Fabulous family day out to be had at Warwick Castle with launch of brand new Zog Quest trail

Our family enjoyed a great day out at Warwick Castle during its reopening last weekend, including the brand new Zog Quest trail around the grounds.

By Matt Elofson
Wednesday, 21st April 2021, 9:31 am
Updated Saturday, 24th April 2021, 3:06 pm
Eowyn and Hope Elofson pose for a photo with Zog at Warwick Castle
Eowyn and Hope Elofson pose for a photo with Zog at Warwick Castle

I was invited to attend the reopening of the castle and its new Zog and the Quest for the Golden Star activity trail so I brought my wife and twin 7-year-old daughters, who all thoroughly enjoyed the day out. Warwick Castle reopened its gates for outdoor activities on Monday April 12. We joined lots of other people on the first Saturday of the reopening on August 17.

The girls enjoyed a photo with Zog shortly after we entered the grounds of the castle. Then we were off to find the next stop in the Zog activity trail. Zog is the popular dragon character from the book written by award-winning author Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler.

The brand new activity trail teaches 'budding dragons in-training the skills they need to become a fully fledged dragon.' The girls particularly enjoyed the stop on the trail where dragons in-training could learn skills from an actual knight. The Zog activity trail is available everyday from to September 5, and is included in the price of your entry ticket.

Hope Elofson gets of photo with the Earl of Warwick on his horse - Sir Richard Neville and his brother John Neville

We also enjoyed the Horrible Histories Maze based on the popular CBBC television series. We only managed to get lost a couple of times and learned a few interesting historical facts along the way too.

One the Wicked Warwick Facts from the maze said: "The chart topping First World War song 'It's a Long Way to Tipperary' was made up in a local Warwickshire pub - The Tipperary Inn." The Tipperary Inn is near Kenilworth. I was also interested to learn of a Warwick Castle connection to the 'Gunpowder Plot of 1605,' also known as Bonfire Night. The Wicked Warwick Fact said: "During the Gunpowder Plot conspirators escaped from London. They raided Warwick Castle and stole some horses as they fled."

The favourite part of the day for our girls came when we got to watch two men sword fight along the top of the castle wall and then they finished the sword fight in the castle courtyard area.

One of my daughters Hope, who declared herself ready for some sword fighting after watching the show, said: "That was so cool. They were fighting at the top, and I think they were actual metal swords. We got some tips. I'm ready for some sword fighting."

The view of inside the castle from atop of one of the walls at Warwick Castle

My favourite part of the day was learning about the Earl of Warwick who we found dressed up and sitting atop of his horse inside the castle. We heard an actor dressed as Sir Richard Neville, the 16th Earl of Warwick from the 1400s, tell us about his life. The earl, also known as the Kingmaker, was with his brother John Neville, who informed us they both died in the same battle. The Earl of Warwick and his brother died in the Battle of Barnet 550 years ago last week in 1471.

After our history lesson the girls were rewarded with an ice cream from the nearest shop just outside the castle walls. They enjoyed their ice creams while we watched a display from an expert bowman, who showcased his archery skills on a picturesque hillside by the river.

We weren't able to go inside the castle walls due to the current Covid restrictions. And crowds were politely discouraged as staff and actors showcased skills and techniques used centuries ago.

In line with Covid restrictions a couple of dozen tables were set up inside the castle walls for families to eat and enjoy a meal together. There were also hand sanitiser stations set up around the grounds, particularly the large group of tables.

Eowyn and Hope Elofson ready for action with their mum, Liz Host at the entrance of Warwick Castle

Some of the popular castle events have yet to reopen this season due to the current Covid restrictions. The Falconer's Quest, the UK largest birds of prey show, will return on May 1.

The castle's current opening hours are 10am to 4pm.

Online book in advance entry prices from:

- Special parent and toddler ticket (toddler – children up to 5 years of age) £12* - Adult (Age 12+) £12

People watch the bowman as he displays his skills on a riverbank hillside at Warwick Castle

- Child (Age 3 -11) £8

- Concession (Age 65+) £12

- Carers and Under 3’s are free

*Parent & Toddler ticket available on Monday - Thursday between April 19 – May 13. The castle has a number of Covid safety procedures in place for the grounds.

Visitor health and safety remains top priority with Warwick Castle implementing a number of key processes, including:

- Continuation of increased health and safety procedures for enhanced cleaning of all areas, including toilets and seating

Children enjoy a stop on the new Zog trail at Warwick Castle (photo from Warwick Castle)

- Non-contact temperature checks on arrival, one-way systems, social distancing markers and sanitiser stations

- Pre-booking is essential due to reduced visitor capacity

- Visitors (aged 11 years+) must wear a face mask when entering indoor areas such as toilets (exemptions apply, in line with government guidance)

- All onsite payments are ‘contactless’ and the castle cannot accept cash at this time

Further information on Warwick Castle can be found at their website here: www.warwick-castle.com

Children enjoy a stop on the new Zog trail at Warwick Castle (photo from Warwick Castle)