Built in the 12th century, Kenilworth has gone through some pretty big changes, most notably when the resident Dudley was wooing Elizabeth I, with its beautiful gardens and charming aviary it really was the perfect place to set off to on a crisp Autumn day. Leaves crunching underfoot, the low sun offsetting the castle ruins and building to dramatic effect and a Lord of the Rings ceremony taking place in the gatehouse, this day trip turned out to be the perfect setting.
The site of sieges and Elizabethan courting, Kenilworth is a dream of breath-taking ruins and intact turrets to explore, you can even take a tour around the rooms built especially for the queen herself with her own walkways, because of course she couldn’t take the tremendous effort of walking the length of her quarters to join the main stairway. This section, with its perfectly placed viewing platforms, afford lovely views out over the countryside and what would formerly have been a mammoth mere created for leisure and a perfect adornment to the surrounding nature.
Climb the stone stairs up to take in the view, wander the barn exhibitions or explore the gatehouse, remodelled as a residence by another of Kenilworth’s intriguing patrons. The tearoom supplies fantastic teas with the slabs of cake being must-tries. A shout out has to go to the man welcoming us at the door for the quickest sale of an English Heritage membership in history and the most amazing wedding idea I have ever seen. Elves, fairies and Gandalf himself graced the ground of beautiful Kenilworth that day, making for some more unusual pictures I’m sure.
- Where: The town of Kenilworth, Warwickshire.
- Who: A string of royals from John of Gaunt to Henry VIII and the notorious Robert Dudley, suitor of Elizabeth I who used the grounds to court the queen on her numerous visits.
- Sieges: Kenilworth was subject to a 6-month-long siege in 1266, believed to be the longest in English history.
- Royal Mishaps: The castle was the scene of the removal of Edward II from the throne in 1327.
- Top Spots: Don’t miss the beautiful aviary in the gardens or the top viewing platform as a great lookout point.