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Experience the dark side of castle ruins; Family Day Out KENILWORTH CASTLE FOR a really spooky Halloween, we dare you to take a guided tour around Kenilworth Castle. ANN EVANS goes exploring.

Byline: ANN EVANS

DURING the day, Kenilworth Castle is a wonderfully friendly place, where children play among the ruins and no-one has a care in the world.

But after dark, the site takes on a more sinister feel, as visitors joining the castle's Halloween tours will find out, from tomorrow right up to Halloween on Wednesday.

For four nights only, the gates to Kenilworth Castle will be opened for guided tours after dark, with local group Take a Walk on the Dark Side walking visitors around the site to explore the dark history of this famous castle.

Kenilworth Castle dates back to the 12th century when a wooden enclosure and watchtower was first built on the site.

A hundred years later, it was rebuilt in stone and for centuries was wrapped up in historic events involving famous kings and queens of England. Queen Elizabeth I was a frequent visitor who would be lavishly entertained during her visits.

For much of its history it was surrounded on three sides by a great lake a kilometre long and half a kilometre wide. After the Civil War the castle was partially demolished by Parliamentary troops, and over the years was allowed to fall into further ruin.

English Heritage stepped in saving it from further decay in 1938, and Kenilworth Castle is now the largest castle ruin in England.

Steve Bax, head of visitor operations for Kenilworth Castle says: "Over the centuries, there have been lots of reports of ghosts within the walls of Kenilworth Castle, and on these tours, we'll be retelling several of the stories to guarantee plenty of scares to send shivers down the spine of even hardened cynics.

"The ruins themselves can be quite eerie after dark, with bats regularly flying overhead, but who knows what shadows might come to life as we get closer to Halloween."

During the course of the evening, visitors will be taken around some of the spookier parts of the castle by a lantern-carrying guide - and should watch out for special effects, theatrical thrills and spine-tingling scares along the way.

The Details

WHERE: Kenilworth Castle, Castle Green, Kenilworth.

TOURS: There will be three tours each evening from October 28 to 31, starting at 7.30pm, 8.30pm and 9.30pm, with an extra special tour on October 31 which straddles the "witching hour", starting at 11.30pm. The tours are not suitable for those of a sensitive disposition, suffering from heart complaints, or for children aged under 16.

TICKETS: There are only 20 places available on each tour. Tickets are pounds 15 per person, which includes soup or a hot drink.

Tickets for the 11.30pm tour are pounds 25 each.

Pre-booking is essential, please call 01926 852078.

CAPTION(S):

THRILLS... A lantern-carrying guide will show visitors the dark side of Kenilworth Castle.; SPOOKY... Kenilworth Castle ruins.
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Oct 27, 2007
Words:472
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