• Short Breaks at Warwick Castle

  • Book Review: Also an Octopus by Maggie Tokuda-Hall and Benji Davies

  • Book Review: Guess How Much I Love You By Sam McBratney and Anita Jeram- Sweetheart Edition and Colouring Book

  • Film Review: Sing

Short Breaks at Warwick Castle

SALE EXTENDEDBOOK NOW TO SAVE UP TO 25% ON HALF TERM

Family Trees – Trebuchet – Towers – Dungeons – Maze and More

Two-day half term breaks from £47pppn

February 2017: Warwick Castle (www.warwick-castle.com) is extending its early booking offer into February, enabling families to save up to 25 per cent off mediaeval themed short breaks this half term.  

From just £47 per person per night, families can enjoy two days at the castle staying in Knight’s Village that offers mediaeval-style accommodation within the grounds of Warwick Castle. The package includes overnight accommodation in a riverside woodland lodge complete with themed evening entertainment such as Knight’s School; breakfast; car parking and two days’ priority access to Warwick Castle.

There’s plenty going on at the castle this half-term to keep the entire family entertained. Step back in time to explore 1,103 years of history through the ancient Towers and RampartsState Rooms and Time Tower, where visitors can discover more about the castle and its previous inhabitants.

There’s also the opportunity for families to explore their own history and heritage with Ancestry.co.uk, the global leader in family history and consumer genomics, who are on a quest to find living descendants of Richard Neville, the fifteenth-century Earl of Warwick, known as The Kingmaker.  This half term (18-26 February), visitors to the attraction can enjoy a discount on a 12-month Ancestry membership, providing access to millions of online records.

Furthermore, the Mighty Trebuchet is back and preparing to fire for the 10,000th time. Watch this amazing spectacle from the Riverside Arena and marvel as the mediaeval machine of war catapults cannonballs over 150 metres.

Also not to be missed this half-term are six expert-led tours including, new for 2017, Upstairs Downstairs, a glorious romp through the heyday of Daisy, Countess of Warwick, and a special Kids’ Tour. 

The twice-daily Flight of the Eagles showcases birds of prey including vultures and eagles soaring over the castle whilst the remarkable Horrible HistoriesÆ Maze features long-gone eras from England’s past. The Princess Tower provides a whimsical storytelling experience, ideal for younger visitors. To complete a full day at Warwick Castle, enjoy Kingmaker, the story of how Richard Neville prepared for battle, and – for the bravest – The Castle Dungeon awaits!

Price for two-day Half Term family short break:

February half-term short breaks (17th – 25th Feb) start from £188 per night (£47pppn) based on a maximum of two adults, two children and one infant sharing a Woodland Lodge with 

priority two-day access to Warwick Castle.  Knight’s Village guests will enjoy exclusive 

mediaeval entertainment throughout the half term including Knight’s School, where little warriors will learn the skills required to fight fierce dragons and mediaeval battles, plus a real life story-telling knight will roam Knight’s Village sharing his tales and experiences. The price also includes breakfast and car parking.

Book before the end of February to take advantage of savings of up to 25 per cent on a range of Warwick Castle themed breaks taking place throughout the year, including:

TINY KNIGHTS – dates in March and May; from £163 per family per night (2 adults and one under-3)

New for 2017, Tiny Knights midweek breaks are perfect for tots and toddlers. There’s plenty to entertain even the most active of little knights or princesses as they explore history in the Horrible Histories® Maze, play to their hearts’ content in the Pageant Playground and marvel at the birds of prey show. They’ll meet some memorable faces from history along the way, too.

Historical quests completed, retire to a themed mediaeval lodge where little ones can drift off in either a travel cot (provided) or their own sleeping area whilst parents relax and enjoy cable TV and free Wi-Fi. In addition to breakfast, car parking and two days’ entrance to Warwick Castle, Tiny Knights enjoy a free two-hour playtime in the Tiny Knight’s Club. Hosted by the Castle jester, it’s a hands-on play experience with crafts, colouring, building, songs and story telling. 

Tiny Knights are available 7th, 8th, 14th, 15th, 21st, 22nd March and 2nd, 3rd, 9th, 10th, 16th, 17th May 2017. 

EASTER BREAKS; from £79.70pppn

Easter (7th – 22nd April 2017) at Warwick Castle is packed with ‘egg-citement’, with each day bringing the opportunity to ‘egg-xplore’ the Towers and Ramparts, following the story of 

Devile Warwick. Admire birds of prey soaring over the ancient castle; navigate the Horrible Histories® Maze and meet characters from history in a real castle. Then, head over to Knight’s Village for an ‘egg-xtremely’ comfortable night’s sleep in a lodge before a hearty breakfast – and the chance to see even more of the castle the next day!

NEW War of the Roses Live SUMMER SPECTACLE – 50 selected dates from 27th May to 3rd September 2017; from £40pppn (Warwick Tent)

Based on true events that tore apart England in the fifteenth century, War of the Roses Live (50 selected dates between 27th May – 3rd September 2017) promises to set hearts racing and adrenalin pumping, as the Houses of York and Lancaster – cousins at war – take over Warwick Castle. The live action show is held in a dedicated arena by the River Avon. All guests must pledge allegiance to either the Red Rose or the White Rose, and Knight’s Village will echo the show ground with memorable mediaeval themed décor. Sleepover in the Mediaeval Glamping Village or a lodge in the wooded glade and enjoy an overnight stay in a themed lodge; an encounter with the knights themselves; longbow shooting and sword handling; breakfast and car parking; and two days’ entry to Warwick Castle.

STARLIT SUMMER SLEEPOVER – June and July: from £40pppn (Warwick Tent)

Make the most of the summer sunlight hours (30th June-21st July 2017) with a full day out exploring the attractions and shows at Warwick Castle followed by a sleepover under the star-filled skies.

Families will love the comfortable Mediaeval Glamping Village (tents come complete with electricity, Wi-Fi, wooden floors and sturdy beds) or they can retreat to a cosy lodge. All guests enjoy exclusive evening entertainment and breakfast in the Banquet Hall! Guests can meet a real life knight, and really get involved: shoot a mighty longbow and train to handle a mediaeval sword in the unmissable sword skill workshop.

THE HAUNTED CASTLE – October; from £49.50pppn

With wondrous witches, heinous hags, Horrible Histories® and the return of the Mighty 

Trebuchet, Warwick Castle – The Haunted Castle – is the best place to be spooked at Halloween (20th-31st October 2017)! After a day of fearsome fun for all ages the fright factor is cranked high after dark and the Castle remains open until 9pm. Spine well and truly chilled, guests can head back to their comfortable Knight’s Village lodge to hear tales from the battlefield from a real-life knight.

SANTA SLEEPOVER– December; from £49.50pppn

Maximise the magic for Christmas 2017 (1st, 2nd, 8th, 9th, 15th – 24th December 2017) with a deeply fabulous festive getaway as packed as a yuletide stocking with treats for all the family. A Santa Sleepover comprises of an overnight stay in either a Knight’s Lodge, Woodland Lodge or one of the two Tower Suites; an enchanting Storytime with Santa in the Castle 

Library and an Elf-tastic wake up call, plus gift for young guests.  Breakfast, car parking and two days’ entrance to the Castle are included.

ALL YEAR: HERITAGE BREAKS; from £85pppn

Why wait for the weekend? Midweek Heritage Breaks in Knight’s Village start from just £85pppn offer immersion into all the history, myth, intrigue and adventure Warwick Castle has to offer.  With a host of new expert-guided tours on offer throughout 2017, from Women of Warwick to A Royal Welcome, shedding light on previously unknown characters and events, there’s never been a better time to become immersed in the ancient castle’s 1,103 years of history. 

Or, indulge in a Tower Suite sleepover from £550 per night (based on two adults). Each of the two suites occupies its own floor of the mediaeval Caesar’s Tower and is sumptuously appointed with a hand-carved wooden four-poster bed, exquisite drapes and unmatched views of the River Avon. Champagne upon arrival, a concierge and breakfast in one of The State Rooms ensure this is always a night to remember. Car parking, two days’ castle entrance and admission to The Castle Dungeon included.

Book now at www.warwick-castle.com for the best price guarantee.

Book Review: Also an Octopus by Maggie Tokuda-Hall and Benji Davies

Sometimes its difficult to think about how to write a story, this book is for those moments. It really is a fantastic metafictive picture book which works on lots of different levels making it perfect for our household of children  whose ages range from 5 to nearly 10 years old.

I really enjoy reading picture books which are essentially about story-telling and creation to the children as I find that they always stimulate a lot of conversation. This book was no exception with lots of discussion about alternative characters and scenarios.

I cant write this review without mentioning Benji Davies fabulous illustrations. Having previously reviewed Storm Whale and Grandad’s Island, Also an Octopus has a very different feel to it. The illustrations have a vintage feel to them and fit the story perfectly, providing children with lots to see and engage with.

This is a great addition to your bookshelf, its a brilliantly sculpted way to assist the children with structuring their own stories but also a great story in itself. Very entertaining!

You can find out more about it here.

Book Review: Guess How Much I Love You By Sam McBratney and Anita Jeram- Sweetheart Edition and Colouring Book

If you’re looking for a special gift for Valentines Day for either your child or another book loving member of your family then these are just the treat!

Guess How Much I Love you is a UK classic, the story of Little and Big Nutbrown Hares efforts to express to each other how much they love each other. It is a delightful read and a simple story which can be read time and time again creating many special memories.

The Guess How Much I Love You Colouring Book is one of the loveliest colouring books i’ve seen in a long time and to be honest I’ve kept it myself rather than give it to the children as I cant bring myself to let them loose with it!

If you’re giving to a child then match them up with a small plush bunny. If you’re giving it to an adult, how about pairing this with a bouquet of flowers or a bottle of champagne to make a genuinely lovely, thoughtful gift.

You can find more information here.

Film Review: Sing

We were really fortunate to go along before Christmas to a screening of Universal’s new movie SING. This is set to be THE movie to see this half term and its been eagerly anticipated by every child I know. SING tells the story of a failing theatre owner who decides to run one of those Saturday night style talent contests and follows several different animals and their journey together.

Its an upbeat story with plenty of things for kids and adults to associate with and a brilliant soundtrack. If you want a really light hearted, fun, (if slightly predictable) movie and your children are good fans of X-Factor then you wont find better at half term. We’re off to see it again!

Have a look at the trailer here

To celebrate the release of the movie Universal really kindly sent the kids some fantastic SING merchandise to help them have their own karaoke party. They were delighted and I have to say we had SO much fun with this activity it has been the best thing we’ve done all year. Who thought that a karaoke machine could bring so much fun into the house, it was like having our own SING/ X-Factor auditions. I suspect the karaoke machine is going to come out lots of times this year! I’d urge you to try a SING party this weekend or just after seeing the film, so much more fun that just watching others sing the songs on TV!


 

The Blurb
SING is out on 27th January (previews this weekend), featuring the voices of Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Tori Kelly  and Scarlett Johansson. It follows a group of animals, who enter a singing competition hosted by a Koala called Buster, who hopes the funds raised will save his theatre. There’s a character for everyone – a shy elephant with stage fright, a busy mum, a sensitive gorilla, a punk rock porcupine…and everyone who has seen it, has loved it so far.
As well as being hilarious, it’s got a great cast (Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Scarlett Johansson) and a soundtrack featuring everyone from Taylor Swift to Stevie Wonder.
I’d love to hear what you thought about the movie; did you enjoy it? Which character did your kids most identify with? (mine liked Ash pictured above). Let me know in the comments.

Book Review and Competition: Dalmatian in a Digger by Rebecca Elliot

To celebrate publication of a new picture book, Dalmatian in a Digger by Rebecca Elliott, coming out with Curious Fox this month, we have a copy of the book hot-off-the-press to giveaway to one lucky reader.

This brilliant picture book combines childhood favourites – building sites, animals and making loud noises – what’s not to love? Children and parents will delight finding out which animals are driving the machines as they turn the pages of the book, and there’s a nice surprise on the last page as it’s revealed what all the animals are building.

A perfect read for any digger-obssessed tots.

For your chance to win a copy please comment below telling me what other animals you’d like to see driving a digger and fill out the rafflecopter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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