Castle Capers at Old Wardour Castle

Old Wardour Castle English Heritage

Living in Dorset we have some fabulous countryside in our doorstep, but I always tend to head west along the coast.

Back in May we visited Osborne House on the Isle of Wight and invested in an English Heritage annual pass, which entitles you to unlimited access to more than 400 historic places all over the UK and we have been busy planning places to visit ever since.

Today I decided to head North to Wiltshire to visit Old Wardour Castle as I spotted that it had an event on that I knew the kids would love.

Set in peaceful countryside beside a lake, Old Wardour Castle was once one of the most daring and innovative homes in Britain. It was built in the 14th century as a lightly fortified luxury residence for comfortable living and lavish entertainment.

Old Wardour Castle

Fun Fact: The castle was the inspiration for the one featured in the Kevin Costner film ‘Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves’

Old Wardour Castle English Heritage

Up until 31st August, Old Wardour Castle is holding its Castle Capers event, with the Hands on History Crew bring Old Wardour to life with games, activities and storytelling.

Rope Ring Game

The activities are arranged to run throughout the day, with a morning session and an afternoon session.

Medieval Hat

We arrived just in time to be introduced to some of the items that you would have found in the castle and the History Crew engaged the kids brilliantly, asking them questions to see if they knew the answers. There were quite a few references to ‘wee-wee’ as it was used for lots of things including washing shirts and tanning shoes, much to the kids disgust.


It was the physical activities that the kids were more eager to try.

Hobby Horse

Their favourite activity by far was Hobby Horse Jousting, which involved riding a hobby house along the jousting ring whilst carrying a lance.

Sebby Jousting

They had to catch a rope ring and hit the targets with the lance they were carrying, whilst another child made hoof noises with coconuts.

Isaac Jousting

There was also archery on offer, which gave them the chance to try the difference between a bow and arrow and a crossbow.


The kids love visiting castles, so in between activities were keen to head off to explore.

Isaac Castle

Although not a huge castle, it is full of rooms to explore and winding staircases to climb, perfect for a game of hide and seek.

Hide and Seek

There is an audio tour included with entry, however, if you choose to explore by yourself there are a few plaques around which tell you what the rooms were used for.

Old Wardour Castle Wiltshire

The old stone staircase is quite steep and uneven in places, but don’t let that put you off the climb, the views from the top are spectacular.

Looking up Old Wardour Castle

You can look up to the sky, across the landscaped gardens and over the lake and beyond to the local countryside.

Old Wardour View

You can climb impressively close to the top of the castle, viewing the Doric columns and the lions as you go.

Doric Column

The kids do love to scare me as they have no fear!!

Isaac Old Wardour

In the gardens, there is an 18th century stone grotto set amongst the trees. Built by Josiah Lane of Tisbury, there are also some standing stones and two stone seats, one topped with a 16th or 17th century fountain base.


The kids even found some ammonites in the grotto!!

Old Wardour Castle carpark

The facilities at Old Wardour Castle are limited. There is small gift shop selling ice creams and souvenirs and toilets in the banqueting house, but if you visit I recommend you take a picnic as the gardens are the perfect place to sit and eat whilst the kids burn off some energy.


To save money on an English Heritage pass, buy before you visit and get 5.25% cashback when you use Top Cashback.

21 thoughts on “Castle Capers at Old Wardour Castle

  1. bryanna skye says:

    this place is so gorgeous – and fab that there are so many little activities for kiddos to get involved with xx

  2. Laura says:

    Oh wow how cool, my boys love anything to do with castles and knights and would love to visit this place, looks great for a fun day out

    Laura x

  3. Jenni says:

    What a fun day out, you can’t beat learning about history through getting involved and playing

  4. Wow what a brilliant place to visit. The activities look like they were a lot of fun. Dil is desperate to have a go at archery!

  5. Emma Raphael says:

    What a beautiful castle, and love the sound of castle capers. One for next year for us for sure! 🙂

  6. It’s wonderful to see that the children were able to get hands on. They always learn so much more this way.

  7. Laura Dove says:

    Wow what a lovely castle! we are a bit obsessed with castles ,I’ve never heard of this one!

  8. Louise says:

    What a beautiful castle! I love visiting castles – one of my favourites is hands down Warwick Castle. I love watching jousting too! x

  9. This place is spectacular. I love castles. It reminds me the fairy tales that kids usually watch.

  10. Charli says:

    What a beautiful castle! It is stunning, I can see why it inspired the inspiration for Robin Hood. And sign me up for the hobby horse jousting!

  11. I loved visiting castles as a kid & my daughter is just starting to get into them! This one looks fab – the gardens are gorgeous
    Sophie’s Nursery recently posted…90 Days of Summer: Celebrate Outdoor Play for Children with GermoleneMy Profile

  12. Joanna says:

    The castle looks amazing! You wouldn’t think that there were so many activities to do there when you see it from far. I would love to explore the inside of the castle, and climb on top for the view.

  13. We love a trip to a castle and this looks brilliant. What amazing views and pretty grounds to explore!

  14. I’ve always been tempted by a national heritage pass as it would encourage me to visit so many places. The activites look really fun x

  15. Angela Ricardo Bethea says:

    That is such a great looking castle. Your sibling looks really happy and enjoys their time there at castle capers.

  16. The castle looks like a great place to explore. I love that here are so many activities there for children to get involved in.

  17. Anosa says:

    Thanks for introducing me to this one, as an English Heritage member I am definitely adding it to my list of places to explore.

  18. Alex Gladwin says:

    Wow, this is my sort of thing. I love exploring old castles like this. It’s so fascinating to think of all the people who once visited it and how they might have lived.

  19. This looks so much fun! Def want to take my boys to something like this. x

  20. Olivia Jade says:

    The scenery and that castle look amazing, looks like the kids had a fun day out! 🙂

  21. What an amazing looking castle and we love the look of the activities at Old Wardour Castle. Its really picturesque too x The kids look like they are having a lot of fun x

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