Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Whitsun Fun at the Treasure Houses of England

Leeds Castle in Kent
From jousting tournaments and country fairs to teddy bear circuses and monstrous storytelling there’s a whole host of fun events taking place at Treasure Houses of England properties throughout the half-term holidays.

Leeds Castle in Kent will be hosting a Jousting Tournament (May 31st – June 5th). Medieval entertainment for the whole family in thrilling twice daily jousting tournaments featuring knights on horseback, medieval weapons and displays all set against the historic backdrop of the 900 year old castle.

The Teddy Bear’s Circus (May 28th) at Holkham Hall in Norfolk kicks off a season of outdoor theatre productions. The show features a marvelous medley of marionettes and starts with everyone searching for the Circus Director Bilbo who has hidden himself.  Then come the artists; fully professional Teddy Bears and stars from all over the world, including a bear on a flying trapeze and the strongest teddy bear in the world. The theme of teddy bears carries through the weekend with a large display of bears on display and a Teddy bear’s Hospital to make any poorly bears that visit, better.

Harewood House in West Yorkshire will be hosting this year’s Yorkshire Game Fair (May 29th-30th) which brings the excitement of the countryside alive for visitors of all ages through a variety of demonstrations, competitions and activities.  With events ranging from falconry and ferret displays to a paintball shooting range, cookery theatre and cognac, wine and beer tasting, there really is something to suit everyone.

Myths and Monsters (May 28th – 29th) at Castle Howard in North Yorkshire features magical tales from myths and legends followed by a monster trail through the grounds... but beware you never know who or what you may meet along the way!  All activities are included in the Castle Howard entry ticket.

Chatsworth House in Derbyshire is celebrating a Weekend of Wonders (May 28th-29th) with inspirational inventions and super science from the 6th Duke’s time to the present day.  Plenty of interactive activities to keep everyone entertained from making slime and dry ice at the Mad Science activity stations to having a go at taking your own finger prints with the Crime Investigation Team. Design, build and launch your own rocket, taste Space food, make a Meccano creation or see how bicycles have changed throughout the ages.

Hatfield Park Farm   See traditional  breeds of sheep, pigs, goats, cattle, ducks, geese and turkeys. Visitors can stroll amongst the  paddocks to see the animals grazing.  Free tractor rides around the farm. Feeding stations and touch paddock. Regular demonstrations throughout the year. Accompanied children admitted free of charge from 29th April – 30th June!

The Living Heritage Game and Country Fair (May 29th-30th) returns to Burghley House in Lincolnshire with a host of country attractions and entertainment.  The Falconry Village will include a flying arena, indoor training area, specialised trade stands, static displays, resident and guest falconers, plus more.  Equestrian demonstrations in the specialist arena and the main arena will host other horseback competitions such as scurry racing and mounted games.  Additionally Food Glorious Food will showcase some of the best local and regional produce.

Trucks and Troops (May 28th-30th) Beaulieu in Hampshire. Staged by the South Hampshire Area of the Military Vehicle Trust, this explosive show provides a great day out for all.  The features of the show include a display of hundreds of military vehicles, live action, a full programme of arena events, activities for younger visitors and militaria stalls.

The Art, Design and a Taste of Summer Show (May 28th-30th) at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire will host some of the UK’s finest contemporary artists and designers together with unique artisan food and drink producers.  Tutored wine tastings and the Kids Cooking Academy are great fun and the Rangemaster Cookery Theatre with inspiring chef demonstrations and tastings will tempt you with new culinary ideas. Jazz and steel bands and the stunning location set against the backdrop of Blenheim Palace, makes it the perfect Bank Holiday day out for all the family.

Woburn in Bedfordshire will be hosting a Help For Heroes Day (May 27th) with servicemen and women and their families admitted for the exclusive price of just £10 per car (car for up to 5 people/ID required). On May 28th-30th there will also be Children’s Art and Craft Activities taking place throughout both days and on May 29th the Abbey gardeners are running their free Propagation Masterclass throughout the day.

There is also the Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition (April 15th – July 31st) with a chance to see over 70 contemporary outdoor sculptures on display and tucked away throughout the Abbey Gardens and find all the answers for the children’s sculpture quiz.