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Today (well, OK yesterday but I’m not rewriting all of this so just pretend I posted this 12 hours ago). I began my jaunt around the West Midlands. I left home at about 9:30 this morning and drove for about 2 and a half hours to Warwick, which will be my base.

This is the Bed and Breakfast where I’m staying. The proprietors Marisa and Mike have been lovely. I was greeted with a pot of tea and a slice of fruitcake and Marisa gave me maps and information about Warwick.

Here’s my room. It has a delightful view onto the rear garden.

After a spot of lunch I went to Warwick Castle. The castle was built in 1068 by William the Conquerer. It is the former seat of the Earls of Warwick.

This is a panorama shot, so if you click it it will open in a new window. Click again and you should see it full size. There were lots of activities for children and it is very much a family attraction. In the above shot I think there was a medieval warrior fight going on. There was also jousting,

trained birds of prey,

and this giant siege machine called a trebuchet – I didn’t see it in action though as the next show was on a little later than I stayed.

There were extensive gardens and grounds to walk around. Above you can see the remnants of a medieval bridge across the River Avon.

You could also see the magnificent interiors of the state rooms and apartments.

The dining room.

Looking down into the Great Hall.

The castle was bought by the Tussauds Group in 1978 and in true Madame Tussaud tradition there are numerous wax dummies populating the castle to help tell the story. They are quite uncanny and I don’t like them. Some rooms have movement sensors so that when you enter the room a recording of a conversation is played so that is seems the dummies are talking.

Upstairs were all the Victorian dummies but down in the bowels of the castle were medieval scenes – craftsmen, stonemasons etc. They worked in tiny dark spaces with only candlelight to illuminate them. You could also go down into the dungeon, which was an unsettling experience.

Another panorama. I climbed the 500 or so steps to the top of the towers and walked along the battlements. You have to ascend steep narrow, dark winding steps to get there and it’s quite claustrophobic but worth it for the views. There were signs clearly warning people not to attempt the climb if elderly or if they had heart conditions, and I wondered how they would ever get paramedics up there is someone had a heart attack.

A view into the centre of the town of Warwick. I had a wander through the town afterwards and will post some photos next time.

That’s all for now!