After a much better sleep last night we were all up at 06:00 and feeling refreshed. A little someone was looking hungry so we quickly packed the car, hit the road and picked up some Maccas for breakfast. It was a gloomy morning in Liverpool, we must have soaked up all the sun.
We went to the petrol station to fill up. When we got to a Shell, we were surprised it was closed. We drove on a wee further and there was another petrol station closed, strange, we thought perhaps they do not open until 09:00, although Google said otherwise. The next petrol station had an enormous line so we kept on driving but was starting to think something was not right here. We arrived at a fourth petrol station with another long line, especially for 08:00 on a Saturday morning, we were finally able to get petrol. Apparently, the UK is in the middle of a petrol supply crisis due to Brexit visa issues. We have not been able to charge the PHEV car battery since leaving home, plus the battery range is not designed for long trips, ideal for day trips.
BoJo said his advice was to “carry on as normal”, he must have got his COVID-19 briefing notes mixed up.
With a tank full of fuel and now probably driving the most valuable car in the UK, we started heading southeast towards Oxford. We jumped back onto the M6 with the slowest acceleration and most economical driving as possible.
After a few hours we were looking for lunch and a quick walkabout. Sophie noticed a little town called Warwick. Eloise has been having castle withdrawal symptoms so we figured we would have a look at Warwick Castle.
We found a park on the main street and walked into the town centre. Straight away we noticed the unusual timber-framed buildings from the 17th century. It had a bit of charm about the place as no surfaces were perfectly perpendicular or parallel to each other.
We walked past what we thought was just another standard church. Turns out it was where J. R. R. Tolkien got married.
A quick walk through the food market for some lunch and we headed towards Warwick Castle. As we approached we realised this was not your everyday castle. It was enormous, even by castle standards, the whole park had been turned into a mini medieval theme park, perfect for family outings.
Warwick Castle is a medieval castle developed from a wooden fort, originally built by William the Conqueror during 1068. Warwick is the county town of Warwickshire, England, situated on a meander of the River Avon. The original wooden motte-and-bailey castle was rebuilt in stone during the 12th century. During the Hundred Years War, the facade opposite the town was refortified, resulting in one of the most recognisable examples of 14th-century military architecture. It was used as a stronghold until the early 17th century, when it was granted to Sir Fulke Greville by James I in 1604. Greville converted it to a country house, and it was owned by the Greville family (who became Earls of Warwick in 1759) until 1978, when it was bought by the Tussauds Group.
Eloise enjoyed running about the grounds collecting stamps for her dragon passport. Inside the castle was also spectacular, we only had a couple of hours to look inside as they were preparing for a wedding, must be nice.
After walking through the castle rooms we sat on the grass and enjoyed the sun. We noticed people walking along the castle walls and on top of the tower. We figured that would be a fun exercise, admittedly just going with the flow and not thinking too much about it. It turned out to be very challenging with two under two. It was not a simple staircase up and down. We had to traverse the full length of the wall and to the top of each spire, although the views were worth it. Eloise was particularly interested in the arrow loops.
It was even trickier making our way down the steep narrow helical staircase. We were glad when we all safely made it to the bottom.
We walked around the back of the castle where there was an impressive flying owl and falcon entertainment show. Eloise loved watching the majestic birds fly by.
Eloise then chased a peacock which was all fun and games until the peacock chased Eloise.
We explored the Horrible Histories Maze which had lots of hidden games and puzzles to complete before heading back to the car. So much for a quiet day.
It was then another hour southeast to Travelodge Witney, about 10 miles west of Oxford. After arriving in Witney we drove past a couple of closed petrol stations before we found one that was open and filled up.
A quick dinner and a bedtime walk to put the kids to sleep. Admittedly they are getting later and later.