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8 ways to spend the late May Bank Holiday — medieval style

Wales’s castles will come alive with the sights, smells and sounds of historic Wales this late May bank holiday weekend (25 — 27 May) as Cadw presents a fun-filled programme of family-friendly events.

[aoa id=”1″]From astonishing battle re-enactments to fascinating falconry displays and even the chance to meet a friendly prehistoric dinosaur, here are eight of the best ways to enjoy the long weekend at one of Cadw’s medieval monuments.[/aoa]

1. Watch as battles commence at Caerphilly Castle

Re-enactment group, Historia Normannis, will transport Caerphilly Castle back to an intense time of battle this May Bank Holiday weekend, complete with dramatic warfare demonstrations and battle re-enactments  — promising a family-friendly event to get even the toughest of hearts racing.

Meanwhile, event-goers can step away from the battlefield to meet a host of medieval characters from the Castle’s past and learn all about 13th century fashion.

Watch as battles commence at Caerphilly Castle

Caerphilly Castle
Saturday 25 – Monday 27 May
11am – 4pm
More information here


2. Learn how to fire a trebuchet at Caernarfon Castle

For one weekend only, visitors to Caernarfon Castle will be transported back to medieval Wales, as the Red Dragon Archers descend upon the mighty fortress.

Event-goers can enjoy medieval longbow demonstrations, take part in have-a-go archery lessons and even learn how to load and fire a trebuchet.

In addition, the garrison’s ladies will be on hand at the campsite to showcase medieval food trends and herbal remedies.

© Cadw, Welsh Government (Crown Copyright), all rights reserved.

Caernarfon Castle
Saturday 25 – Sunday 26 May
11am – 3:30pm
More information here


3. Befriend a dinosaur at Raglan Castle

Tiny, the baby Stegosaurus, will stomp his way through the grounds of Raglan Castle this Bank Holiday weekend to meet and greet only the bravest of visitors.

Plus, event-goers can enjoy family-friendly entertainment provided by a host of prehistoric pranksters and even have their photograph taken with the animatronic beast — if they dare…

Meet the dinosaur

Raglan Castle
Sunday 26 – Monday 27 May
11am – 4pm
More information here


4. Fool around at Juggling Jim’s Jester School

On Sunday 26 May, families are invited to take part in a crazy day of activities at Laugharne Castle — complete with a chance to master the arts of juggling and plate spinning at Juggling Jim’s Jester School

Plus, knights-in-training are encouraged to join Jim’s Silly Knight School to practice hobby-horse jousting, foot trebuchet and dragon slaying.

Juggling Jim

Laugharne Castle
Sunday 26 May
11am – 4pm
More information here


5. Become a medieval knight at Criccieth Castle

Visitors to Criccieth Castle will be trained in the moves and stamina required to become a victorious medieval knight in combat this Bank Holiday Monday.

Medieval weekend

Criccieth Castle
Monday 27 May
11am – 3:45pm
More information here


6. Get a bird’s eye view of history at Cilgerran Castle

For one day only, visitors can quiz the experts and watch impressive flying displays at Cilgerran Castle this Bank Holiday Monday, as West Wales Falconry and their swarm of birds descend upon the historic site and teach event-goers about the history of hawking.

Guests can learn about the importance of falconry in medieval life and even take part in bird handling sessions throughout the day.

West Wales Falconry

Cilgerran Castle
Monday 27 May
10am – 5pm
More information here


7. Experience medieval Wales at Conwy Castle

Conwy Castle will travel back in time this Bank Holiday weekend, with the return of several medieval residents.

Guests can expect to cross paths with the castle seamstress, butcher and even the resident prisoner as they immerse themselves in medieval life at Conwy Castle.

A herbalist from the Middle Ages will also be on hand to teach event-goers how to produce cures for warfare wounds and ailments, while servants will provide guests with some freshly baked bread in the courtyard.

Conwy Castle

Conwy Castle
Sunday 26 – Monday 27 May
10am – 4pm
More information here


8. Re-live The Battle of Rhuddlan

Visitors to Rhuddlan Castle are invited to journey back to the 11th Century with Cwmwd Ial and The Vikings Society re-enactment groups this May Bank Holiday to experience the age of one of the greatest Welsh military commanders — King Gruffydd ap Llywelyn.

Event-goers are encouraged to join the 200-strong Saxon, Welsh & Viking encampments, talk to the warriors about their hardships, pick up tips from the medieval traders and witness Gruffydd ap Llywelyn’s final stand against the Anglo-Saxons.

Younger visitors are also encouraged to join the Young Warrior Army to practice and perfect their battle skills.

The Battle of Rhuddlan

Rhuddlan Castle
Sunday 26 – Monday 27 May
10am – 4pm
More information here

To see the full late May bank holiday events programme visit www.cadw.wales.gov.uk/events or follow @CadwWales or @CadwCymru on Twitter and find Cadw on Facebook.