Saturday, 13 July 2013

A Day Out At Kenilworth Castle

It was the hottest day of the year, and the blue sky and sunshine made it the perfect day for a family day out. We had decided to visit the beautiful Kenilworth Castle as they were having a special jousting festival and the children (and adults!) were all very excited.

Kenilworth Castle is situated in the pretty town of Kenilworth in Warwickshire - a county very close to my heart as that was where I went to university. It was good fun spotting familiar place names as we drove up and it brought back some very happy memories. Kenilworth Castle was the home of Queen Elizabeth I's alleged lover Robert Dudley and he built it in 1575 to impress her! 

Walking through the entrance point was like stepping back through time. Under a cloudless sky we could see tents dotted around the green with people dressed in traditional costume from the medieval times which really made history come alive for the children. We just managed to catch the end of the Jesters show which the children found very amusing and who did a very good job considering he must have been really hot in his costume!

The Pretty Knot Garden

The castle ruins were stunning and had a calm timeless feel to them. Walking up the spiral steps you could imagine the many people who had come before you and the children were busy bringing the castle to life by pretending that me and my husband were the King and Queen and they were our servants. This was a great game as it meant I got to have a sit down in the shade too. They really got into the spirit of the day and loved clambering over the stonework and looking out of the narrow windows over what was a fantastic view of the sumptuous gardens - which had originally been built for Elizabeth I and have now been restored to their former glory. 

Exploring History

After a walk around we sat under the shade of a tree and listened to musicians "Blast From The Past" who mesmerised the children with their traditional instruments and music. It was a great show and we got to go up and have a look at the instruments after the show. By now little stomachs were starting to rumble to so we headed over to the tea-rooms. They did look lovely but as it was a special occasion there was a hog roast which I can never seem to resist so we sat and ate our delicious rolls and the children played and made some friends in the ruins of the old chapel. 

The Tea Rooms and Chapel Ruins

By now it was nearly time for the main event of the day - the jousting. We headed down to the field behind the castle to watch and the children were getting very excited. There were 4 different knights and we had each chosen one to support and you could get flags to wave for your chosen team. The jousting itself was really impressive. We were lucky we got a good view and it was quite amazing to see knights in real suits of armour bounding down the field on their horses. 

By now our day out was coming to an end and we all headed wearily back to the car, although not before being persuaded by my daughter to by her and her brother a bow and arrow from the gift shop!

We were all really impressed with our day out at Kenilworth. It's fantastic that English Heritage are working so hard to restore and maintain our countries history - and days like this so valuable for the children because they change history from words on a page into real living and breathing people. I know my children's imaginations were really fired up by what they saw and I'm pretty sure that we will be playing "knights and jousting" for weeks to come!

*This is a sponsored post but all views are my own and we definitely had an amazing day out!


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