We’ve visited Warwick Castle several times over the years (we’ve even stayed onsite in their Knight’s Village) and we always have a wonderful time. So when we were given the opportunity to pop along last week to celebrate the return of their summer jousting show we jumped at the opportunity. The War of the Roses show returns to Warwick Castle for 2018 with an Escape Room held in their Medieval dungeon.
We’ve never taken part in an escape room before so I had no idea how we’d fare but with two adults and three enthusiastic children we decided to give it a go. It was held in the Medieval jail (technically I think that should be written Gaol) which is located behind the courtyard shop, next to the KingMaker exhibit.
After arriving at the jail we were given the back story, the year is 14?? (I’ve forgotten the exact date) and your mission is to help the prisoner escape the Medieval jail before the guards return. You begin by walking down some dark and somewhat treacherous steps before being locked (with a big scary padlock) into your Medieval cell with 30 minutes to save yourself and rescue the prisoner or else face joining them in their captivity!
The inmate is played by an actor locked up in a higher up cell who talks to you throughout the escape attempt. Across each wall are clues which may help (or hinder) you. There were locked boxes, family trees and chests, I must admit it took me a few minutes to take it all in (it’s also very dark). I won’t give too much away but basically there are several puzzles which you must solve in order to unlock various chests. These chests contain torches and further puzzles which if solved help you to unlock the final chest containing the keys to your (and the inmate’s) freedom.
Once we’d got our bearings we lept into action, running about the cell shouting dates and info to each other. I suspect we were actually doing rather well as the actor distracted my husband (our master code breaker) with various riddles and chatter. However, despite this we did escape the room with the fastest time that day! Cue big cheesy grins from everyone! In fact we would have completed it slightly faster if my daughter hadn’t insisted that one of our codes was wrong, when she was actually trying to open the lock the wrong way!
The adrenaline as the clock ticks away is replaced by a real sense of accomplishment when (or if) you escape and we had an amazing time. In fact it was so much fun that the kids are still talking about it now. The event was so professionally put together and the actors involved so convincing, that it felt like we’d taken part in a big production or a TV show. I’d thoroughly recommend you give it a try if there’s an opportunity, it might even be fun to be caught by the guards!
We left the escape room (heads significantly larger and higher than before) and walked straight over the bridge to watch the new War of the Roses show. Every year the show is impressive but this year it has really been taken up a notch with new stories and extra characters. The public is split into supporters of Lancaster and York with both being encouraged to cheer and boo the opposing sides.
The skill of the actors handling the horses is really something to behold and this year the show even incorporated a messenger eagle, doves and celebratory streamers!
I won’t give the plot away but the show depicts a poignant and well known period in the War of the Roses. The past can so often be presented in a dry, dull fashion that it’s rendered almost impossible to relate too but this show really brings history to life and inspires its audience. This was evidenced by the various children (including my youngest) who asked for further clarification on various parts of the story afterwards.
My daughter filmed a few short clips of the show which just gives you a feel for how entertaining this production is.
After visiting several times you’d be forgiven for thinking that the attractions might have become somewhat stale for us but Warwick Castle is brilliant at updating and refreshing all of their attractions so there’s never any chance to be bored!
We finished our day by visiting several of the other attractions Warwick has to offer, the Flight of the Eagles, Knights School, The Horrible History Maze etc. you can take a look at some of my previous posts if you’d like to learn about them in greater detail.
If you can, I definitely recommend you visit the show this summer. For further details and to book, pop over to Warwick Castle’s website.