If the family are looking for an adventure this bank holiday weekend, Bolsover Castle has ‘joust’ the thing.
The Derbyshire castle is holding Grand Medieval Jousts on Sunday and Monday when visitors can witness all the the pomp and pageantry of knights in battle.
Wearing the colours of their region – North, South, East and West – the troupe of four courageous knights in full armour, authentically recreated and personally fitted, will do battle daily in the main arena.
Jousting on horseback with only a 5mm wide slit in their helmets to see through and armed with a lance that’s 3.3m long, the knights will charge towards each other at combined closing speeds of 25mph to fight to prove their superior power and chivalrous skills.
Medieval merrymakers will have the chance to meet the knights before choosing their champion and discover the secrets of their armour and weaponry as they are dressed in preparation for combat by their squires.
The horses, four stallions including the stunning rare black Murgese from Italy, have been bred and trained for their incredible agility, stamina and power. They will nobly and courageously carry their knight to the end, come victory or despair.
Budding lords and ladies of every age can experience the sights, smells and entertainments of an authentic medieval celebration.
A medley of music and dance will really bring the historical high jinx to life and English Heritage’s jester extraordinaire Peterkin will be playing the fool as he delights with outrageous japes.
For the courageous young knights of the family, there will be the opportunity to take part in their very own Knight School with junior hobby horse jousting, battles and even kid-sized armour to try on.
A little further afield, the National Forest Wood Fair on Bank Holiday Monday depicts the life and work of the forest in a lighthearted way.
Visitors can choose to be a lumberjack shouting ‘Timber!”, a greenwood chairmaker, a tree planter or even a wise old owl.
Everyone who has a photograph taken with their face poking through a forest scene peep-through board and posts it to The National Forest’s social media sites will be entered for a prize draw to win the chance to plant a tree in The National Forest.
The National Forest Wood Fair is packed with over 100 demonstrations, craft and activity stands.
Children’s activities include a climbing wall, stories and songs from the Wild Man of the Woods, the chance to paddle a coracle, hitch a ride in the tree lift or try out eco art. The event takes place at Beacon Hill Country Park in Leicestershire, which is five minutes from junctions 22/23 of the M1 motorway.
For further information see www.nationalforestwoodfair.co.uk or call the National Forest Company on 01283 551211.