The first stop after arriving on the Isle of Wight was Carisbrooke Castle.
This castle appeals to the historian in me 🙂 It it where Charles I was imprisoned after his defeat in the English Civil War and his 14 year old daughter died here. The next major royal to get involved was Princess Beatrice (the youngest child of Queen Victoria) who became governor of the Isle of Wight in 1896.
We used our English Heritage membership which allowed us free entry to the castle. As you walk through the doors, there are swords and weapons that instantly appeal to bloodthirsty children!
The walk along the castle wall and battlements is quite terrifying with only a rail preventing a nasty fall. Matthew in particular was scared as he doesn’t like heights so I was amazingly proud of him for going all the way along (a reminder that being brave means being scared but carrying on anyway!)
The only downside of the visit was the cafe. It had a queue heading out of the door and really needed double the equipment and double the staff. I was starving but there was nothing gluten free and vegetarian available 🙁 The others has a slice of lovely cake but it was VERY expensive.
We did however treat ourselves to an ice cream from the van parked in the main part of the castle and sat on the green to enjoy it.
On the day we visited, the castle had a knight school which Anya and Matthew joined in with, learning bowing and curtseying, and lots of battle skills! They had great fun and the performers kept their attention for a good 45 minutes. Zach cheered them on 🙂
The children made shields and dressed up. So did I!
Overall, our trip to Carisbrooke was fabulous. I would have loved to walk around the top of the walls again but our legs were aching quite a bit and no one else wanted to face the heights again. The special events for the summer holidays were great for keeping the children interested and inspiring a love of history.