Lego invited us to play at Warwick Castle, the perfect setting to inspire some building and play with LEGO Castle sets. Towers, turrets, brave knights and princesses, Warwick Castle is full of stories.
Warwick Castle is a place close to our hearts, the last time I was here I was feeling decidedly weird. The musty smells really affected me, and the vertiginous views made me uncharacteristically dizzy. I had my suspicions why. The reason became apparent soon after, and seven years and 10 months later, here she is:
Now she’s out in the world and growing fast. Old enough to be fascinated by history and to dress up, in this case as a Norman.
Strong enough to wield an axe (under supervision!). Headstrong and determined and always dreaming up new plans.
Creative, in love with constructing her own representations of the world around her. Fascinated by how things work and how things came to be. Full of questions.
Like where are the girl lego figures?
The 2013 Lego castle is titled the Kings’ Castle and has no female characters. In fact, across the whole LEGO Castle range there’s not a woman in sight.
Don’t get me wrong, I actually love the Lego Friends sets, I dislike that they are pastel, but my daughter really loves the characters and settings. But I think it is sad other Lego ranges don’t have more girl figures.
My LEGO Castle was my favourite set as a child. At least it had a queen and a lady who ran the tavern, they had pointy hats. I remember thinking that two characters was a bit limiting, but I worked my narratives around it (I was always destined to be a drama teacher see).
My daughter loves history, she knows all the Horrible Histories songs. As my son busied himself arranging his knights to carry out forest raids I pondered, couldn’t we at least have a kick ass Maid Marion?
We were however, really impressed with the creativity, detail and play value of the castle sets which have come on a long way since my childhood. The LEGO men’s faces have different facial expressions on front and back which I think is a fabulous detail. Both kids loved the treasure chest, bursting with sparkling jewels, coins and goblets, it had their imaginations bursting with play ideas…the attention to detail is superb.
Warwick Castle was a wonderful day out, I like the way it is organised, lots of re-enactments, gardens, storytelling and grounds, the castle indoors and out to explore. We did the LEGO dinosaur egg hunt in the morning to help us familiarise ourselves with the grounds, the kids really got the hang of solving the clues and walked all the way around the castle which was a real bonus for us.
They were well rewarded for their efforts:
There’s also a LEGO tent by the castle tower, good for inspiring a bit of tower building! The raising of the Portcullis ceremony, which starts the day at Warwick, is a brilliant ritual, you can see people joining in here:
We tried our hand at a bit of medieval sport, launching dead rats through the hoop.
The afternoon was well timed, we moved through the grounds, watching knights fighting, to a bird of prey show to a sword in the stone show, to the firing of the trebuchet which signalled the end of the adventure. I was pleased with my capture of this Egytptian bird of prey which was incredible to see flying, and it was amazing to also get really close to a Golden Eagle rescued from a forest fire in Canada.
We also experienced the Princess Tower, an interactive show interwoven with fairy tales, in which the children help an actress playing a princess to pick an outfit for a royal wedding. It was a little too Disneyfied for me, and we felt really pressured into buying a photo afterwards, but the kids loved it. Especially when the princess gave them a pea to take home to test out on their own beds.
It was a real reminder of how much my little family has grown up since my last visit. Thanks to LEGO and Warwick castle for having us. A really fun packed day!
The Lego Castle Event is on until the 25th August.