A weekend in Warwick

PUBLISHED: 01:44 23 June 2012 | UPDATED: 21:32 20 February 2013

A weekend in Warwick

A weekend in Warwick

Short breaks in Warwick take in beautiful buildings, lots of history, gardens, shopping and a bit of adventure. Petra May dragged her husband and two children to sample its delights and only scratched the surface!

Short breaks in Warwick take in beautiful buildings, lots of history, gardens, shopping and a bit of adventure. Petra May dragged her husband and two children to sample its delights and only scratched the surface...

Whirlwind rush to get here. Settled into our B & B by the castle on West Street, right next to the castle. Hanging basket heaven!

Off to Warwick School for the open evening (July 6, 7pm). Thankfully, number two son seems to like the place he might be here come September 2013 so he needs to

Then a meal and a drink at The Rose and Crown (30 Market Place). The place is heaving we reckon Warwick likes to party on a Friday night! Get the children back for a relatively early night tomorrow we are busy!

Up early great fry up in our B & B. At 10am on the dot we are queuing up for Warwick Castle (www.warwick-castle.co.uk) seems like were not the only ones to have made an early start.

Great place for kids. Our son loves the dungeon although I am convinced hes too young for its gruesome delights and Merlin, The Dragon Tower. Our daughter is a princess for the day and we are bowing to her every command (thats the trouble with seven-year-olds) including her wish to enter the Princess Tower. Frogs kissed and hair let down its time for some jousting and we are entranced by the impossibly handsome medieval jousting knights on horseback. We finally tear ourselves away from the rippling muscles and tousled manes and thats just the knights Kingmaker is a fairly old exhibit nowadays but the sights and smells are still as evocative as ever. Several hours later we spill out into the high street and collapse into the Thomas Oken Tea Rooms (01926 499307) for a quick bite to eat tempted by the cakes but those are for later!

Lunch over, were in a dilemma. Daughter favours retail therapy. Son wants to have fun. We split up. Father and son to Warwick Boats (www.warwickboats.co.uk) for a happy couple of hours messing about on the Avon and we are released, with credit card, onto the shopping streets of Warwick.

Warwick Rocks! I know that because everywhere we go are posters telling us so. The town didnt qualify for the first round of the Portas Pilot Scheme but Im wondering why they need it. There are some lovely independent shops here. We have lots of birthdays coming up so today we are gathering gifts.

I know, when I step into Hatton & Harding (www.hattonandharding.co.uk), that I will be there for a very long time. I covet . . . everything. Then theres Aspire Style (www.aspirestyle.co.uk). Love this place and my daughter finds plenty of bling at (almost) pocket money prices shes still in princess mode. We decide we like Warwick. There are plenty of shops for all tastes books, toys, antiques, vintage clothing, and loads of art galleries. We reckon Mary Portas must have thought that other towns, like Wolverhamption, were worthier of her attention.

The boys are back wet and tired. But theres one more chore before we get ready to go out. Pop to Underwoods Wine Warehouse (www.underwoodwines.co.uk) to choose some wine for our wedding anniversary party. So much choice!

Its time to eat. Wed like to do grown-up (Merchants Brasserie catches our eye) but with children in tow were off to the pub. Tonight its The Saxon Mill which has everything our children love pizza, pasta, fish and chips and a lot that we love fine wines, a fairly reasonable choice of food (including hubbies favourite of burger and blue cheese!). Its by the river, its relaxed, friendly, and we like it.

I cant face a fry-up today but nothings stopping the children from making the most of a full English. This morning were dragging them around the Lord Leycester Hospital (www.lordleycester.com). They WILL DO history! Its a tranquil spot and we are fascinated by the Egyptian Nilometer in the Masters Garden. Great we teach our children history, geography and maths all in one go!

Id love to look at the other two gardens in Warwick (Hill Close and The Mill Garden both open throughout the year and under the NGS scheme) but we decide to head out to Hatton Country World there are only so many gardens young children will stomach in one day. Farming and fun (www.hattonworld.com) and a bit more shopping to boot at Hatton. We wished wed come in June when the Strawberry Sundays give free strawberry picking with every child ticket.

Its time to head home school tomorrow and the uniform is still in a heap on the utility room floor

Find out more about Warwick at www.visitwarwick.co.uk

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