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Reign like King Arthur (or be one of his knights)

Wednesday 08 Feb, 2017


King Arthur: Legend of the Sword hits cinemas in May. Directed by Guy Ritchie and starring Pacific Rim’s Charlie Hunnam, the film was shot in Britain. Budding kings and warrior queens of all ages are being invited to reign like Arthur himself, or live like one of his knights. Polish your chain mail and hone your jousting technique at one of the following…

Go back to the start at King Arthur’s Labyrinth, Wales
Deep beneath the mountains of southern Snowdonia in mid-Wales, around two hour’s drive from Birmingham, lies King Arthur’s Labyrinth, a subterranean storytelling adventure that brings dragons, giants and Arthurian legend to life. The journey begins on a boat steered by a mysterious hooded figure, who transports you through a magical waterfall to the deep Dark Ages. This part of Wales was said to be the real King Arthur’s stomping ground; the story goes that his famous sword, Excalibur, lies buried at the bottom of the nearby lake Llyn Llydaw.

Choose your suit of armour at the Tower of London
Seek inspiration for your next suit of armour at the
Tower of London’s Line of Kings exhibition, which is the world’s longest-running visitor attraction. The display of royal armour, life-sized wooden horses and figures of kings first went on show in the 1600s, when it was used to promote the monarch’s right to rule. Some of the horses are more than 300 years old, but it’s the suits of armour that will appeal to your inner knight: gleaming and displayed in battle-ready positions, it’s easy to imagine the clash of swords and pounding of hooves.

Feel the heat of battle in Stirling, Scotland
Immerse yourself in fierce combat at
The Battle of Bannockburn Experience, which brings to life one of Scotland’s most famous victories on the very location it took place, using 3D technology. You’ll be transported back to 23 June 1314, when Robert the Bruce and Edward II’s troops had a ferocious face-off that changed the path of Scotland’s history forever. Take part in a virtual battle alongside armour-clad combatants, then watch a demonstration of how the Scots won the day. Stirling is in southern Scotland, an hour by car from Edinburgh.

Feast like a king in Northern Ireland Winterfell Medieval Banquets, Castle Ward, County Down, Northern Ireland
Legend-lovers in medieval Britain tried to locate Camelot and Avalon, the places associated with King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table; today, fantasy fans can also seek out Westeros and Essos from Game of Thrones. Key scenes from the TV series were filmed at Castle Ward in Northern Ireland, around an hour’s drive from Belfast. Held on the castle’s grounds,
Winterfell Medieval Banquets conjure up Arthurian legend just as vividly as the opening scenes of Game of Thrones: change into an authentic costume before sitting down at candle-lit tables draped with reindeer skins to enjoy a hearty hog roast accompanied by local traditional music.

Sleep in a Knight’s Village at Warwick Castle
Warwick Castle in central England has everything a would-be warrior could want: there is, of course, the impressive castle itself, plus the Mighty Trebuchet (the world’s largest siege-machine), a winding maze and dark dungeons. Families can enjoy it over two days on a Little Warrior Weekend, which includes entry to the castle, sword skills, archery lessons and a stay in the Knight’s Village, located on the estate. Choose from Medieval Glamping or a Knight’s Lodge, with breakfast served in the Medieval Banqueting Hall in the morning. Warwick station is less than two hours away from London by train.

Hear the thunder of hooves at Cardiff Castle, Cardiff, Wales
Cardiff Castle has been splendidly restored, with lavish interiors and beautiful grounds that, once a year, host Joust! – a weekend of pomp and pageantry that brings to life the time when knights were the celebrities of the day and jousting was the spectator sport of choice. Every summer, the Knights of Royal England thunder into the grounds of the castle on horses, ready to battle it out with lances to the cheers of the crowds. There’s a dragon procession, storytelling workshops and thrilling combat displays.

Explore a real knight’s castle in Sussex, south-east England
Guaranteed to please anyone in search of a quintessential, fairy-tale castle, Bodiam has spiral staircases, battlements, a portcullis, an armour collection and windows from which arrows were once shot. The castle was built by a knight, Sir Edward Dalyngrigge, in 1385; Sir Edward’s era is brought to life by costumed characters, including ‘William the forester’, who’s rather handy with a bow and arrow, so watch out! Make a day of it and travel to the castle on a steam train operated by the Kent and East Sussex Railway – services run between April and October.


For more information contact:

  • VisitBritain Media Team

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