A great medieval day out!

 If you are a regular reader of this blog, you may have noticed it’s been a bit quiet around here, well we have been having a great summer and I have lots of blog posts coming up soon! The kids haven’t gone back to school yet though and we have been having so much fun that I haven’t had time to write about it all! I’m going to kickstart getting back to blogging though with this post about our very lovely day out today.
Glorious weather alongside the beautiful backdrop of Herstmonceux castle and it’s grounds set the tone for the fantastic Englands Medieval Festival today which is in it’s 24th year! They very kindly invited us along to try it out and we absolutely loved it. Our kids love visiting castles especially on medieval re-enactment days and although we have been to a few of them, we have never been to one quite like this. This one was a bit like all the other ones rolled into one and then some! There was so much entertainment we were spoiled for choice!
When we arrived there was a grand parade shortly followed by a big battle involving swords, guns, archery and more! Throughout the day we saw show after show including knights jousting, a falconry display, a puppet show, a jester, a sword display, drumming, singing and some story telling. We also went for a meander around the castle grounds and around the tents filled with medieval wares and craft activities. We stayed until the end and as we left there were drummers bidding everyone goodbye. 
It’s so great to see people keeping the skills, arts and crafts of medieval times alive and I always love finding out how things were done before machines made everything. We didn’t get to see and do everything, but there’s always next year! We didn’t pay to get in, but in advance the tickets were £44 and on the door it would have worked out to be £58 for a family of 4. There were also options to go for the whole weekend either camping or staying in other types of accommodation. I think £44 is great value for money for a family day out as it is a full days worth of entertainment and back to back shows. It would be easy to spend more than that on a family of four just going out for a meal let alone going to see a show or to a theme park!
We saved money on the day by taking packed food, snacks and drinks as well as dress up stuff for the kids with us – in their case swords, shields and armour so that they wouldn’t want to buy it all when we got there. We found some of it in charity shops or car boot sales and some had been gifts from grandparents! We didn’t avoid spending money altogether – we bought a bit of food at the end of the day and my older son bought a wooden dagger, but it was significantly less than we could have spent!
Overall it was a fantastic day, we all had a great time and I can see another castle trip in our future! What have you been up to this summer and what tips do you have for great value days out?