However, my personal opinion is that you shouldn't be using Warwick Castle's car park for parking unless you are visiting the attraction itself. The free parking is an additional perk in exchange for you visiting the attraction (which is the main reason you're buying your pass). The T+C's don't specifically state this, although I would imagine this is because this is something that's only become recently apparent at one specific Merlin attraction (Warwick Castle). However, as others have pointed out above, they do have a kind of universal get out close to cover inappropriate use if Merlin deem it as such.
I agree with Craig.
Whilst it is not, perhaps, the nicest of greetings your wife encountered with the Car Parking attendant, they do hold a very valid point. The car park at Warwick Castle is for patrons of Warwick Castle, not Warwick itself. If this were the case, it would be a simple 'Pay & Display' car park, like any other you find in a tourist spot. That would allow any member of the paying public, access, regardless of if you use the Castle or not.
However, Warwick do not operate a 'Pay & Display' car park - You use a Token / Ticket, like the majority of other Merlin attractions, & pay once you have made use of the facilities in the traditional sense ( a day out), rather than after a working day (outside of the Castle grounds).
The T&C's of the Warwick Castle Annual Pass may not explicitly state that 'You must use the Castle in order to park your car', however I think this would, to the vast majority of holders & general paying public, be a given? Even in supermarkets, you are asked to refrain from parking in their car parks, if you are not inside the Superstore at the time.
I have yet to visit WC,
I agree with Craig, as if lots of people clocked on to this, and hundreds of local workers started doing the same thing, there would eventually be a problem for WC as their car park would be filling up with non-guests and causing a problem for genuine Castle visitors.
A Warwick Castle Annual Pass is currently £48.60 for the year. If we were to go by your calculations;
a car park at £4 a day
Your wife would not be the only person in Warwick to make use of the Annual Pass, purely for the parking. The savings would be astronomic (see calculations below);
Average Term Time (in weeks) =
40School week =
5 days (You state she works 'Term Time' only..)40 X 5 = 200 days
200 days parking in the same Paying Car Park you mentioned she parked in '3 of the 5 days' this week, would equal £800 in parking charges;200 days X £4 (per day) = £800
That would leave the residents & commuters to Warwick a choice of either £800 (+- depending on weeks worked in a rolling year) in Car Parking fees, or an Annual Pass that covers all Car Parking for that year, for £48.60.
Which option do you think people would go for?
Thinking rationally about this. Can you imagine if everyone that works in Warwick were to do this, what the effect on Warwick Castle would be, for normal Visitors? It would be tragic. The spaces would be filled by 'Annual Pass Holders', that weren't actually visiting the attraction, which would in turn, no doubt, force actual visitors (& AP holders from outside the area) into the paying car parks you speak of. That, to me, is not how Warwick wish to operate & treat their genuine paying guests, & is why your wife was approached (possibly in the wrong way), this morning.
I am not condoning the use of threatening behavior or language, but they do have a very valid point. They do not want non-visitors (on the specific day you park there), to fill up their car park. It's for visitors only!