Travel back in time with historical re-enactments this summer

By Ed Sexton | 08 July 2009
A picture of re-enactors in the countryside

(Above) Travel back in time with re-enactors around the country. © English Heritage

Heritage sites across the UK are being brought to life by historical re-enactments this summer, offering you the chance to travel back in time and get a taste of the past.

Culture24 has pulled together just some of the many opportunities to meet historical characters and don period clobber to take part in the fun.

a child wearing armour

Get involved with the re-enactors. Picture © English Heritage

Henry VIII Heads and Hearts, Hampton Court Palace, London, until December 2009

If you head down to Hampton Court Palace this summer, you are more than likely to bump into Henry VIII and his sixth wife Kateryn Parr. The Palace will have a daily celebration of their marriage, and visitors are invited to join the royal couple as they prepare for their wedding, from ensuring Henry gets a good send off at his stag do to helping to pick the ideal wedding frock with Kateryn and her ladies-in-waiting.

For more information visit the Historic Royal Palaces website.

1940s weekend, Crich Tramway Village, Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th August

The trams are being readied for war. Anti-blast netting covers the windows, the destination boards are blank so as to confuse enemy spies and the lights fitted with blackout masks. Sandbags are piled up near the entrance and identity cards and ration books are ready to be issued. Expect air-raid warnings and the sound of low flying aircraft. Beware the spivs selling black market goods and watch out for unexploded bombs. Visitors must always be ready to show their identity card or risk being arrested as a spy. Wartime songs will be belted out by an authentic E.N.S.A. concert party throughout the weekend. The Red Lion public house will be serving drinks and wartime styled meals.

For more information call 01773 854321 or visit the Crich website.

a 1940s style street scene with trams and period vehicles

The 1940s weekend at Crich Tramway Village. Picture © Crich Tramway Village

Meet The Tudors National Trust - Winchester City Mill, September 19-20 2009

The very popular Tudor Household re-enactment team return to the mill in authentic Tudor Costumes. A wonderful mix of Tudor music, crafts, food, and amusements with plenty of opportunities for visiting children to join in. A must for children tackling a Tudor topic.

For more information visit the Winchester City Mill website or telephone 01962 870057.

Secrets of Sherwood — The Legend of Robin Hood, Caldicot Castle, August 30-31

For two days, Caldicot Castle is transformed into medieval Nottinghamshire, giving visitors the chance to mingle with the Merry Men (and Women), watch combat and archery demonstrations and have a go. A great family day out, presented by The Wolfshead Bowmen.

For more information visit the Caldicot Castle website.

men lying on the ground in army uniform with rifles

The Sutton Hoo homeguard in action. Picture © EventPlan

Back to school Victorian style, British Schools Museum, Hitchin, August 30

Back to School Victorian Style, another opportunity to experience a Victorian school lesson, takes place at the end of August. The Victorian teachers are pretty strict and lessons start at 2.45pm and 3.45pm, so make sure you arrive promptly or you could be in trouble.

For more information call 01462 420144 or visit the British Schools Museum website.

In the Thick of the Action, Commandery, Worcestor, August 29 – September 3

The Commandery will be marking the anniversary of the final Battle of the English Civil War with a range of activities including visits by Worcester's own re-enactors.

Special family and group tickets available, for more information call The Commandery on 01905 361821 or visit their website.

two medieval peasents holding ducks

Medieval re-enactors at Arbeia Roman Fort. Picture Courtesy Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums

Travel through time, Arbeia Roman Fort, August 8

Visitors to Arbeia Roman Fort can travel back in time to experience three historical periods with Roman soldiers, medieval peasants and WWII soldiers at the annual Arbeia Festival next Saturday (8 August). Arbeia’s Roman history will be brought to life by the Fort’s resident Roman re-enactors. Cohors Quinta Gallorum, named after the auxiliary cohort based at Arbeia throughout the third century will be demonstrating military life in this period.

For more information visit go to the Arbeia Roman fort website.

Hoo's Who of History, Sutton Hoo, August 8-9, 10am-5pm.

From ruthless Romans, almighty Anglo-Saxons, vicious Vikings and notorious Normans; travel through time to meet Napoleonic redcoats, Victorian investigators and the valiant Home Guard. Discover more than 1,600 years of history with the National Trust, brought to life in one weekend.

For more information visit the Sutton Hoo website.

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