With half term holidays looming here is the first of a three-part look as to where and how to prevent boredom turning your lovely little angels into tiresome little devils. In the first of my half-term related blogs, I look at castles. What child (or adult for that matter) can resist a castle, whether they fancy themselves as a knight or a princess, there are many great ones to visit.
Warwick Castle, Warwickshire, quite pricey this one, but there are ways to visit for less than standard price. Standard prices: adults £30.60, children £25.80, family of four £107.40, family of five £132.00, but by purchasing your tickets online in advance, you can get cheaper tickets so do check out their website. Even better, exchange your Tesco Clubcard Vouchers for Warwick Castle Entry Vouchers (£5.50 in points vouchers per ticket) and go for FREE. In addition however, there may be an extra cost for certain exhibits inside, like Merlin’s Tower, but obviously it’s optional as to whether you visit such attractions When we visited we didn’t do any of the charged extras but still had a great day. It's a beautiful castle, with costumed characters roaming the grounds and plenty of places to explore. My son loved the Royal Weekend Party, as he was introduced as a lord with us as his servants, and watching the firing of the trebauchet was another highlight.
Dover Castle, Kent, adults £16.50, children £9.90 and £42.90 for a family, but FREE for English Heritage Members. Membership really is worthwhile, as it enables you to visit all English Heritage properties free of charge. The Great Tower involves quite a climb to get to the top, but gives you a stunning view of surrounding countryside and the English Channel. Inside the furnished tower you can meet characters in Tudor costume, including Henry VIII himself. Then for a change in era, visit the World War II tunnels where you can follow the story of Operation Dynamo and tour the Underground Hospital (maybe a bit much for the smaller children).
Kenilworth Castle, Warwickshire, adults £8.20, children £4.90, FREE to English Heritage Members, as above. Stunning ruins that the kids will love to explore, and a furnished gatehouse and formal gardens, which make this a good all round day out.
Cilgerran Castle, Cardigan, Wales, adults £3.20, child £2.80, family £9.20. Great value for money, a smaller castle, but stunning setting. Kids will love exploring the ruins and enjoy having a picnic in the grounds. When we visited a few years back, we were handed a key to the gate to let ourselves in. It was a great novelty to have the ‘key to the castle’, perhaps anyone who has visited recently will let me know if this still happens.
Any more ideas? Email email@example.com