Alnwick Castle has lined up six weeks of family activities for the school summer holidays.
As well as all the daily popular activities – the broomstick training, film location tours, hands-on crafts, archery, magnificent stateroom tours and scary Dragon Quest – new themed weeks will be taking place in the holiday-time.
All activities will be included in the admission ticket, and those who pay to visit once, can return for free for a whole year afterwards.
Great War Week, from July 23: Many of Alnwick Estates employees fought in the First World War and you can see their names on a roll of honour and hear tales of the war. As well as the famous There But Not There life-sized seated silhouettes of soldiers in Alnwick Castle Chapel, visitors will also be able to see standing silhouette Tommies in the castle grounds. Heritage theatre group Time Will Tell will perform their powerful play Letters Home twice a day.
Fools’ Week, from July 29 to August 2: Popular mediaeval jesters Zooted and their naughty friend Devilstick Pete will be entertaining you throughout the day with their wacky mix of fire-eating, sword-juggling, comedy, trickery and circus skills.
Knight’s Week, from August 4 to 10: Interested in the knights of olde, their lives, armour, horses and fighting styles? You can enjoy sword fighting lessons, try on authentic, reproduction armour of the middle ages, watch the gruesome operations of the Barber Surgeon, find out how the horses were trained, learn about the weaponry used and see how a medieval army would fight on the battlefield.
Medieval Week, from August 11 to 19: Medieval mirth and mayhem with an entertaining cast of characters to show you what life was really like in the Middle Ages, from skilled artisans, craftspeople and expert falconers to artful jesters and a strange and spooky alchemist.
Story-telling Week, from August 20 to 24: Watch a variety of original, magical tales adapted specially for Alnwick Castle. Stories have been taken from historical folklore and will be acted out by Alnwick Castle Performers Guild in splendid costumes several times per day.
Wizarding Week, from August 28 – September 1: Costumed guests are especially welcome so put on your best robes, bring your wands and join the Wizard Professors for a week of enchantment, broomsticks and mystery.
Competition: The Northumberland Gazette has teamed up with Alnwick Castle to offer one lucky reader a family ticket (two adults and up to four children) to the castle. Grab a copy of this week’s Gazette (Thursday, July 12) for the entry form.
For details of themed activities on specific days, call 01665 511 100