Address: Kenilworth Castle, Castle Green, Kenilworth, Warwickshire CV8 ING *Note: The turn for the site is off a bend and comes up quick. Don’t make the same mistake as us and miss it!*
Price of Admission: 13.90 for adults. 8.40 for children.
Amount Saved through Membership: 36.20 + a previous 32.80 pounds = 69.00 (86.68 dollars).
Car Park: Non-members must pay an hourly fee.
Fun Fact: Kenilworth Castle is featured in Walter Scott’s 1821 novel Kenilworth.
Further Reading: To get an in-depth history of the site and see some amazing reconstruction models visit the official English Heritage linked here: https://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/kenilworth-castle/history-and-stories/history/
Only ruins now, Kenilworth Castle was first built in the 1100’s as a Norman keep, the walls were erected around the siege of 1266, and the Great Hall and banqueting rooms added in the mid-1300’s. The final additions were made during the 1500’s when the famous Robert Dudley took ownership and tried to improve the grounds. Stories say Queen Elizabeth I visited Dudley at this estate several times, and before her final visit Dudley created a magnificent garden. All in the hopes he could “seal the deal” and win her hand at marriage. Alas, as we all know, that did not happen and Dudley abandoned the site shortly thereafter.
Visitors are allowed to explore the surrounding grounds and go inside what is left of the buildings. For parents of young kids, this is a great opportunity to let the children climb hills, explore under old chimneys, and wander through narrow passageways. And if you’re like me and have a tall member in your party, be sure and have them stand next to the old doorways. It’s great fun to remind yourself how short the average person was back in the day!
The two standout sights at Kenilworth are the old kitchen site and the restored Elizabethean Gardens. My kids got a kick out of seeing where three giant hearths used to rest, the soup stand so tall there were stairs to help the cooks stir, the drain on the ground, and the hole still tucked into the wall that served as the bread oven.
The garden is bountiful with colorful flowers, row upon row of apple trees, and the not-to-be-missed birdhouse. The kids can enjoy watching the bright parakeets while the adults take a stroll around and imagine what it would be like to experience Kenilworth in its glory days.
You have to bring your imagination with you on any visit to ruins, but the little bit of work is worth the price. To see a sight where such a landmark historical figure visited, where she wined and dined and let her childhood friend do his best to woo her. Well, that was a sight worth seeing.