Warwick Castle launches late-night alcohol and party plan

Warwick Castle bosses are once again doing battle with residents over plans to hold parties and serve alcohol into the early hours at its new camping village.

Friday, 5th August 2016, 10:51 am
Updated Friday, 5th August 2016, 12:15 pm
Warwick Castle

Merlin Entertainment Ltd, which runs the castle, has applied for permission to serve alcohol until 2am at its new medieval-themed camping site.

The castle bosses also want to play music, put on plays and dance displays late at night to enhance its year-round camping lodges, restaurant and “glamping” tents in Knight’s Village.

The overnight facilities have already been steeped in controversy and objection and the planned party addition is raising fresh upset as neighbours say the historic castle will be taken over by “lager louts and shrieking hen-dos.”

Warwick Castle's new manager, Nick Blofeld opening the new Knight's Village

The application has been met with anger by some residents in Stuarts Close and nearby Castle Close.

One unnamed resident wrote in a letter to the council’s licensing committee: “The application is for every day, therefore there will only be six hours in any 24 hours when alcohol is not being served.

“The castle is a family centred business so why do they feel they have to serve alcohol at such long periods of time?

“My objection is to the noise that will come from the village when [people are leaving the restaurant late at night having consumed alcohol.

Knight's Village at Warwick Castle. Image by Rod Kirkpatrick/F Stop Press Ltd

“I already suffer greatly sleeping with noise coming from the castle, which often disturbs me.”

The large site was built by William the Conqueror in 1068 and fears have previously been raised about the space being turned into a theme park as more and more attractions are brought on site.

Objecting to the latest plans, another resident said: “We experienced quite a lot of noise and disturbance last summer during the glamping season at the castle and feel the addition of the lodges will only increase the intrusion into our lives.”

Sales manager John Kemp, 55, whose home overlooks the castle, said: “It’ll be a pity if the castle is allowed a late night alcohol licence because it’s effectively tempting people into drinking much more than they should.

Warwick Castle's new manager, Nick Blofeld opening the new Knight's Village

“I can see a situation where the castle is basically taken over by drunken revellers who probably have no intention of learning about the history of the castle or its importance in Britain’s history.

“Pubs and nightclubs are the place for people to over-indulge and get drunk if they want to, Warwick Castle is most certainly not the place for lager louts and shrieking hen dos.”

Castle bosses say they do everything possible to avoid disturbing neighbours by the Foxes Study are of the castle where Knight’s Village is located.

Opening the new facility earlier this year, new manager, Nick Blofeld promised residents that the site would not be “turned into a theme park”.

Knight's Village at Warwick Castle. Image by Rod Kirkpatrick/F Stop Press Ltd

A statement to the licensing committee reads: “Warwick Castle has worked hard to engender good relations with its neighbours and regularly liaises with them regarding the running of the castle.

“Nevertheless, security can be contacted during permitted hours in the event a problem should arise.”

Castle bosses estimate the 28 luxury lodges, together with the 41 seasonal glamping tents, will economically benefit the district by some £2.1 million a year through guests visiting surrounding towns.

The licensing committee is set to consider the application next week.