Having been planning a weekend at Thomas Land @ Drayton Manor for some time (to celebrate Freddie’s 3rd birthday), our plans went slightly awry a few weeks before hand when we discovered that the park was semi-closed on the day we’d been planning to visit.
As we’d already booked our hotel for the Saturday night, we decided to head up to the midlands anyway, and play Saturday by ear.
Luckily, in the week before we realised we had a half-price entry to the nearby Warwick Castle (thank you very much, random cereal we purchased at some point!) so our Saturday plans were saved!
I should point out at this stage that whilst I’m calling this a ‘review’, it’s basically just my thoughts about something we did – nobody at Warwick Castle (or Merlin) have requested this, and we got nothing for free – so it’s as unbiased as they come. Anyway, back to it…
Prior to this visit, I hadn’t been to Warwick Castle for at LEAST 20 years. Since I was merely a child last time, I don’t remember a lot about it, but I could tell one thing quite obviously – like Katie Price it’s had a LOT of work done on it. Six million worth of work in fact, according to the posters all over the grounds. And like the aforementioned Ms Price, you can definitely tell.
At one stage my wife commented that it felt a little Disneyfied – though the presence of so many tourists and coach-trips certainly helped in that sense. Everything was very well maintained (which isn’t necessarily what you want from a castle, in my opinion) and there were opportunities to spend money everywhere you turned.
That aside, it actually proved to be quite a fun way to spend our day. There’s a tonne of things to do (most included in the not-insignificant entry price) including “living exhibits” from the Horrible Histories people, walls to walk, rooms to explore, trebuchets to watch, birds of prey to admire, gardens to view and plenty more.
One of the biggest down-sides for me was just how far the car park is from the Castle – we’re talking a good 20 minute walk or more – which made the start of the visit a little more toddler-unfriendly than you might hope. But all in all it was a fun day out, and certainly turned out to be a nice way to spend our Saturday.
I’ve included a few photos I took below, so you can get a feel of it. If you’re in the area and looking to experience a bit of history, I’d recommend a visit – though if you’re looking for a rustic-looking castle to explore, there are definitely cheaper alternatives like Corfe Castle which I’d head to first…