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What you need to know before visiting the Kenilworth Castle And Elizabethan Garden

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Kenilworth Castle, an awe-inspiring monument with a royal history, stands as a strong testament to England's medieval past. A must-visit for history enthusiasts and lovers of nature, the castle and its beautiful Elizabeth Gardens offer a stirring glimpse into the lavish courtly life of the Tudor era. Known for its grandeur and the significant role it played during the tumultuous reign of Queen Elizabeth I, it constantly draws in tourists seeking an enriching cultural experience.

Kenilworth Castle And Elizabethan Garden

Kenilworth Castle And Elizabethan Garden - In A Nutshell

Handy information

⏰ Suggested Duration:2 hour
☀️ Best Time to Visit:Spring and fall
💜 Must Do:Amatller Chocolate Tasting
🎟️ Kenilworth Castle Tickets€14
🚇 Closest Train Station Kenilworth


The Great Hall
Gaunt's Tower
Leicester's Building
Elizabeth Gardens

Things to know

Constructed in: 1122
Built by: Geoffrey de Clinton
Architectural design: Norman and medieval military

Opening Hours And Address

Daily, 10 AM to 5 PM

Address: Castle Green, Kenilworth CV8 1NG, United Kingdom
Get Directions

Why Is Kenilworth Castle And Elizabethan Garden Worth Visiting?

  • Majestic Ruins and Impressive Architecture: Marvel at the awe-inspiring ruins of Kenilworth Castle, where its imposing walls and grand towers stand as a testament to its formidable past.
  • Captivating Legends and Myths: Uncover the captivating tales that surround Kenilworth Castle, from the legendary Duke of Dudley's attempts to woo Queen Elizabeth I to the heart-wrenching story of the castle's final destruction during the English Civil War.
  • Elizabeth Gardens: Experience tranquility in the meticulously maintained Elizabeth Gardens, a testament to Elizabethan garden design.
  • Spectacular Views and Photography Opportunities: Bask in the breathtaking views from Kenilworth Castle's high vantage points, capturing panoramic vistas of the surrounding countryside.
  • Learn and Explore: Not only see but also interact with history through various educational exhibits designed for all ages.

Kenilworth Castle And Elizabethan Garden Tickets

Experience the full splendor of Kenilworth Castle and Elizabeth Gardens with a regular entry ticket. This includes access to all open parts of the castle, Elizabeth Gardens, and interactive exhibits.

History Of Kenilworth Castle And Elizabethan Garden

The construction of Kenilworth Castle began during the era of Norman rule in the 1120s. As centuries passed, the castle underwent significant architectural additions that blended with the times, resulting in a fascinating mixture of Norman, Medieval, and Tudor styles.

The most notable event in the history of Kenilworth Castle was the lengthy royal visit of Queen Elizabeth I, who graced the castle at the invitation of Robert Dudley, a suitor hoping to win her hand. The extravagant celebrations he held during her 19-day stay are legendary. The Elizabethan Gardens, established during Queen Elizabeth I's visit, stand as a symbol of the queen's admiration for beauty and nature.

Another fascinating era linked to Kenilworth Castle is the English Civil War in the 17th century. The castle, serving as a stronghold for the Royalist forces, endured a remarkable 6-month siege by the Parliamentarians. The steadfast resistance and eventual surrender of the castle symbolized the weakening of royal power and the rise of Parliament.

Kenilworth Castle And Elizabethan Garden

Kenilworth Castle And Elizabethan Garden Architecture

Constructed primarily with local red sandstone, the castle features a unique blend of Gothic and Renaissance architectural styles. The earliest phase boasts stout Norman keeps, while the 13th century additions display the grandeur of medieval design in the form of fortifications and gatehouses.

The neighboring Elizabethan Gardens offer a tranquil escape. Complete with a marble fountain, timbered arbors and an aviary, it exemplifies the romantic and whimsical Elizabethan-era courtyard designs. The green labyrinth and ornate sculptures give it an aromatic and aesthetic appeal. The Saintlowe Tower, often ignored by casual visitors, bears a fascinating and lesser-known tale. It is said to have been the living quarters of the castle's governing official, the Constable.

Despite being in ruins, the fine details of the fortifications and spacious size of the rooms transport visitors back in time, painting a vivid picture of the castle's grandeur in its prime years.

Highlights Of Kenilworth Castle

1Leicester's Gatehouse

A grand entrance built by Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester, which has been transformed into a sophisticated Elizabethan mansion.

Kenilworth Castle And Elizabethan Garden

2The Great Hall

Once a central hub for banquets and grand celebrations during the Tudor era, the Great Hall now stands as an impressive reminder of the castle's lush history.

Kenilworth Castle And Elizabethan Garden

3 Elizabethan Bedroom & Oak Room

The Elizabethan Bedroom and Oak Room inside Leicester's Gatehouse, elegantly decorated to demonstrate the lavish lifestyle of Robert Dudley.

Kenilworth Castle And Elizabethan Garden

4Saintlowe Tower

This three-story tower provides an impressive view and vivid insights into the domestic life of the medieval period.

Kenilworth Castle And Elizabethan Garden

5Tudor Stables

The 16th-century stables, now home to an exhibition detailing the fascinating history of the castle.

Kenilworth Castle And Elizabethan Garden

6Norman Keep

One of the oldest parts of the castle, it offers a glimpse into the Anglo-Norman architectural style.

Kenilworth Castle And Elizabethan Gardena

7Elizabethan Gardens

Designed during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, this garden captures the romantic aura of the Elizabethan era with its classical sculptures, topiary mazes, and aviary.

Kenilworth Castle And Elizabethan Garden

7Mortimer's Tower

An impressive 13th-century gatehouse, which has been preserved to showcase the medieval fortification system.

Kenilworth Castle And Elizabethan Garden

Best Time To Visit Kenilworth Castle And Elizabethan Garden

The best time to visit this Kenilworth Castle is during the spring and summer seasons. During these months, the weather is pleasant, and the garden is in full bloom, offering a picturesque experience. It is recommended to visit in the morning when the castle opens to beat the crowds and have a peaceful exploration.

Kenilworth Castle And Elizabethan Garden Timings

  • Kenilworth Castle is operational from 10 AM to 5 PM every day.
  • To secure tickets at a reduced rate, ensure to book them in advance. A discount of 10% is available on the tickets if they are booked before 8.45 AM on the day of your visit.

How To Get To Kenilworth Castle

  • By Train: The nearest train station to Kenilworth Castle is Kenilworth, and it's about a 22-minute walk away. There are regular direct services to and from Birmingham, Coventry, and London.
  • By Bus: Local bus services from Coventry, Leamington Spa, and Warwick operate regularly to Kenilworth. The bus stop is approximately a 15-minute walk from the castle.
  • By Car: You can easily reach Kenilworth Castle by car. It's conveniently located off the A46 and is well-signposted from the town centre, off the B4103. There's a car park close to the castle that offers plenty of spaces.

Insider Tips For Visiting Kenilworth Castle

  • Avoid the crowds by visiting on weekdays or early in the morning.
  • Pack a picnic and enjoy it in the tranquil Elizabethan Garden, surrounded by beautiful flowers and plants.
  • Don't miss the Leicester's Gatehouse exhibition which showcases the castle's fascinating past.
  • Check the weather forecast before you visit as some areas of the castle may be inaccessible during wet or icy conditions.
  • Visit during special events such as jousting tournaments or falconry displays for a more immersive experience.
  • If traveling with children, get them the free audio guide designed especially for them to make the visit more engaging.
  • Take a stroll along the castle's outer walls to enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.
  • Capture stunning photographs during the golden hour, just before sunset, to enhance the beauty of the castle and its gardens.

Kenilworth Castle Facts

  • The castle was the site of one of the longest sieges in English history during the English Civil War.
  • Kenilworth also had its moment in the literary world when Sir Walter Scott featured it in his novel, 'Kenilworth'.
  • In the castle's ruins, you can still see the remains of the Great Hall, where grand banquets were held.
  • The ruins of Kenilworth Castle has inspired many artists and poets, including J. M. W. Turner.
  • Kenilworth Castle has been used as a filming location for several historical films and television series such as 'Peaky Blinders' and 'Henry VIII'.
  • The Elizabethan Garden is home to a rare survivor of the period, a marble fountain carved with images of classical deities and sea creatures.

Restaurants Near Kenilworth Castle And Elizabethan Gardens

Kenilworth Castle And Elizabethan Garden
Queen & Castle Kenilworth

A contemporary British restaurant known for its exquisite menu and warm ambiance. Its outdoor seating offers panoramic views of the castle.
Distance from Kenilworth Castle: 300 m

Kenilworth Castle And Elizabethan Garden
Harringtons On The Hill

A cozy eatery that serves traditional British fare with a modern twist, Harringtons On The Hill boasts charming décor and a welcoming atmosphere, making it a popular dining choice among locals and visitors alike.
Distance from Kenilworth Castle: 350 m

Kenilworth Castle And Elizabethan Garden
Clarendon Arms

A historic pub with a rich history dating back to the 17th century. The Clarendon Arms offers a variety of local ales, hearty meals, and a comforting atmosphere, providing a delightful dining experience after exploring the castle.
Distance from Kenilworth Castle: 320 m

Kenilworth Castle And Elizabethan Garden
The Cross

Awarded a Michelin star, The Cross offers a refined dining experience with a menu that focuses on British cuisine made from locally sourced, seasonal ingredients. With its charming heritage interiors and outstanding service, it is the perfect spot for a special meal.
Distance from Kenilworth Castle: 500 m

Other Attractions around Kenilworth Castle And Elizabethan Garden

Hotels around Kenilworth Castle And Elizabethan Garden


When was Kenilworth Castle built?

Kenilworth Castle was built in the 1120s, making it over 900 years old!

How long does it take to explore the castle and garden?

It usually takes around 2 to 3 hours to explore both the castle and the beautiful Elizabethan Garden.

Can I visit Kenilworth Castle with children?

Absolutely! Kenilworth Castle welcomes families and offers interactive exhibits and activities for children to enjoy.

Is there wheelchair accessibility at Kenilworth Castle?

Yes, the castle provides wheelchair accessibility to various areas, and there are accessible paths in the garden as well.

Are there guided tours available at Kenilworth Castle?

Yes, guided tours are available for visitors who wish to learn more about the castle's fascinating history.

Are there any events or special exhibitions held at the castle?

Yes, there are often special events, exhibitions, and reenactments taking place, so it's worth checking the castle's website for updates.

Kenilworth Castle And Elizabethan Garden Guide