Warwick Castle: Time for some half-term Halloween fun – review

Halloween is not complete without a trip to a haunted castle – and the team at Warwick have really gone all out this year.

The Haunted Hallows kept Annabelle on her toes
The Haunted Hallows kept Annabelle on her toes

With restrictions still in place across the UK, putting on an event that attracts hundreds of visitors is no mean feat.

But during our visit to The Haunted Castle experience – other than having to occasionally wear a mask – we hardly noticed any difference at all.

Warwick Castle is a special place at the best of times but throw in some family-friendly spooky fun and you've got a brilliant day out.

With The Falconer's Quest, Dead Centre Stage Shows, Knights and Wizards School, Spooked, Haunted Hallows and the Horrible Histories Maze, my wife and I had a blast – and our six-year-old daughter had some fun too . . .

It's one of those attractions where couples can have as much fun as families of any age.

Performances were held throughout the day on the Dead Centre Stage

We headed for the Haunted Hallows first, which is a spooky Halloween trail that takes visitors on a journey through the enchanted hallows where creepy characters await at every turn.

It's been really well put together. Plenty of Halloween-themed decor, which had Annabelle beaming with delight throughout, mixed in with the occasion 'live' actor, which keeps you on your toes. There was plenty to explore.

The hallows are right next to the maze, which is still open but with a one-way system in place, for obvious reasons. However, children were still able to have lots of fun.

We then headed to The Falconer's Quest. We've been lucky enough to see that show a few times before but it never gets old.

Seeing these huge birds of prey literally flying right over your head is breathtaking, whether it's the first or fourth time you've been there. Definitely one not to miss.

After a spot of lunch in the peacock gardens, it was time for Annabelle to learn how to become a knight and, more importantly, how to protect the castle from goblins.

Kelly and Annabelle prepare themselves for a scare at Warwick Castle

Armed with a wooden sword, she was soon capable of slicing off arms, parrying attacks and finishing off her enemies with ease. Lots of fun, even for those watching on the sidelines.

Next it was one of the many shows that were put on throughout the day on the Dead Centre Stage. There was plenty of audience interaction as well as singing and dancing – all based around the Halloween theme, of course – which had the children clapping and cheering.

Annabelle then had a go at the archery for the first time. It costs £5 extra and perhaps she was a little young to 'operate' the bow and arrow correctly, even with me trying to help, but she still enjoyed getting at least one arrow in the target. I blame myself for the four other failures.

With time running out – time always seem to fly by at Warwick Castle – we headed to the main event, Spooked.

A host of quirky characters await throughout the house, who play a live trick or treat on visitors in each and every room.

The actors did a superb job and there were plenty of jumps, but all good natured.

It's not scary, just lots of fun. I won't give any more away.

After a quick tour of the grand hall, it was time to head home. The only major attraction we missed was the wizard school but we'll try and squeeze that in next time.

In a year when nothing is normal and attractions are bending over backwards to put on shows and entertainment in extremely trying circumstances, Warwick Castle has done a brilliant job laying on some Halloween fun over the half-term holidays. We'd all highly recommend a visit.

The Haunted Hollows is suitable for all ages, Spooked for children aged five and above, while The Castle Dungeon, another optional extra that must be booked in advance, is open to those aged 12 and over.

For tickets and further information, visit www.warwick-castle.com

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