Newman’s Castle

Newman’s Castle anmeldelser, Bellville

Newman’s Castle
3.5
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3.5
74 anmeldelser
Ypperlig
37
Svært bra
9
Gjennomsnittlig
5
Dårlig
8
Forferdelig
15

Tamara H
16 bidrag
Newman's Bakery:
For a small town, this was much more crowded than expected. Luckily, it’s a big building and there was plenty of available seating, both inside and out. We signed in for our tour and then got some breakfast. My husband got an apple fritter, which he said tasted great, but was a little on the sweet side for him. I got what I thought was a sausage roll, but turned out to be “pigs-in-a-blanket” (a mini hot dog in a roll). The flavor was fine, but wasn’t what I actually wanted.
Note: Every time you look up anything related to Newman’s castle, it takes you to the bakery website, so when I plugged in “Newman’s Castle” into Google maps, I expected it to be the location of the bakery. It wasn’t. We drove to the castle entry driveway before realizing our mistake and had to drive the 7ish minutes to the bakery instead. Luckily, we had plenty of time, so it wasn’t a big deal.
Newman’s Castle:
You’re told at check in that the castle gates open at 10:30 am (that’s also what it says on the slip of paper with driving directions to the castle), so I assumed that’s when we were supposed to be there. We arrived at 10:27, parked, and walked to a covered area with benches where several people were already there. It was a very hot day, but they had coolers with ice water, and we were able to sit in the shade, so it wasn’t too bad.
10:30 is not the starting time. That is understandable, as you want everyone to have a chance to arrive, but 11:00 am came and went and we were all still waiting. It wasn’t until 11:15 that the presentation started. This was my one and only complaint with the entire tour. Someone should have come out periodically to let us know what was going on. Several people started wondering if we were in the right place, if there was some kind of delay, when was it supposed to start, etc. Just an occasional announcement from one of the helpers to let us know things were on track would have been appreciated.
11:15 “Lord Newman” came out to greet us. His presentation lasted about 20 minutes, as he talked about how he built the castle by himself with a helper over the past 20 years, with the first 8 years being the most productive; he hadn’t planned on it being a tourist destination, but opened it up for tours about 10 years ago. He focused his presentation to the children in the audience (all of whom had wooden “swords”); he “knighted” them and assigned them with the protection of the castle, to look for hidden dragons, and to rescue fair maidens (one note for him: He may want to start using “sir” for all the kids, as he misgendered one of the boys as a girl, calling him a “dame” and had him stand with the girls; the boy stood there quietly with tears running down his cheeks for the rest of the presentation). Overall, an interesting presentation about a fascinating castle building experience.
After the main presentation, he had us follow him a few yards away to view the trebuchet, where he talked for a few more minutes (again, mostly to the children, telling them how invaders would use these weapons to invade castles). Then we had a demonstration of how the trebuchet works. That was pretty cool, as I’ve only ever seen them in movies.
He then let us have completely free reign in his home. There was one locked door, but the rest of the castle was open for exploration (including his bedroom…I don’t usually let guests in my bedroom, so I was impressed he was okay with strangers roaming around everywhere). We were allowed to go to the top of the bell tower, we could ring the bells if we wanted to, we could explore the dungeon and the chapel, etc. A few people even tried running the hamster wheel that lowers the front gate. Very impressive. There were small toy dragons located throughout the castle for the kids to find; I think they got a prize if they told Lord Newman that they had found a certain number of them.
My husband has an architecture background, so was fascinated with the building itself and all of the details. I appreciated the thick doors and the locking mechanism. I think Mr. Newman said he even made most of the furniture himself. We were very impressed with the entire castle.
One of the helpers was letting people feel what it was like in the stocks and to be locked up in the crows nest cage. That helper seemed to really enjoy his role and was having a blast.
Whenever you were ready, you went to the air conditioned kitchen for lunch. We were all given a paper sack with a sandwich made on bakery bread and a bag of chips. There was water and iced tea to drink. And a huge spread of bakery goods: cakes, cookies, donuts, etc. The amount of food available, plus the delicious sandwich, was probably worth the $20 admission alone. Both my husband and I were impressed that Mr. Newman was opening his home to tourists without it being something he made much money on. He said it was meant to help draw business to his bakery, which, given the crowds in the morning, it obviously does, but still. He could raise his admission rates another $5 or $10 and it would still be well worth the visit.
Skrevet 8. august 2022
Denne anmeldelsen er den subjektive meningen til et Tripadvisor-medlem og kommer ikke fra Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor sjekker anmeldelser.

melwashere81
Cleveland, TX989 bidrag
Par
This was my first visit to a castle and I must say it was a neat experience. It's a great place for photos and touring the inside was fun except for how crowded it was. You can climb to the tops of the towers if you want but there were so many people that we felt a bit claustrophobic. You do get a lunch with your tour. It's a sandwich, cookies, and donuts. The donuts are delicious!! To get to the castle they have you meet at the Bakery in town to pay and get a wrist band then you have to drive out to the castle. The only downside is the owner of the castle seems a bit rude and talks in a very monotone voice. He didn't really mingle and have conversations with people so I'm guessing maybe he's just not a people person. Overall we had a good time but maybe shorten the intro a bit cause spending 45 minutes in the hot sun was ridiculous. Price of admission is $20
Skrevet 4. juli 2022
Denne anmeldelsen er den subjektive meningen til et Tripadvisor-medlem og kommer ikke fra Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor sjekker anmeldelser.

Kelly P
Cypress, TX32 bidrag
Venner
My husband and I were terribly disappointed. Not sure why we had to check in at bakery "no later" than 10:30a when King Newman didn't start until 11:30a. The gathering pavilion area at the castle was not clean. There were discarded cheese wrappers, empty chip bags, empty cracker packages and other trash strewn about. The stinky pile of garbage bags, 20 or so, is right next to the pavilion. While we were waiting, for an hour, there was an employee cleaning and gathering yet more garbage from the castle. Since the castle closes early afternoon, I'm not sure why this wasn't completed prior to 10:30a!
There was a movie production taking place in the afternoons/evenings. Their equipment was all over the castle and grounds. While he instructed people not to touch as it is very expensive, I believe it would have been best for the castle to be closed to tours until production was complete. I also understand this is his private residence. I contend if you are going to open your home for tours, clean it up or close off the private areas.
When King Newman finally made his appearance, he was boring. Didn't welcome the crowd. Didn't apologize for the delay. In a very stale monotone voice, he knighted the young boys and gave a brief overview of the area/castle. Then spent the rest of his time on his phone sitting in the corner of the doorway. Barely looked up to answer my question.
The castle and grounds DO NOT look like the pictures on the website.
This was a huge waste of time and money.
Skrevet 16. juni 2022
Denne anmeldelsen er den subjektive meningen til et Tripadvisor-medlem og kommer ikke fra Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor sjekker anmeldelser.

Lucy R
New Braunfels, TX1 bidrag
Familie
The owner kept telling us it was his property, his castle, his rules. Talked too much, it’s hot out here! The kids were hot, bored & crying. I highly recommend that you do NOT bring babies out here. Not what I expected. Do not waste your time & money.
Skrevet 7. juni 2022
Denne anmeldelsen er den subjektive meningen til et Tripadvisor-medlem og kommer ikke fra Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor sjekker anmeldelser.

OrphanAnn3
Spring, TX12 bidrag
Venner
The king is very believable and really draws the kids into the fantasy. Great for their imagination. Well done!! And a great replica of a castle
Skrevet 1. mai 2022
Denne anmeldelsen er den subjektive meningen til et Tripadvisor-medlem og kommer ikke fra Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor sjekker anmeldelser.

J R H
1 bidrag
Par
Not worth it! Poor customer service, bland stale food, cluttered inside, eccentric old man (owner) is clueless about customer service. Read all other 1 star reviews and I agree with all of them. Took our 86 yr and 88 yr parents and they had to stand during his 45 min boring talk because the student field trips sat on all the benches. My dad finally walked to car to sit down- would be nice to designate a bench for elderly. Also, contain the wooden swords until it starts. While waiting, my 88 yr dad was hit from behind and we had to doge a couple of swords by kids having sword fights. I realize kids will be kids but the safety here is lacking.
Skrevet 22. april 2022
Denne anmeldelsen er den subjektive meningen til et Tripadvisor-medlem og kommer ikke fra Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor sjekker anmeldelser.

jakzat49
Deer Park, TX15 bidrag

Where to start? When I called to reserve two spots, I quoted $10.00 with lunch. Upon arrival I was charged $20.00 each. When I questioned this, the attendant said $10.00 was the child price.
Arrived at "castle" to listen to a 20+ minute (boring) speech. The castle is nothing but cinder blocks and inside there was nothing special about it. We walked in, took one look and left.
And the lunch was a sandwich ( stale bread ) with chips
Skrevet 16. mars 2022
Denne anmeldelsen er den subjektive meningen til et Tripadvisor-medlem og kommer ikke fra Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor sjekker anmeldelser.

Georgia P
Ellsworth, KS35 bidrag
Venner
Very interesting! The children were so involved and it was great to see them enjoy the adventure! Thanks Mike! You do a great job and thanks also for sharing your home with us!
Skrevet 19. februar 2022
Denne anmeldelsen er den subjektive meningen til et Tripadvisor-medlem og kommer ikke fra Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor sjekker anmeldelser.

Houston_Eriol
Houston361 bidrag
The Castle tour might be a fun tourist trap for kids but... I love castles and anything about them so this was going to be an interesting little adventure. On the phone they tell you the tour and lunch takes about 2 hours. First, they tell you to get to the bakery at 10:30 but it turns out that's mainly to try and get you to buy Bakery stuff or have breakfast (which might be good if you are inclined – thought they also have many of the same snacks at the end). Once you check in you find out you actually have to drive to the castle and the tour starts at 10:45. Got to the castle where an employee said the tour will begin at 11. There was about 150 of us (and unfortunately it was cold and windy). The “knight” was saying he was not sure if they would break into group or what which surprised me for something they have done 6 times a week for 15 years. At 11:05 the owner finally came out dressed as a king.

He started by holding a ceremony to “knight” some of the kids. To do this he pulls the kids off to the side and then talks to them about it while the rest of the audience, sat looking at his back and couldn't hear anything. So, people were talking and the owner would periodically turn around and yell at them for interrupting. Kids laughed occasionally so they may have been enjoying it. Finally, he turns around and starts talking to the crowd. He begins, reasonably, with the rules. But after about 10 minutes or so of rambling (“you can buy my honey in the gift shop”) and not saying much about the house it was now about 11:30 and people were cold. I think some broke off to go to the bathroom, some for the fire and some just gave up and went into the castle. At that point the masses started following the rogue people. You can tell he seemed flustered but didn’t say anything. So at this point most people were just walking randomly around the castle.

The king himself continued onto to demonstrate the catapult trying to tell a story of invading soldiers but it just dragged on in the cold and wind. Finally, we went into the castle. Takes about 15 minutes to see everything. It is kind of neat but really just a house built in the style with a walled in court yard. You can climb up to some parapets and the bell tower if you want (you can even ring the massive bells). But it is also weird walking through his bedroom which is very messy. Maybe things are normally more orderly but it was confusing what was going on inside and how to get your sandwich. Eventually got ours. They also have a nice selection of cookies, donuts and other things from the bakery (glad we didn’t buy any there!). The sandwich was good.

So in the end, we spent about 15 minutes exploring. I think kids were having more fun. For $20 per person for adults it is pricey for what you get, even if the sandwich is decent. Maybe on a better day when he was more engaging it might be fun for some.
Skrevet 14. februar 2022
Denne anmeldelsen er den subjektive meningen til et Tripadvisor-medlem og kommer ikke fra Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor sjekker anmeldelser.

Mutant Miscreant
Houston, TX324 bidrag
Venner
The castle and its backstory are both fascinating. I was very glad I took my family to see this.

Don’t misunderstand me, this is NOT Neuschwanstein Castle and the sandwiches you will be served won’t be mentioned in Fodor’s list of top international dining experiences. But as the work of a local, kindly, small town baker, it is most definitely worth experiencing.

As entertaining as it was seeing and touring the castle and grounds, the real magic was watching and listening to gruff, old Mr. Newman (builder, owner and occupant), hamming it up and interacting with the children who just eat this stuff up.

Don’t let the handful of negative reviews put you off. Come see for yourself.

If you have children or grandchildren between the ages of 5 - 16, definitely bring them with you. The memories will last them a lifetime.
Skrevet 4. desember 2021
Denne anmeldelsen er den subjektive meningen til et Tripadvisor-medlem og kommer ikke fra Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor sjekker anmeldelser.

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