Warwickshire is a place packed full of history and mythology.
The origins of Warwick town can be traced right back to 914 AD when it was founded as a defence against Danish invaders by none other than Æthelflæd , the daughter of King Alfred the Great.
Warwick and its historic buildings have provided the backdrop for many popular TV series and films, such as Dr Who, Pride and Prejudice, A Christmas Carol and Dangerfield.
Read more – 30 brilliant things to do in Stratford-upon-Avon
Many of the central streets of the town were destroyed by the Great Fire of 1694 and had to be rebuilt in the 18th century.
However, several important medieval buildings survived the fire and can be seen today, such as the Lord Leycester Hospital and the timber-framed buildings around Oken’s House.
Here are some of our favourite attractions around Warwickshire. Be sure to check opening times and book in advance where necessary to avoid disappointment.
1. Warwick Castle
You can explore more than 1,100 years of history, magic, myth and adventure at Warwick Castle.
This is one of the most dramatic and complete medieval castles in the country. It has been inhabited continuously since the Middle Ages, and was the home of the Earls of Warwick until recently.
There are towers, walls, ramparts and dungeons to explore plus 64 acres of beautiful grounds and gardens, including a courtyard and peacock garden.
Warwick Castle is also home to the UK’s largest birds of prey show, a Horrible Histories Maze and a Knight’s Village for overnight glamping.
It’s part of the Merlin Entertainments group, which means you can often get reduced price tickets via Kellogg’s cereal and snack packs. Find out more and book tickets here
Warwick CV34 4QU
2. Kenilworth Castle and Elizabethan Garden
Nearby Kenilworth Castle is among Britain’s biggest historical sites. Families can enjoy the freedom to explore what was once a vast medieval fortress and imagine the majesty of the Great Hall.
Once an Elizabethan palace, you can step back some 900 years in history and walk in the footsteps of Queen Elizabeth 1 as you explore Leicester’s Building. Climb 18 metres to the full height of the tower built by Leicester to court Elizabeth I and soak up the same spectacular views that she enjoyed.
There’s also the castle keep and Leicester’s Gatehouse to discover plus the authentically recreated Elizabethan garden at this English Heritage attraction. Find out more and book tickets here
Castle Green, Kenilworth CV8 1NG
3. Hatton Adventure World
This 100 acre site is home to more than 450 creatures big and small, 60 different breeds and species, and boasts over 30 shows and activities every day during the school holidays and weekends.
There’s a farmyard, a JCB track, a falconry centre, a Grand National sheep race, pony rides, a funfair, trampolines, an assault course, Laser Combat, a guinea pig village and lots more. Some activities are seasonal so it’s best to check beforehand.
You can also pick-your-own fruit, vegetables and flowers and go shopping in the shopping village too. Find out more and book here
Dark Lane, Hatton, Warwick CV35 8XA
4. British Motor Museum
This is home to the world’s largest collection of historic British cars.
The British Motor Museum boasts more than 300 British classic cars, celebrating the past, present and future of British motoring.
You can learn about the people behind the cars and the places they were built and take part in interactive family activities. There’s also a cafe and outdoor play area. Find out more and book here
Banbury Road, Gaydon, Lighthorne Heath, Warwick CV35 0BJ
5. St Nicholas Park
There’s something for everyone at St Nicholas Park which has its own fairground, skate park and large playground.
In the summer, you can enjoy swimming in the outdoor pool and or hire pedalos, rowboats, kayaks and canoes from the boat centre
The lawns and gardens are ideal for a stroll, and there are designated picnic areas as well as a tea shop serving snacks, meals and drinks.
St Nicholas Park Leisure Centre has an indoor swimming pool, badminton courts, a climbing wall and tennis courts.
Warwick CV34 4QY
6. Golden Putter Mini Golf
There’s a Golden Putter Mini Golf course at St Nicholas Park, which is fun for families.
Pit your wits against tunnels, boulders, bumps, tight twisters and cliffhangers as you try to get the best score. Find out more here
Warwick CV34 4QY
7. Royal Shakespeare Theatre
Stratford-upon-Avon is best known for its legendary playwright William Shakespeare, who penned classics like Hamlet, Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Tempest.
It’s well worth going to see a play performed by the world famous Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) and you can also go on a tour of the theatre or have lunch in its rooftop restaurant.
Throughout the holidays, there are often craft and music workshops plus pop-up performances and costume exhibitions too. Find out more here
8. Shakespeare’s Birthplace
Did you know you can visit the house where Shakespeare was born and grew up?
See the rooms where he dreamt up all those plays, and where he spent the first five years of married life with Anne Hathaway.
There are exhibitions, costumed guides and live performances plus a gift shop, cafe and garden too. Find out more and book here
Henley Street, Stratford-upon-Avon, CV37 6QW
9. Ragley Hall
There’s lots for families to do at Ragley Hall in Alcester.
From the adventure playground to the 3D maze, woodland walk and boating on Ragley Lake, there’s plenty to occupy a pleasant afternoon, especially if the sun’s shining.
10. The MAD Museum
Described as “a mixture of Wallis and Gromit, Heath Robinson and Scrapheap Challenge”, this museum offers the whole family a chance to experience and interact with machines.
MAD stands for Mechanical Art and Design and you can expect marble runs, high-tech robots and intricate moving contraptions.
It’s said to be the only specialist attraction of its kind in the UK and also features a wacky gift shop.
Henley Street, Stratford-upon-Avon, CV37 6PT
11. Abbey Fields Play Park
There’s lots to discover at Abbey Fields Play Park, which is set in the valley of the Finham and has views of the historic town, castle and church.
You can walk around the pretty lake and in the wildflower meadow, and the kids can play on the playground.
The outdoor pool normally open in the summer is unfortunately closed but there is an indoor pool plus five tennis courts and a Trim Trail outdoor gym.
Bridge Street, Kenilworth, Warwickshire, CV8 1BP
12. Magic Alley
This magical attraction and emporium features an Enchanted Treasure Trail where families can ‘explore a world full of wizards, dragons, fairies, time travel and pirates’ complete with a pony-sized unicorn!
You’ll also find spells and wands, broomsticks, hatching dragon eggs, a magical book that writes all on its own and a life-size animatronic bust of William Shakespeare.
Bell Court Shopping Centre, Stratford-upon-Avon CV37 6EX
13. Anne Hathaway’s Cottage
This thatched farmhouse was the childhood home of Shakespeare’s wife and features beautiful gardens.
It’s in Shottery, and you can follow a well sign-posted footpath to reach it by foot from Stratford-upon-Avon town centre.
There are also woodland walks, a sculpture trail and a family activity tent that runs from April to October.
You can also pop into traditional afternoon tea in the garden cafe.
Cottage Lane, Shottery, Stratford-upon-Avon, CV37 9HH
There are lots of great things to do with kids around the Midlands. To keep updated, follow our Brummie Mummies Facebook page, sign up to our weekly email newsletter and listen to our Brummie Mummies Podcast
Which is your favourite place in Warwickshire? Tell us in the comments below