All Hail! Tis’ Festival Season.

England’s Medieval Festival Review.

In search of something different to do this bank holiday weekend, I travelled East with thy wife and offspring to England’s Medieval Festival at Herstmonceux Castle.

We were met at the gates by a fair maiden who, after exchanging pleasantries and good moro’s set about ensuring that we were on thy guest list since I was penning this scribe for Don’t Believe Thy Hype; here’s how we got on….

No Smoke Without Fire.

It sounds cliche, but as soon as you walk into the grounds of England’s Medieval Festival, it is like stepping back in time.

The air is tinged with the smell of wood burning on open fires; there are guests and staff wondering about in traditional Medieval dress and the traditional style campsite makes it all feel very authentic.

We were immediately wowed by the views of the castle and moat to the right of us on the way in; the setting of the castle is truly breathtaking and I imagine would look even better at night.

Herstmonceux Castle

This is what perhaps helps to draw people in who travel from all over to attend, and camp at the festival year in, year out.

This year was the 25th anniversary of the festival, and it saw 15,000 people attend throughout the weekend.

 Joust What We Needed.

Before we got into any hardcore jousting action, we needed a quick lunch stop so sat with a packed lunch in the grounds of the castle in front of the Medieval camp site.

The event is most definitely family friendly; there were loads of families with young children wondering. And, with the grounds being so vast, the kids could safely run riot, while the parents enjoyed a tipple of mead in the sunshine.

The activities on offer were plentiful with a timetable of shows and demonstrations such as the hilarious Theatre in The Mud, the Robin Hood Forest Adventure and of course, a traditional jousting display from The Knights of Camelot group.

In awe of it all.

Everything inside the festival seemed pretty easy on the pocket too, you could try archery for just £3, and the food and drink prices did not break the bank, as they often can at Festivals.

Food Fit For a King.

The food selection was also on top form; everything from Gourmet sausages to a seafood shack selling Paella, Barbecue Garlic King Prawns and crispy Whitebait was on offer.

We decided to keep it strictly traditional and opted for some curry coated twisted chips!

I did wonder why there wasn’t any traditional Medieval food on offer but when you consider that the average meal back then consisted of Cabbage, Beans, Eggs or Brown Bread you can see why.

We wandered through the food and drink area and decided to check out some of the entertainment.

We came across the Theatre in The Mud which was great. This involved two people wrestling in a gigantic pool of thick mud while the crowds cheered on in true Medieval fashion.

The Theatre in the Mud.

There was a guy standing in the middle who acted as a sort of referee/M.C, ensuring that the crowds were roaring enthusiastically as the mud battle went on.

This, along with the way that Knights in full body armour were casually walking around the festival is enough to capture the imagination of any small child.

We managed to see a jousting battle which to be honest was maybe a bit much for some of the younger tots as the knights on horseback really were going for each other! It was a fantastic bit of drama to watch though, and I take my hat off to the men who were on those horses; sweating it out in the midday sun for the crowd’s entertainment.

Run For Cover.

We took a leisurely stroll back towards the food and drink area to grab a smoothie, and our little girl’s attention was grabbed by the sound of cannon fire overhead!

We followed the sounds of the cannons towards the castle and right there in front of us a full-on Medieval battle was taking place!

The drama of the battle, which was so well choreographed was amazing to watch and LT along with the other children who were watching were captivated by it.

Come Hither For Thy Conclusion.

So for someone who’s awareness of history doesn’t venture much further than my love of old school Hip Hop I was pleasantly surprised at how enjoyable England’s Medieval Festival was.

The setting and the atmosphere make it a top family day out regardless of whether you fancy yourself as a buxom wench or a brave knight or not.

Our little girl is just 16 months old, and I do think that bringing her back when she is older would be even better.

If your little girl or boy has an imagination that has been captured by a book or film involving castles, knights, swords or dragons then this is the place for you as they would absolutely love it.

Now enough from me, I must rest my quill and fetch some more mead; Huzzar!

Written by

I am a new parent and I write a joint blog with my wife at www.mytaylormadeblogs.com. I am a DJ and Co-Founder of Get it Together, a collective of Hip Hop artists. We promote artists and events that celebrate Hip Hop culture. I am loving channeling my creative side through writing blogs.

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