History Live at Kelmarsh Hall

Today we went to a really fantastic event. English Heritage held it’s yearly History Live extravaganza in the grounds of Kelmarsh Hall in Northamptonshire. I’m a big history fan and was impossibly excited about going (no one else matched this level of excitement. In fact Isaac didn’t want to leave the car when we got there…), the jousting and battle reenactments being top of my list!

But first things first. I have an English Heritage membership that has been real value for money. We have free entry to all the EH properties and tickets to this event cost me a lot less than the standard ones. I paid £34 for myself and 3 children (I have my nephew with me). We’re staying just north of Leicester waiting for the Kentucky to be returned so it only took about 50 minutes to reach the venue by car.

We did have some problems when we got there. Isaac was so engrossed in watching Jake and the never land pirates on the iPad he refused to leave the car. Much cajoling ensued. We finally made it to the entrance. Reuben saw the size of the place (it was HUGE) and panicked, he climbed up me and wanted to go home straight away. More cajoling ensued. He wasn’t convinced. Until he remembered Martin had given us a camera and he then made himself photographer of the day. Phew!

We were all wide eyed as we walked in. It looked like a big battle camp, but each small area was from a different historical time. We saw gladiators, Vikings, WW1 soldiers and a lot more, there was a jousting field at one end and an arena for battle reenactments at the other. There was also a family tent, refreshments and many lanes of stalls. We sat down for a picnic in front of the arena and realised we were in the Norman camp and were just about to witness the battle of Hastings! And witness it we did!! It was as exciting as I had hoped and no limbs and lives were lost.

Other things we saw were the joust, the history of falconry, the fire eaters, the WW2 hospital as well as walking round all the camps and stalls. We missed the final D-day reenactment with the parachuting but the boys were very tired, we were there a good 4 hours although I would’ve enjoyed a longer and more leisurely stay. It would’ve been best if I’d had the double buggy, the boys are happy to walk but this even required A LOT of walking around, to get the feel of the place and to explore all the different eras properly. But we’ll do it all over again next year.

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