Going on adventures with kids when they’re that little bit older is so much fun. It’s my personal belief that as soon as you’re out of the era of carting travel cots, sterilisers, buggies and bits up and down the UK you are suddenly able to realise, this is what it’s all about. THIS is the reason I haven’t slept in six years: this is why I’ve spent more hours than I’d like to admit throwing shade at life-size fluffy characters at Peppa Pig world. It’s all about the adventure!
Now mine are 4 and 6 I feel like we’ve really come into our own, travel-wise. We’ve just come back from our amazing trip to Mark Warner Lakitira and last year visited one of my favourite hotels, The Pig, together. Quite frankly, there are very few people I’d rather go away with over them. They are most excellent travellers.
Which is why, when TravelSupermarket challenged me to put together a fun 24 hours away for the three of us I was ALL OVER IT. The only caveat: we had to rent a car to get us wherever we were going, and find it through TravelSupermarket’s Hire Car comparison tool. This was a really easy system that works much like their other comparison engines; type in where you are and what you need and you’ll be served with the most cost-effective solution for your needs!
Now, I used to rent cars all the time when I lived in London. It was a great way to get out and about when I didn’t have my own wheels. I have one now, but as a closet car fan I was super excited to drive something a little different.
I decided to choose something a lot more fun than my 2012 Ford Focus and selected a Fiat 500X which would be collected on Saturday lunchtime from Europcar Milton Keynes and returned that following Monday. It wasn’t the cheapest option – I could have spent around £30 less on a more economical and smaller car – but I wanted something big for our journey. For this period of time I paid £59 which I thought was a steal: it’s worth noting that if you pick up on a Sunday rates get way more expensive, though!
The process of collection was really easy, all my details were already on file, I was able to leave my own car at the depot and we were on our way in about 30 minutes.
This isn’t a review of the car but it was bloody lovely. Hux cried when we dropped it off and I think this is the first time I have solidly fallen in love with a motor vehicle. I want one!
We decided to head to Warwick Castle and Stratford-upon-Avon for our adventure. It was my birthday weekend and I grew up in the area, so I thought a lovely dinner in Stratford followed by some history fun would be great for us all!
We started off at the brilliant Hooray’s in Stratford for some British gelato, where I had a lovely catch-up with an old friend from school. The snickers ice cream was enjoyed by us all – they even have Unicorn flavour (think pink and marshmallow-y). Dinner that evening was at Loxley’s wine bar which is located on Sheep Street, an area bursting with gorgeous little eateries. Take your pick! Feeling stuffed we went to relocate our wheels and headed a couple of miles outside the town centre to our hotel, the Stratford Manor (which I reviewed here).
The next day – my birthday! – we were up bright and early for the main event: Warwick Castle. I used to visit loads on school trips as a child so I was really excited to take my own two. It’s a placed absolutely steeped in magnificent history and I hoped the children would enjoy it as much as I did.
Warwick Castle (tickets from £17.60pp) has recently been purchased by Madame Taussaud’s and there was definitely more of an entertainment-factor than the slightly dry history lessons I remember back in the day. For a start, the brilliant Horrible Histories franchise have a strong presence there, starting with the maze where you’re challenged to collect six stamps in your passport from six different eras. We loved it!
We then moved on to the main castle, moving through the Great Hall and state rooms which are just fantastic. We had a go at climbing the ramparts (erm… THEY ARE HIGH) before moving on to the Dungeons. As I was purchasing our tickets to the Dungeons I was told they were recommended for children age 10+, but mine were so keen to visit the attraction we didn’t listen. BIG MISTAKE. They really are scary and our lot lasted 10 minutes before being escorted out the back door. Oops. To get over the shock of the zombies with The Plague we headed for the Princess experience and all was well again solving the mystery of a forever-sleeping Prince.
By this point we were pretty hot and tired, so after checking out a couple of the shows (there’s all sorts: Trebuchet, birds of prey and an amazing bow-and-arrow display) we decided to get lunch. Having left it so late the queues were quite long, so we decided to head into Warwick for a stroll and Pizza Express.
Warwick is a lovely little town and their Pizza Express was one of the best I’ve ever been in. We enjoyed our pizzas and I was surprised with a birthday cake after Elfie told the manager it was my birthday :) You’re never too old to blow out a candle, am I right?
Overall, Warwick Castle was a fantastic place to enjoy some family time and there was loads to do, even for history-averse 4 year old Hux. I loved the magnificence of the Castle and I really felt like the children came away having learned something… put it this way, I definitely deserved the couple of glasses of wine I had that evening at my surprise birthday party ;) We’ll definitely be back for more!
We returned our car to Europcar that evening having thoroughly enjoyed our time together: the perfect 24 hour adventure. I can’t wait for the next one!
Thank you to TravelSupermarket for sending us on a wonderful family adventure.