June 22, 2013
We got up and got moving today. After a short walk into Stratford-upon-Avon for some pastries and tea, we took a “short” drive (12 miles) to Warwick Castle. I’ve finally figured out that English traffic math is roughly Port Orchard traffic time TIMES TWO. In other words, every journey takes about twice as long as you think it should. Now I understand why Bill Bryson said in his “Notes from a Small Island” something like ~ If you want to go anywhere in Britain, you should’ve left last week.
Warwick castle is a “medieval castle developed from an original built by William the Conqueror in 1068.” It later became an 18th and 19th century residence. It is now run by the largest theme park operator in Britain (they also own the London Eye, Madame Tussaud’s and the London Aquarium), making it a genuine castle with theme park twist. It was perfect for the kids. There was a princess tower with stories and dress-up, interactive exhibits on the Victorian era at the castle (Queen Victoria’s son Edward partied here with his mistresses) and preparing for medieval battle, a trebuchet demonstration (cool!), a birds of prey show, and a medieval warrior weapons show demonstrating the various weapons of 12th century knights (with hunky knights- always a plus). There was also a peacock garden with at least a dozen peacocks just chillin’ in a baby hedge maze in front of a giant glass conservatory building. We were also able to climb 530 or so more steps up the castle towers and around the embattlements. I am so glad we found more stairs! Jeff said after the stairs at St. Paul’s that these were “baby easy.” We outlasted most of the cars in the parking lot again and made our way back to Stratford-upon-Avon to find some dinner. After an authentically British dinner (and gin!) in a 17th century inn, we walked back to the hotel and we were all in bed by 9. Tomorrow, we’re off to Cadbury World!