Discovering History – Something for the Weekend!

I’m not actually with my children this weekend. I find I now have a taste for the odd weekend away and that is just what I am doing, breathing deeply before the maelstrom of the Summer Holidays! So this week’s Something for the Weekend is a revamp of an old post from way back when I started blogging last year. It is one of my favourite posts and I hope you like it too. Do link your family fun ideas posts on the linky at the bottom and have a lovely weekend!

I was pottering about on Twitter the other day when I overheard someone say they had never taken their children to a castle! I was, quite frankly, astonished. I think, as a family, we have probably spent more time at castles and historic houses on days out than we have anywhere else!

We have been pirates, knights and princesses with attitude,

We have been Henry VIII, Robin Hood, Peter Pan, Harry Potter and Ginny Weasley. We have fought bravely and died like heroes, we have spared dragons and slain Voldermort but most of all we have had fun, it has been easy and everybody has found something to do.

We have sat on lots of cannons

and have pretended to fire a few

We’ve been in the stocks once or twice

And we’ve made lots of daisy chains

At Corfe Castle in Dorset, which is owned by The National Trust and which appears in the opening scenes of the film Bedknobs and Broomsticks, we held up the walls and fought off the marauding armies of the English Civil War

We have climbed thousands of steep stone steps and rescued maidens and forgotten princes from their isolated towers

At Carrisbrooke Castle on the Isle-of-Wight, which is owned by English Heritage, we imagined what life would’ve been like looking through these windows

and we stepped through this door into a world of adventure

We have held mighty battles

and eaten magnificent feasts. There is usually space to have a good run and sometimes enough space to make dens or even to design weaponry of your own!

Castles are fabulous places for imaginary play. English Heritage are particularly good at encouraging visitors to take part in the whole experience and usually have costumes which children and adults can try on to really get in the mood!

Both English Heritage and The National Trust hold historical re-enactment days and family friendly activities which are tremendous fun and you can find the dates for this year at a property near you on their websites.

We are lucky in the UK to have so many fabulous castles and houses from history to explore and enjoy. Not all of them charge an entrance fee, the Thinly Spreads have Nunney Castle in Somerset on the doorstep which is free to enter and has ducks to feed in the moat outside. There are ruins and buildings scattered countrywide just begging to have families enjoying them.

Castles have inspired a love of history and adventure in all my children and have given them a fantastic outlet for their very vivid imaginations. If you haven’t taken your kids to a castle I would thoroughly recommend that you do so at once!

Do you have a favourite castle you could share with us? We’re always on the look out for new ones!

What have you got planned for the weekend? I’d love to see what you’re up to! Have you got a post to share to give us all some ideas? Something to do, something to make. something to read, somewhere to go – all are welcome! Old posts or new can be added to the link, we are building up quite a resource bank now! Please link back here, thank you, and grab the badge if you’d like.


Filed under Days Out, Family Fun, Holiday Fun, Something for the Weekend, Things To Do Which Don't Involve A Screen

11 responses to “Discovering History – Something for the Weekend!

  1. GORGEOUS post and photos! I’m deeply envious, as I LOVE castles and historic homes. One of the things I miss most about living in NZ is not being able to indulge in my love of historic landscapes and buildings.

    I can’t wait to one day take my children on a trip to the UK where they can learn about their own family history and get a ‘fix’.

    We still play the games you describe – but there’s nothing quite as inspiring as treading on stones and ground that has felt the touch of others hundreds and thousands of years before.

  2. There ain’t nothing like a castle to create a sense of wonder! We’re lucky to have the great Norman castle nearby in Skipton and, a bit further afield, Scarborough castle atop the headland there. Brill stuff.

    Fantastic post and photos, Chris.

  3. Amazing pictures and so much fun. Great post x

  4. This is one of our favourite things to do as a family too – something we all actually genuinely enjoy as a family!

  5. I like Tintagel Castle in Cornwall, windswept and wild, by the sea, and steeped in Arthurian legend! There are some cool castles in Wales too, with turrets – like the kind princesses get locked in. My daughters’ bedroom is painted with roses and castles, as is traditional on narrowboats.

  6. I think castles is a major feature in my childhood memories – it’s part of growing up in Britain. Here is israel we have ancient fortresses – it doesn’t have the same romance somehow.

  7. Not many castles round here, in fact I am off to investigate where castles are in the Netherlands, maybe my next post!

  8. We adore castles and are lucky to have lots of english herritage sites near us. Have a fab weekend off

  9. Looks like a fabulous day out! And isn’t it great bringing history to life like that? Briiliant!


  10. mum

    I remember that day at the Stafford Castle so well the stocks etc , we had a lovely day.

  11. The kids seems had a wonderful weekend and i am so jealous! Your girl is do beautiful and looks like a princess.

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