Travel Diaries: Following ancient footsteps up to spectacular views at Kenilworth Castle

When the sky is a near-cloudless blue, we feel the urge to climb and see rolling green fields stretching out for miles. It does not always have to be a mountain … an ancient tower will do just fine.

Kenilworth has undertaken a huge renovation since our last visit a few years before. A vast tower that we once stood below and peered up at, as the floors and staircases had centuries ago collapsed … is again fully climbable once more.

You can now gaze out of the deep arching windows in the even thicker walls, at the wide rural landscape of Warwickshire. I had my baby daughter in her carrier and she was fascinated by the cold stone walls, reaching out with her tiny fingers to touch them.

The moss and lichen in the windowsills looked like a miniature version of the hills beyond.

A second set of stairs, this time wooden and so beautifully weathered that it felt like they had long been part of the castle, took us upwards again for a view so clear the you can almost rebuild the panoramic before you with your imagination. The vast walls of local red sandstone represent Sir Robert Dudley’s now-permanent love letter to Elizabeth I, who stayed here for nineteen days of festivities in 1575.

The scene below is a family favourite … my children’s ancestors grew up in one of the cottages to the right of the picture and many of our family still live in Kenilworth today. The castle featured heavily in my mother-in-law’s childhood here, from summer events to candlelit carols at Christmas.

We explored to the grassy slopes beyond. This is the perfect place for our two autistic sons, usually completely reliant on reigns, to have freedom to roam – the castle outer walls keep them safe from wandering too far.

The Gatehouse was all prepared for Halloween … they had done such a fantastic job – one of our sons crept around every corner.

A family friend painted Kenilworth for my in-laws and my husband recalls the painting hanging on the dining room wall all through his childhood – and he was delighted to completely frame the castle in the photograph below, just as he remembers it.

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23 Comments Add yours

  1. What a view! Holy cats!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha 🙂 Yes! It is so high up … I was gripping the handrail ever so tightly because the baby carrier completely throws my centre of gravity!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. candidkay says:

    Gorgeous views! It certainly was good to be royalty:).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yes! And the lengths Royal supporters had to go to, and the sheer excesses of money they needed to spend renovating and rebuilding – for a fortnight’s visit from the Queen!


  3. restlessjo says:

    Such a beautiful site! I’ve never been there. Glad you took me today 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Jo – it is one of our favourite places and one that is great for the children any time of year 🌿

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Such riches enjoyed by so few at that time. How nice you and family can now also enjoy the views. Beautiful countryside.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Agreed – there is something rather lovely about having these places open for all to see.


  5. Just fantastic views, beautifully narrative throughout. I love it when they go that extra mile and decorate for Halloween. We went to Haddon Hall Bakewell and the had done the same. The children just love it.
    Thank you for sharing your day and history too 🤗💚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are very welcome! Haddon Hall is on my wishlist – I hope to get there this year … and Bakewell is such a lovely town, especially when the summer bunting goes up. 🌿

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It is I went to secondary girls school there and worked five years in the town. It one of my favourite places to revisit. 😆💚

        Liked by 1 person

  6. What a lovely post. Past and present intertwined. Freedom to roam in so many ways.


  7. Some splendid photographs – and the image of your baby daughter’s tactile exploration is delightful.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Derrick – I do enjoy watching tiny children see things for the first time, and our daughter is particularly tactile.

      I’ve taken to handing her a twig on walks so that she’s not always trying to poke muddy pools and mushrooms with her bare hands and can use the twig instead! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Wow – what fantastic photos, thanks for my little virtual holiday 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awwr thank you very much Tierney – I’m glad you enjoyed it 🌿

      Liked by 1 person

  9. What a view and the surroundings, despite their ruined state, are spectacular, too!


    Liked by 1 person

    1. We’re finding that ruins are brilliant for children – they can scramble around and there’s not a constant fear of them touching objects they shouldn’t, that I sometimes get in old houses and museums.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I remember when one of our daughters and I went to the British Museum many years ago. We were shocked and she was outraged that so many ancient things were just out where people could touch them.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. And after all, ruins are already ruined. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I figure if they survived several hundred years or more they can withstand my children … probably 🙃

          Liked by 1 person

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