Warkworth Castle is one of our favourite castle's in Northumberland. It is managed by English Heritage. As we are members entry is free which is always a bonus!
This week we have been staying at our in-law's caravan in Cresswell and whenever we stay we always try and visit Warkworth as it is only up the road. We had nothing planned for our first day at the caravan so packed a picnic and off we went.
Warkworth castle is an absolutely stunning setting for a picnic - you get to sit within the castle walls and really feel like you are somewhere special. We set up camp near the underground dungeon and relaxed whilst the kiddies ran off and played together. They could spend hours running around the castle grounds pretending they are Knights, Kings, Queens or even Dragons. I love watching their imagination go into overdrive.
After our picnic we settled to listen to the story of a medieval barber and surgeon - the story tellers really captivate the crowd and brought the stories of brutal surgery in times gone by to life (with the help of a few props and eager volunteers). I did have to close my eyes as cracking a kneecap to remove an injured solidier's leg on the battlefield in less than 30 seconds was demonstrated and explained! Not for the squeamish! Generally though, the stories were very interesting and funny and enjoyed by young and old alike. The Soldier of the Roses event focuses on bringing the 'War of the Roses' to life with storytelling, weapon displays and hands on activities. There is something different happening during every hour so plenty to keep your family interested.
In between activities it is a good idea to stretch your legs and explore the castle - there are free audio guides available to hire if needed. I like to just wander at our own pace though and nothing beats the views out to sea from the castle windows.
We spent a lovely few hours at Warkworth Castle and I would highly recommend a trip this summer. The Soldiers of the Roses event continues every Tuesday and Wednesday throughout the Summer Holidays. As we were leaving, I was interested to see a stage was starting to be erected for an outdoor performance of sense and sensibility that evening (next event is Much Ado About Nothing on 14th August). These events look amazing and are definitely something I would like to attend when my children are a little older.
Before I leave, I have to say, I love how Warkworth Castle is dog friendly (need to be kept on leads). How lovely that they aren't made to stay at home and can enjoy the castle too.