castle on both days so you don’t have to queue which means you can go in whenever you want.
We saved to pay for the entry fee but after having 2 fully packed days at the castle and entertainment in the evening we all thought this was well worth the money especially when you compare it to other sleepover events for a family of 5; Kenilworth Castle – £240, Sleeping with the sharks – £175, Sleeping with the dinosaurs at the National History Museum – £260. These sleepovers seem to be one evenings entertainment with one night sleepover whereas Warwick Castle’s ‘Glamping’ is 2 whole days.
Would we do it again?
Absolutely! The boys are already saving their coins in their money boxes ready for next year…