Festival of Archery flies into Warwick Castle this Half Term!

Festival Of Archery Flies Into Warwick Castle This Half Term!

Arrows at the ready… and Loose!

The Festival of Archery returns to Warwick Castle, bringing history to life for the February half term. The event returns from last year and follows the same format – an Archery Tournament is the main draw of this event (No pun intended!) alongside other events, a winter birds of prey show and of course, the chance to meet the loveable dragon, Zog!


Visitor Guide in hand, ready to explore the event!

The Festival of Archery sees an incredible list of shows and tournament heats fill the day with every event taking place in a different location on the castle grounds to provide a different kind of show at every time. The day starts with the opportunity to meet the four teams of archers who will be competing to come out on top before the many heats and events begin. The joy with these shows is that they are entirely skill based so there will always be a different outcome from the archers which is a nice natural competitive element to the event. We stayed to watch two of the contests during the day including the crossbow shooting range round which was quite entertaining to watch. The shows have brilliant host/judges who are quick on the draw and know how to keep the crowd engaged with plenty of humour and information to match. We didn’t experience every show however, all shows on the day are different so you could easily follow your favourite team to victory (or the loser’s corner.). Not every show is a tournament – some are more educational including a demonstration on the east front and there’s even a family quiz!


Four teams of Archers compete to be crowned the best Archers in Warwick over a series of tournaments!
Four teams of Archers compete to be crowned the winners during a series of tournaments during the day!

The have a go archery opens for the first time this season during the event and it proves to be incredibly popular due to the archers inspiring people to give it a go. This experience is suitable for young and old archers and all experiences. It costs £6 per archer to have a go and there is no Merlin Annual Pass discount available on the experience.  

The birds of prey return for the event with the winter birds of prey show. This show follows a different style to that of the main Falconers Quest and only displays four birds instead of the higher volume. This show also doesn’t follow a story like the Falconers Quest (which follows the tale of Hobby who wished to be the Falconer for Warwick). Unfortunately, I have a bit of a problem with the winter show which isn’t an issue in the main show season. For the winter show, the guests stand on the path in front of the bank where the show takes place whilst in the summer, guests sit on seating down the bank. The problem with this, is that it makes it incredibly difficult for anyone who isn’t on the very front of the group (or isn’t very tall) to see anything due to the low flying nature of some of the birds. This was a show we left early on due to having that problem. This could be resolved by doing the winter show up on the other side of the castle where they used to run it (opposite the princess shop) however I can understand a few reasons why this would not work such as the fact they moved the bird aviary and that the birds would not be trained to use this area so may be unfamiliar.

The Quest for the Golden Star may not be happening until later in the year; however, guests can still meet the charming Zog! Zog is meeting guests over inside the State Rooms at select times during the day. This meet and greet is wonderful for fans of Zog and provide a magical moment with the loveable dragon. When we went to visit Zog, we visited during the Birds of Prey Show which meant there was a very short wait. Our interaction with Zog was lovely so if you do get the chance, stop by, and say hello!

All other castle elements remain open including the Time Tower, Horrible Histories Maze, State rooms and The Dungeons (Dungeons is an upcharge attraction) however some of the rooms upstairs during our visit were still under maintenance. During our visit, due to weather conditions, the pump house was also unavailable – which when looking at the water flowing down the river, made sense.



In summary, the Festival of Archery adds an extra string to the bow that is Warwick Castle and provides guests with a full day of events and opportunities to experience a wide range of Archery themed entertainment. On top of the event, the castle’s main offerings will fill the gaps between shows and provide you with lots of history and exploration. We think this event is good for families and older visitors, especially if they have a passion for history or historical weapons.

Festival Of Archery runs until the 18th of February.

Tickets and more information can be found below:

– Elise
Check out our Vlog from this event