Jousting at Arundel Castle #CountryKids

Being a bit of a history fan; I’ve grown up with a love of castles, whether they be in ruins or remarkably intact.  I just love them.  I’m slowly working my way around the castles of the British Isles – there are a lot!  Anyway, knowing that Monkey and I love Jousting, Tina from The Soup Dragon Says arranged a special treat for us whilst we were staying with her in Sussex last week.  We were off to see the Jousting at Arundel Castle.  I was over the moon as I’ve wanted to visit for years, Monkey was excited as he would be seeing more Knights.

Jousting at Arundel Castle

As we approached Arundel last Friday the castle and cathedral appeared before our eyes – wow!  Arundel Castle is stunning, a sprawling, magnificent building.  The sun was out, it was going to be a good day.

It’s worth noting that there is no on-site car parking.  There is a pay and display car park literally across the road and it cost us £5.00 to park all day.  You do need change, if you haven’t got any, the ticket office is quite happy to change a bank-note for you.  We parked up, crossed the road (there isn’t a pedestrian crossing, so worth taking care with young children) and entered the main gateway, excitement building.

Jousting at Arundel Castle

As we made our way to the lower lawns to see the Jousting at Arundel Castle the castle itself appeared, I could have taken a million photos of it – what a tale it has to tell.

Jousting at Arundel Castle

We decided that we’d explore the castle later in the day as we really wanted to see as much of the Jousting as possible.  What struck me, was the scale of the event.  The Jousting was on for the whole week, and there was a real medieval camp feel to the occasion.  It was far more impressive than events Monkey and I had been to before.  For Tina and her son, seeing Jousting for the first time, I could tell they were in for a treat.

There were tents dotted around with all sorts of crafts being displayed; from basket weaving to armoury.  Monkey at 4 and half wasn’t too interested in these, much to my dismay.  But older children were really enjoying watching what was happening and it added to the dramatic effect.

Jousting at Arundel Castle Jousting at Arundel Castle

Monkey just wanted to see the Jousting at Arundel Castle, so we picked a spot close to the activities, spread out our picnic blanket and waited for the fun to begin.

Jousting at Arundel Castle

Before long Lady Beatrice rode into the arena and explained what would be happening in the first of three Jousting events that day.

Jousting at Arundel Castle

She introduced us to the riders in each team and explained that they would be taking part in some warming up exercises before the main Joust.

Jousting at Arundel Castle Jousting at Arundel Castle

 

Jousting at Arundel Castle Jousting at Arundel Castle

We watched the Knights grab javelins as they sped past and speared the enemy, use swords to behead cabbages (Mummy, why are they slicing cabbages?  Uum ….), collect quoits on the end of lances and hit the quintain.  It was really interesting, and there was more action than we’d seen at previous events.  It was a pity that the quintain was the other side of the jousting arena so the spectators didn’t get the full effect.

Then it was on to the Jousting itself, the armoured Knights and Horses were superb. The Jousting was all being scored, specially treated lances were used which splintered on impact.  Although the King of Arms did explain the scoring system, we did get a bit lost with it all as the point of impact between the riders was so quick.  But it didn’t stop any of the enjoyment.  Monkey was in his element and I thoroughly enjoyed it too.

Our Knights were hungry and it was so hot by the Jousting event that we moved in search of a little shade to have our lunch.  There was a Weapons Demo going on in front of us, but lots of people were standing up to watch so we listened to steel against steel as we ate.

After lunch we had planned to go for a walk around the castle but as we walked up to the castle entrance we saw a sign with a dragon.  Mummy what’s that?

Jousting at Arundel CastleThere’s going to be some story telling Monkey – St George and the Dragon, and that was that.  Mummy I want to go there, ok, let’s do that, it’s in the shade too.

Jousting at Arundel CastleWe waited for the story to begin and we were in for a treat.  The Storyteller was excellent, great with the kids, funny and it was well worth stopping by.

Jousting at Arundel CastleChildren and parents from the audience were recruited to help tell the tale.  Monkey got a bit panicked that we would be asked but we managed to ‘avoid’ being picked!

Jousting at Arundel Castle

When the story finished we all agreed that an ice cream was needed, and we headed for the cafe inside the castle.  We had brought a picnic with us but the Castle houses a restaurant and a coffee-house.  After we’d enjoyed our treats we split up for a bit.  Tina’s son was eager to try his hand at Archery and we wanted to explore the Castle.

Jousting at Arundel Castle Jousting at Arundel Castle Jousting at Arundel Castle

No photography is allowed inside the castle itself, and with a 4 and half year old, it’s difficult to do more than a whistle stop tour.  Suffice to say that the interior of Arundel Castle lives up to the exterior.  The Main Hall is splendid, I’d love to go back and explore the rooms in more detail.

We walked over to the Castle Keep.  Monkey made it up the steps to the Keep itself but wasn’t keen on climbing the stairs to the top.  Fair enough, I need an excuse to come back!

Jousting at Arundel Castle Jousting at Arundel Castle

By the time  Monkey and I had walked around the castle rooms and come outside the weather had changed quite dramatically.  We’d left to probably the hottest day of the year and come back to grey skies and the rumble of thunder. Oh dear, our waterproof jackets were in the boot of the car!

Jousting at Arundel Castle Jousting at Arundel Castle

Jousting at Arundel Castle Jousting at Arundel Castle

DSCN7488 DSCN7489

We would have loved to explore the Castle Gardens but decided we’d better head back to the lower lawns for the last Joust of the day.  The heavens opened so we wrapped ourselves up in our picnic blanket to try and keep dry.  It didn’t really work but we weren’t going to miss out on the action.

The Jousting over, the weather getting worse by the minute, and a long journey ahead of us, we decided to say goodbye to Tina and her son and head home.  We’d had a wonderful day enjoying the Jousting at Arundel Castle and we will be back.  There was so much to see, I feel we only scratched at the surface.

There are various priced tickets available depending on what you actually want to see at Arundel Castle.  Family tickets are also available.

disclaimer:  we were given complimentary Gold Plus tickets so could access all public areas on this trip in exchange for an honest review

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

About Over 40 and a Mum to One

I'm a Mum in my late 40′s with an 8 year old son. I had a busy life in Export Sales before my Monkey came along, but decided to become a stay at home Mum once he arrived. Now I enjoy writing my own family lifestyle and travel blog. sharing the adventures that we have as Monkey makes his journey through school.We have a cat called Brewster who makes appearances and I’m a mad Ferrari Formula 1 fan, so that expect to hear about as each season unfolds.We love reviewing days out, toys, games and books and would love the opportunity to look at anything that fits in with our family lifestyle. We are always out and about and offering an insight on the places we visit, with a passion for nature thrown in for good measure.If you like what you read please leave me a comment, I love to hear from people, and always try to reply. Enjoy the read.

21 thoughts on “Jousting at Arundel Castle #CountryKids

  1. That looks like so much fun, and Arundel Castle looks gorgeous (just like you imagine a castle “should” look like!)
    #CountryKids

  2. A fantastic day out – with perfect weather too. How wonderful that they bring history alive so you can experience it first hand. The photos are great and show what a great day you all had, thanks for linking up and sharing with Country Kids.

  3. Castles are always great to visit, I think it’s partly to do with all of the action they’ve seen in their previous life. We’re going to watch the jousting at Blenheim tomorrow, don’t think it’s quite as big an event as the one at Arundel.

  4. OMG that sounds amazing. I feel like I have had a great time just looking at the photos alone. Wish I had been at the Jousting event. Can’t beat a good live story telling. It looks an impressive castle.

  5. Looks like a great event.

    It does annoy me that so many places now say no photography inside. Seems to be more the norm now.

  6. It was such a fab day out, and with so much more to see and do than I had expected, I have already made a note for next year. The horses were stunning, and even I think I could have roughed it in one of those tents for a night!

  7. Amazing amazing structure! The event adds to the realness of the place! i havent been to a castle yet and I really want to go and see one right about now. Looks like a fun event for kids too! seeing how it was then in real life =) #countrykids

  8. Pingback: Country Kids from Coombe Mill

I'd love to hear from you and try to reply to all comments