Exploring Kenilworth Castle with the Kids

Kenilworth Castle

Since visiting Scotland and some of its magnificent castles back in February, we have got a real thirst for history.

Visiting castles with children is lots of fun, not only do you get to pretend you are knights of the realm, or a real life princess, you can climb the ramparts, investigate the history of the castle, or simply take in the atmosphere. Most of the castles we have visited also have some of THE best hills for rolling down too!!

Over the weekend we were on a Stay, Play, Explore break in Leicestershire and were invited by English Heritage and Mumsnet.com to visit Kenilworth Castle which is located in the town of the Kenilworth, a short drive away in Warwickshire.

Kenilworth Castle was constructed from Norman through to Tudor times and offers a real “WOW” factor as it comes into view.

You enter the castle from a long track which is where they used to have jousting tournaments – cue some galloping children upon their imaginary horses racing up and down the track. Once inside the grounds there are many different parts of the castle to explore and the kids radiated towards the old Tudor stable block where they pretended to be put in jail.

Kenilworth Castle

Kenilworth Castle has been linked with some of the most important names in English history and was a favoured residence of the Lancastrian kings. Today, with its Elizabethan gardens, its impressive Norman ‘keep’ and John of Gaunt’s Great Hall, it is the largest castle ruin in England, perfect for exploring.

Kenilworth Castle

The castle is sat on top of a large hill, perfect for rolling down and the kids made the most of the dry and sunny weather by rolling from the top to the bottom. The castle grounds are accessible for buggy’s and wheelchairs but if you want to explore the ruins, there are a lot of stairs to navigate – some modern wooden stairs with viewing platforms and some fun original stone spiral staircases so be prepared for some climbing.

Kenilworth Castle

There were lots of information plaques dotted around, explaining which part of the castle you were in, or looking at and giving you information about events that happened in the castle. Isaac especially enjoyed finding out all about what happened in the castle whereas Eliza and Sebby were content finding all the nooks and cranny’s and seeing where they could make their voices echo.

Kenilworth Castle

One of the castle’s most famous periods was the 16th century and Elizabeth I visited several times. In 1575 her and her entourage were lavishly entertained for three weeks with pageants, music, dancing, fireworks, hunting and feasting and there is a fabulous display of paintings and information about the event in Leicester’s Gatehouse.

Kenilworth Castle

Kenilworth Castle is also home to the Elizabethan Gardens, a recreation of the garden built by Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, for Elizabeth I’s visit in 1575. It is a stunning garden and I can only imagine what it would look like in the summer when all the flowers are in bloom.

Elizabethan Gardens

On our visit to Scotland we were intrigued by tales of the Civil War and here we discovered that Kenilworth was taken by the Parliamentarian army in the opening month of it. Although the castle didn’t see much action, the army wanted to make the castle untenable and so the north wall of the keep was destroyed and the outer curtain wall beyond breached. In the years after the Civil war the mere, that once surrounded the castle, was drained, trees were felled, and interiors stripped out and sold, leading to further destruction of the castle.

Kenilworth Castle

Visiting castles with kids opens up their imaginations and during Easter, English Heritage will be running a series of Easter Adventure Quests across the country, where families can meet a costumed character, solve clues and win chocolate rewards.

I really would recommend visiting an English Heritage property as a fun family day out and you can read about our visit to Bolsover Castle here.

I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Panel, a group of parent bloggers who have volunteered to review products, services, events and brands for Mumsnet. I have not paid for the product or to attend an event. I have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity. I have received a voucher in return for writing this post.

Country Kids

20 thoughts on “Exploring Kenilworth Castle with the Kids

  1. Louise says:

    I don’t know why but I’ve always wanted to visit Kenilworth. I had no idea they had a castle though. Now I want to visit even more. Great post 🙂

    Louise x

  2. Anna says:

    I absolutely love castles, I never been to kenilworth, but I always wanted to, your photos are amazing. x

  3. The castle looks amazing. Such a beautiful day too. Can you imagine what the gardens look like in summer? I love how you showcase your trips. I like the laughter and smiles on your kids faces. Proper family time. Elinor x

  4. Kerry Norris says:

    It looks fab. The gardens in particular look gorgeous. Lovely pictures x

  5. I love Scotland. I can’t wait to visit again.

  6. This looks like a fantastic castle to explore with so much to see. I bet the gardens would be beautiful in summer.

  7. Stephanie says:

    My son is taking history for his GCSE’s and loves visiting castles. My twins just love the freedom of running around, and exploring. It looked like great fun!

  8. We visited here last summer and enjoyed it. I never knew it was the largest castle ruin in England though. Looks like you had a fun day out and managed to explore a little more of the castle than we did! #countrykids

  9. Clair says:

    I love the photo of the kids behind bars! History is great fun as our country is filled with plenty castles to visit!

  10. I have never been but we have just got our English Heritage membership so may plan a trip soon!

  11. Fi Ni Neachtain says:

    It looks like a great place to explore with the kids. As a family we love to visit castles.

  12. Looks like your kids really got into the spirit of things – love the photos of them joining in with everything. #countrykids

  13. Ickle Pickle says:

    I have never been here, but would love to go. This castle looks just awesome. Kaz x

  14. Emma says:

    I love visiting castles – I just love the historical aspect. Imagining all the things that might have gone on their when it was in its heyday. Looks like you and the kids had a great day out at Kenilworth – what a beautiful place.

  15. It’s a great place to explore isn’t it. We were there a couple of years ago and loved every minute. Loved the ‘graffiti’ on the stonework #CountryKids

  16. Sonia Cave says:

    What a beautiful place. We love castles too and I think it’s time we hunted a few more out. This one looks so interesting, and fun to explore #countrykidsfun

  17. I have a real thirst for history too so I am jealous that you got to go to Kenilworth Castle. It is gorgeous x

  18. I LOVED Kenilworth Castle as a kid – I used to ask to go there every weekend! Can’t wait for Sophie to be a bit older so I can take her there 🙂 x

  19. Now all your Instagram photos make sense! What a great day out and filled with learning and adventure. I really believe this is the best way to learn about history and encourage a passion for it in youngsters. It sounds like Isaac is really starting to enjoy the history side and who can blame the younger two for enjoying all the fun of discovering hidden places.

    Thank you for sharing with me on #CountryKids
    Fiona Cambouropoulos recently posted…Trash 2 Treasure April ’17My Profile

  20. Katy Stevens says:

    I saw the photo of your little ones behind the bars on Instagram, made me chuckle. They have such emotive faces! Looks like a lovely historic day out.

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