Friday, 15 September 2017

England's Medival Festival - review

I would have never thought of going to a Medieval Festival as we're not really into battle re-enactments, etc.  Or so I thought!  We were invited along to review England's Medieval Festival and had an amazing time.  There's so much more going on than you might expect and it was perfect for a weekend with kids, the twins loved it and so did we!

There were literally dozen of things we could do with plenty of entertainment for little ones.  (I warn you now, I took photos of everything!)  We actually really enjoyed the twice daily parades and battle re-enactments at the castle with big bangs and arrows flying.

My favourite were the amazing horse shows by The Knights of Camelot - the jousting and fire show were awesome and the kids were clapping and cheering everything, waving at everyone in the parades and they were obsessed with the "Big Lady", they still go on about her now and asking to see this video over and over...

The venue was epic, Herstmonceux Castle is the perfect backdrop to this festival and with such huge grounds, there was plenty of space and so many areas to explore.  The courtyard and gardens are so pretty and ideal to find a spot to sit and relax for a while, there was even a spa area there this year so you could book a hot tub and sauna break.

It was great to see SO many people dressed up with both participants and guests making a real effort - from simple medieval style dresses to full on armour!

There was a comedy mud show, loads of things could have a go at yourself - axe-throwing, jousting, blacksmithing, making chain-mail, and basket weaving to name just a few.  You could cuddle ferrets and we found a nice shady spot in the Witches Circle for a story.  We were lucky with the weather as it was a glorious weekend but did get pretty hot sometimes.

There was a whole Kids' Kingdom with puppet shows, face painting, felt making, archery & mini trebuchet (the twins LOVED that!), a jester, shooting the cross bow, giant skittles... So many activities!

Lots of these activities did require an extra payment but there was plenty of free entertainment too including some exclusively for the campers like the outdoor cinema showing medieval themed films like Tangled.  And we all loved the fantastic music and dancing going on in the Buxom Wench bar tent too!  I loved the way they decorated it with beautiful fresh sunflowers and dahlias.

I loved the Perkelt drummer's accessory belt, complete with drumsticks and mead!

There was plenty of medieval themed shopping on offer to tempt you, from flower crowns to Game of Thrones style dragon eggs!  There was even an armoury!  We bought the twins their own wooden swords and Priya rocked her flower crown for all of 2 minutes, so I commandeered it!  I'm looking forward to getting dressed up for it next year, I definitely want to make some outfits for us!

The food on offer was amazing with plenty of choice and very good quality, the main meals on offer in the Buxom Wench were absolutely delicious!  We only bought one Hog Roast roll as there was no crackling which was disappointing (as far as I'm concerned there's no point without the crackling) but Kalyan wolfed it down.  We all really liked the cottage pie and olive & preserved lemon chicken - we had that twice!  I also had the BBQ brisket from Westlands BBQ twice, great quality and tasted amazing!  Soviet Kitchen was another favourite with their delicious grilled meats, we tried the ribs as well as Shashlik this time, mmmm.  We also enjoyed the bacon & maple syrup waffles and much healthier smoothies.  Oh and the Mead!  We'd never had it before but friends said we had to try it.  Well, after tasting a glass in the Buxom Wench, we ended up buying a bottle, finishing it and buying another!  Yum!

Priya was dancing right up until the end on Monday evening.

You can probably tell, we were really impressed with the whole event and would definitely return next year.  Family weekend camping tickets cost £250 for 4 nights' camping over the bank holiday weekend and includes entry to the festival.  Day tickets are also available.  We just stayed for 2 nights due to work but wish we could have stayed longer although we did manage to jam a lot into those 3 days as you can see!  The camping facilities were great with loos and drinking water nearby, a special family camping area and a nearby building with campers' access for proper showers and loos too.  They also do Glamping which I'd be tempted to try one day!

It was our first experience camping with toddlers and I have to say, they really enjoyed it and slept really well, even through the epic fireworks celebrating the 25 year anniversary of the festival!  I'm planning a separate post with our tips on camping with toddlers.

A massive thank you to England's Medieval Festival for inviting us along, we had an amazing weekend of fun and adventure!

You can see all of our videos on our new YouTube Channel and I'll be putting all the photos into a Facebook album soon.

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