Amusement parks, in America at least, fill themselves with over-the-top rides and
detailed architecture all catering towards immersing the visitor in the experience. Warwick
Castle is more or less a subdued version of an amusement park that has enough historical
context to make it an appropriate field trip destination for students. Built in 1068 by
William the Conqueror, Warwick Castle has been owned by various Earls claiming control.
Today, Warwick Castle is operated by Merlin Entertainments on a lease. In 2003, it was
recognized as Britain’s best castle and was getting over half a million visitors a year.
Though it does hold similarities to an amusement park, the castle grounds itself
have been historically restored and all attractions play into educating visitors about the
history of the castle and the medieval time period. Attractions include a wax museum,
armory exhibition, and jousting and archery shows. My irrational fear for wax statues
didn’t exactly play very well when encountering lurking wax butlers and maids hiding in
After setting out from Warwick Castle, our bus drove towards Stratford-upon-Avon,
the birthplace of famous playwright William Shakespeare. Stratford-upon-Avon consists of
many traditional candy shops and great pubs and restaurants. We decided to dine at the
Black Swan, or as American GIs nicknamed it, “The Black Duck.” Since the restaurant is just
across the street from the Royal Shakespeare Theater, numerous actors come and eat at the
Black Duck and enjoy the view of the swans swimming on the River Avon.
Today was mostly a chance to enjoy the small towns in England that cater to many
tourists and visitors. A variety of houses occupy England from houses that are modern to
houses built during the Tudor times. Stratford-upon-Avon and Warwick both showcase the
older houses of England. Warwick’s houses, especially, are notable, because they actually
became the inspiration for numerous houses in the Harry Potter films. Once again another
relaxing and stunning day in England.