I’d seen something last year advertising the Bosworth Medieval festival at the Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre in Leicestershire. Sadly it was on when we were away somewhere but I took note and made sure we went this year in 2017. So hopefully you will feel like I did and remember this great event for your 2018 diary. I booked for us to take the caravan to Bosworth Water Park and I was kindly given tickets for the event in exchange for this review of the Bosworth Medieval Festival.
My review of the Bosworth Medieval Festival
The first battle of the day was to start at 11am so we arrived an hour early which meant a great space in their car parking area. It was exciting to think that we were going to watch battle re-enactments on a field near to where Henry Tudor and his small army defeated the much larger Royal army of Richard III back in 1845. King Richard III died that day on the battlefield and Henry Tudor was crowned King Henry VII of England later that day.
Entrance area before the main field
You enter the festival via the main heritage centre. Here there is a large café and the toilet facilities that we used for the day. They also had a few activities set up for children. There was a story tent and a place for colouring and crafts.
In the field beyond they had a choice of food stalls. Jamie and I shared an on-site stone baked pizza for just £5.00. It was nice to see they weren’t overcharging. Later on in the day, we all had a hog roast to take away which again wasn’t priced too high. They had a few re-enactment tents in this area and a bouncy castle at £1 for 10 minutes for the kids.
The main field at Bosworth Medieval Festival
Once past these areas, you arrive at the main battlefield area. This is a huge field with a large beer tent at the top end (perfect for hiding from showers). There are stall sellers selling all kinds of medieval and modern wares. Jamie was allowed to choose a helmet and a sword which cost just £8 for the two. All the stall sellers were dressed authentically and all the tents were medieval which was a nice touch.
At the bottom of the field, we found many activities for children. They had a large area for medieval games and there was also a horse the kids could ride on for £1 and pretend they were a jousting knight. We did queue for this and had to give up. We gave up because we promised Jamie we’d go back later. Sadly later never came as the heavens opened and they had to shut it for the day. It looked so much fun, such a shame for him but understandable.
There was even the opportunity to have a go at archery for everyone aged 3+.
The programme for the day meant that there was always a few minutes between displays so there was time to do activities like these, or wander around the large medieval camp, have a refreshment break or visit the ladies. This was perfect for us and we appreciated the breaks not being too long nor too short.
The medieval re-enactment camp was vast, certainly the biggest I’ve ever seen. It was truly fascinating and Jamie was in his element wandering around. He wanted to spend time looking at what everyone was doing and have a good old nosy in their tents. I would have happily stayed the night in some of them, they looked so cosy with beds and accessories. There were people doing talks, others showing how medieval people used to make things, others where people were sat around chatting but looking totally authentic doing it. We were all very impressed. Here are a few photos to give you an idea of what you could see at the camp.
The re-enactment displays and battles
There was so much to see! As well as everything above they had a large itinerary of events.
In the main arena, they started the day with the Battle of Tewkesbury. We were able to stand right next to the action and it felt like we were part of the battle. Jamie was a little unsure of the loud noises and let me tell you there were a lot of loud guns and canons but he loved the experience, we all did.
There was a commentator telling us what was going on during the battle. Who was winning, what they were doing etc. This was very interesting although we did still get confused. We were next to flying arrows, smoke from the canons, re-enactors reloading their muskets, a lady drumming and war cries.
It was after this myself and my son needed a pit stop. We headed back to the Bosworth Heritage centre to use the facilities. We never got a chance to look around the centre while we were there but it looks to be a great day out. You can read more about visiting the Bosworth heritage centre here.
Mounted skill at Arms Display
This was a display by Destrier who we had seen jousting at Lincoln castle. The display consisted of various challenges such as slicing a cabbage on a pole. The women were to win no matter what. The commentator for this was very interesting and amusing.
Jamie cupped his ears for most of this display as it was incredibly loud and we were warned as such. There were many canons and muskets fired to show how they were used. They also had a display by some archers.
Jousting display by Destrier
The bad weather was setting in for the day by now. The wind was making it a struggle for them to put up the jousting fences and the rain was starting to come down fast. But they carried on and put on a fun jousting performance, done in the traditional way.
The main event – The Battle of Bosworth
After a minutes silence to remember all of those who died at Bosworth came the main event of the day. I have to say that we were all really impressed by how it was done. We couldn’t get as close to the action this time but the display needed to be watched from a distance as there were so many people taking part.
The opposing sides marched out onto the battlefield. We saw King Richard III come out and meet Henry’s side before the battle. Again the battle was accompanied by commentary. The battle was re-enacted really well. Near the end of the battle, we saw King Richard III circling Henry and some of his troops. They brought him down and killed him. They carried his body away draped over a horse just as he was taken away all those years ago. The battle was won and Henry was later made the king of England.
Here are a few photos of the battle of Bosworth.
We got wet, really wet but you know what we didn’t care. We didn’t want to go home early because we were having such a fascinating and entertaining day out. I can honestly say, hand on heart, that this was my favourite day out of the summer holidays.
You can watch our family day out Vlog here for the event:
The Bosworth medieval festival will also be taking place in 2018 – Saturday 18th August – Sunday 19th August, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm. Tickets are not yet available but I will update this page when they are. If you purchase your tickets in advance you can get them at a discounted price.
The centre also has other events throughout the year. Please follow this link for a look at what’s on.
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Disclosure: We were provided with tickets for this event in exchange for a review. All words, opinions and photos are my own. Please do not duplicate without my consent. We all genuinely had an amazing day out.