Summer is the perfect time for a day or weekend trip if you are keen to leave London for a bit. Scroll down to see what's on at these lovely castles during the summer holidays.
Explore Henry VIII's magnificent palace this summer with the family. Hide and play amongst mythical beasts in the Magic Garden. And don't miss the Tudor Kitchens. A special Henry VIII's Sporting Academy will run 3–11 August. Kids can try sword fighting, archery and take part in the Tudor Dance Off. Here Be Dragons arrives at the Palace this Saturday as well. Families can explore the gardens and see if they can uncover the colourful dragons lurking among the trees and plants. Each dragon has a special name and its own superpower to discover.
Gallant Knights Return for their annual jousting battles in the Summer Jousting Tournaments at Hever Castle. Battling it out in the saddle and on foot in one-to-one combat, the valiant knights will once again compete for points to find this season’s ultimate champion.
Knight and Princesses School will be open from 24 to 30 August. Children can experience what it was like to grow up and serve in a royal household in medieval times, and learn how to prepare and protect armour, discover the best way to arm and disarm their master before battle, find out the correct way to give a proper and perfect greeting. New for this summer, they will also learn how to slay a dragon.
Once Upon a Castle Go on an adventure with Flame the Dragon for one weekend only (27–28 July). Little ones will be able to meet Flame the Dragon and go on an adventure through the gardens to find a new shield to replace the one he has accidentally burnt. Then step into the Castle and help look for the princess’ cat and meet fairy tale creatures along the way.
Drama, music and a historical carnival – this summer is packed with great events for families at Leeds Castle. Celebrate the castle’s 900th anniversary with the Carnival of History! Travel through nine centuries of history across a special weekend (27–28 July), culminating in spectacular carnival processions through the grounds. Witness large-scale carnival costumes, re-enactors, music and dancers.
Children's theatre: Alice in Wonderland 23–24 Aug. 6–8pm. Imagination runs wild in this larger-than-life musical brimming with nonsensical fun and excitement. Follow Alice and the White Rabbit as they set off on a colourful, topsy-turvy adventure like no other.
Tower Escape to 31 Aug. Relive the story of prisoner John Gerard's dramatic escape from the Tower walls in this live family performance. Visit the Tower of London in the dark days of Elizabeth I and James I. Rub shoulders with prisoners John Gerard, secret Catholic priest, Arbella Stewart, resourceful royal rival to the monarchs and William Seymour, lovestruck young man or cunning plotter? Keep your eyes and ears open. What friends, equipment and opportunities will there be to help your quest for freedom?
The Falconer's Quest Over 70 birds of prey perform daring aerial acrobatics throughout the holidays at Warwick Castle.
Dragon Slayer A spectacular evening show with fire jousting, epic battles and fireworks. Families can experience a full evening of entertainment combining fearless fire jousting, stunt riding and epic battles with a light projection show finale complete with live actors, pyrotechnics, fireworks and more. Selected dates in Aug.