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Beeston Castle to stage Knights' Tournament over the weekend

Swords will be wielded, archery skills tested and helmets battered on July 30-31

The thrilling Knights Tournament takes place at Beeston Castle

Visitors to English Heritage’s Beeston Castle this weekend will be catapulted into two days of medieval merriment with the thrilling Knights’ Tournament.

Swords will be wielded, archery skills tested and helmets battered as these skilled men are put to the test in each nail-biting round.

This national English Heritage event sees a troupe of magnificent medieval knights competing for victory at some of the realm’s most impressive castles.

Hailing from the four corners of the country and ably assisted by their trusty attendants, the knights will come together to battle it out at Beeston Castle in dashing displays of bravery.

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The four armoured knights will be decked in the colours of their region – Blue for the North, Red for the South, Yellow for the East, and Green for the West.

Joined by their sergeants they will compete in three gruelling rounds, including hand-to-hand combat and archery competitions.

This exciting event will transport visitors back to the 13th century, offering a mix of pageantry, excitement and action, while providing them with a real taste of the fearsome battles that took place at Beeston Castle in days gone by.

The full tournament experience will be brought to life with a living history encampment in the castle grounds where the knights’ supporters will welcome visitors to see what life would have been like on the move for medieval soldiers and their families as they travelled from place to place to fight for king and country.

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As well as experiencing the thrills and spills of the tournament, make merry with a feast of medieval entertainment and treats. Enjoy the ‘sport of kings’ with historic falconry displays, discover the weapons and armour of the 13th century, try on a medieval helmet and see if you would have been strong enough to hold a sword in combat.

Budding young knights will be spoilt for choice with hands-on activities running both days. Take up a bow and arrow with have-a-go archery for all ages and test your skills in children’s melees and junior jousting.

“This is a real challenge of skill, courage and style,” explained English Heritage events manager Jenny Davie. “It’s not choreographed, but an authentic battle and is as close to the tournaments of medieval England as we can make it.

“Our four knights are highly trained and take the competition really seriously. They don’t pull their punches and really rely on their armour and wits to protect them from the blows of their opponent – and literally, anyone could win.”

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The Knights’ Tournament at Beeston Castle takes place from 11am–5pm on Saturday, July 30 and Sunday, July 31. Entry to the event and Castle are included in the ticket price of £21.30 for a family, £8.20 for adults, and £4.90 for children. Reduced prices apply for English Heritage members.

Call 0370 333 1183 for details.

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