Please note, we visited on May 3rd 2021, with various restrictions in place. As Covid regulations change, the experiences may be different when you visit.
Oh, Warwick Castle, you really were fantastic today!
If you’re looking for a fun day out with the family in the Midlands, the Zog “Quest for the Golden Star” activity trail at Warwick Castle is brilliant for kids of all ages.
As a huge Zog fan, I don’t think Lily could have been any more excited when she found out we were heading for Warwick Castle.
Tickets and arrival
We went on Bank Holiday Monday and were so happy that the Parent and Toddler tickets were available online, with children up to the age of 5 going with an adult for just £12.
Tickets are limited per day and you don’t get a timeslot, so we turned up for the 10am opening.
We reached the carpark for around 9.45am and were guided to spaces. By the time we had sorted ourselves out and walked up to the entrance, there was a big queue to enter, however once the doors opened at 10am, the queue went down quickly.
The ticket staff check your temperatures and then your tickets. If you want to take part in the Zog trail, pick up your guide and badge here, ready to begin the Quest.
The Zog trail
There are five stages (or Years) to the Zog trail, with the first Year just as you get through the entrance.
There was a queue to do the first stage (a photo with a beautiful Zog model in front of the castle), however you can always come back to this bit – later in the day, it was empty, and you don’t need to complete them in order.
At each stage, you collect stamps in the card, and there were hand sanitiser stations by each area too. The activities for each Year are simple and fun for children of all ages.
Year 4 and 5 activities are through the other side of the castle, with Year 5 and Zog Meet & Greets at various timeslots through the day.
Lily’s favourite was the obstacle course at Year 4 and the knight training at Year 5 – she absolutely loves anything interactive, so was in her absolute element and all the children receive a Golden Star from the Year 5 challenge with Sir Gadabout.
We brought our Warwick Castle sword with us from our last visit, which was very handy for the knight training. There is a shop by this area too if you wish to buy one when you’re there.
Meeting the ‘real’ Zog at the end was the icing on the cake for her! There were queues for the earlier sessions, but then they were much quieter as the day went on. Any queues went down pretty quickly and we were lucky to have been near the front to meet Zog, so didn’t need to wait for long – Lily was buzzing!
It took us around 90mins to do the trail – although she did make me run between them as she was so excited, so it could take longer 🙂
All around the castle grounds there were various characters to meet along the way, including knights, princesses and more. Lily loved seeing the horse all dressed up and watching the random sword fights between the knights too!
There was a guy doing archery near the entrance, and then you can pay to have a go at archery near the river, although this is for children 6 and over (I’ve promised Lily we can go back and try this after her birthday!).
The inside of the castle is currently closed, but there was plenty to do and explore outdoors when we visited, including the Horrible Histories’ Maze.
I have to say a huge ‘thank you’ to all the staff, everyone was just so friendly and were more than happy to have a chat to anyone who came by – even a very excitable 5-year-old 🙂
Food and drink
We took a picnic with us and there are plenty of places to have a picnic, with benches scattered around the castle grounds.
You can enjoy a whole range of food and drinks from the kiosks, including hot and cold meals, coffee, cakes and waffles too.
For gifts from Warwick Castle, there are several souvenir shops scattered around the grounds. You can pick up Zog gifts, Warwick Castle souvenirs, toy swords, armour and more.
There are limited numbers allowed in at each time with queuing clearly marked outside to keep everyone safer.
Toilets are available around Warwick Castle as well as baby changing and accessible toilets too. Find out more here about locations of toilets as some have steps to access them.
According to the website, “there are a limited number of disabled parking bays available on a first-come-first-served basis, subject to availability, in both the Stratford Road and Stables car parks. Parking charges apply.”
Most of the main pathways are tarmac, so suitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs, however you may want to find an alternative route into the Barbican as there are cobbled stones here.
The Zog trail can be accessed by wheelchair, as can the Meet & Greet area with Zog, however the activities aren’t able to be completed by those in wheelchairs as they require standing or walking across the obstacle course.
For more on accessibility to Warwick Castle, visit their website here.
We had an absolutely incredible time at Warwick Castle, and even though we had all the weather conditions while we were there (we had prepared!!), there was still plenty to do.
Lily enjoyed the Zog trail, from taking part in the activities, through to getting her stamps on her card. Although there were areas where people tended to group together, everyone stayed apart and there was no part that we felt unsafe.
The staff were just so friendly and supportive and Lily has already asked if we can go back again – she has her eye on the overnight stays in the Knight’s Village, so we may have to book ourselves into one of their amazing glamping tents later this year for her birthday!
Thank you to everyone at Warwick Castle for such a fantastic day – not only with the great Zog trail, but it was a lovely way to truly immerse ourselves in history. We can’t wait to head back again!
Tips and information for visiting with families
- Parking costs £6 for the day – you get a QR code on a ticket when you pay to exit through the barriers
- If you’re heading with wheelchairs or pushchairs, check out their accessibility information
- You can extend your stay with one of their themed accommodation including the Zog Stay & Play breaks
- Picnic benches are available to bring your own food
- Toilets are open and baby changing is available too
- If you can visit later in the day, there are less queues
- There are currently no covered over/indoor areas open (3rd May 2021), so be prepared for all the weathers! There is a Rainy Day Promise to return for free if you are rained off – only eligible on certain days listed on the website.
- If you can bring your own sword, it can save you some money if you didn’t fancy buying one there – especially if you have several kids to buy for!
- Parent and Toddler tickets for £12 are great value with kids up to the age of 5
- Check out the timeslots when you arrive for the Year 5 and Zog Meet and Greets
- Visit the Castle Map here to plan your route