Robert Craven and Stuart Chambers 'Warwick Castle - the finest mediaeval castle in England.' INTRODUCTION The Stratford-on-Avon and District Hotels and Caterers Association (SCATA) publishes a brochure which has described the Castle as follows; “This magnificent ancient Castle, situated at the very centre of England, is a treasure house of great beauty and splendid, rare quality collections of pictures, furniture, furnishings and an outstanding collection of arms and armour which bear witness to the power and influence of the Earls of Warwick down through the centuries. The beautiful grounds landscaped by Capability Brown, where peacocks roam freely, are a delight in all seasons. . . Excellent catering facilities are available all year round to suit every pocket and disposition, as well as several gift shops” Warwick Castle is less than two hours by road from London with easy access from all major cities by motorway, road and rail. This excellent infrastructure allows the area to be part of the itinerary of any visitor to the UK. The County of Warwickshire is lyrically described in the SCATA brochure: “Stratford-an-Avon and Shakespeare's Country. When you think of England, and the very best of England, you are probably thinking about this fascinating region. Here in this most English of English landscapes, the broad rolling sweep of the Cotswolds, the classic half-timbered villages of the Vale of Evesham and leafy Warwickshire, there is an unparalleled variety of attractions. The birthplace of the world's greatest dramatist, William Shakespeare; the finest mediaeval Castle and most-visited stately home at Warwick; England's most magnificent palace at Blenheim; and the world's most famous theatre in Stratford” THE CASTLE The Castle is part of the Tussauds Group, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Pearson plc, which also owns the Financial Times Group and Royal Doulton among other varied interests. The Tussauds Group runs entertainment centres that include: Madame Tussauds, the famous waxworks in Baker Street, London; the London Planetarium and Laserium; the Royalty and Empire Exhibition at Windsor; Alton Towers, the UK's only world-rated leisure park; and Chessington World of Adventures and Zoo. The Castle's General Manager, Martin Westwood, works in the stately home, from a majestic suite of offices overlooking the grounds. He is enthusiastic about the Castle both as a building steeped in history and as a business. In the relaxed atmosphere of his office, where he is surrounded by portraits and old paintings of the Castle, he refers to it as 'a brand leader' in stately homes for it is in the top five most visited historic sites that charge entry fees (see Table 1).
Table 1 Historic sites attracting more than 300,000 paid admissions 1 Tower of London 2 Roman Baths and Pump Room, Bath 3 State Apartments, Windsor 4 Stonehenge, Wiltshire 5 Warwick Castle 6 Shakespeare's Birthplace, Stratford 7 Leeds Castle, Kent 8 Hampton Court Palace, near London 9 Tower Bridge, London 10 Blenheim Palace, Wood stock, Oxford 11 Beaulieu, Hampshire 12 Cutty Sark, Greenwich, London 13 St George's Chapel, Windsor 14 Anne Hathaway's Cottage, Stratford 15 HMS Victory, Portsmouth 16 Mary Rose, Portsmouth 17 Royal Pavilion, Brighton 18 Chatsworth House, Derbyshire 19 Hever Castle, Kent 20 Fountains Abbey, North Yorks. Paid admissions (000s) 2298 950 855 703 685 604 540 525 528 517 493 411 372 365 340 333 314 306 303 300
As you pass through the ticket office from the large car park you catch your first view of the Castle. The view truly takes your breath away and fully warrants the description given by Sir Walter Scott in 1828: 'the most noble sight in England'. MARKETING Marketing Manager, Sarah Montgomery, is another enthusiast of the outstanding beauty of the Castle. Discussing the marketing of the business she considers that the Castle's unique selling point must be that carried on all the promotional material: 'Warwick Castle -...
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