St George's Day fun: Where to slay dragons and meet medieval knights this weekend

| 23 April 2014

Celebrate St George's Day in style with dragons, displays, drills and decorations across the country this weekend

A photo of a man jousting with a dragon on grassland
St George's Day tussling at Wrest Park in Bedfordshire© English Heritage
Craft a dragon at Weoley Castle, Birmingham (Friday)

Crafty fun for kids in a drop-in, cheap-as-chips activity from noon. The ruins of the listed castle are more than 700 years old.

Punch and Judy, brass bands and more at the V&A Museum of Childhood, London (Saturday)

Live music, dance and storytelling at one of the finest childhood-related collections in the land. Look out for Blind Buffalo, the Sundial Dancers, Punch and Judy and the Becontree Brass Band on a revolving line-up.

A photo of a man dressed as a medieval knight drinking beer
Thirsty work for patron saint impersonators© English Heritage
Archery, puppetry and tours in Southampton (Saturday and Sunday)

Costumed Medieval archers stand poised, Old Town walks reveal a few secrets and family workshops result in junk dragon puppets. Expert insights include tales of Henry V’s troops heading on their way to the battle of Agincourt, while a parade takes place on Sunday.

Slay dragons and join the circus at Dover Castle (Saturday and Sunday)

Try on armour, test your skills and hear a few tall stories within a medieval village at the famous old castle. Special workshops, led by a jester, also offer a Catherine Wheel of circus skills.

Join St George’s pageant at Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens, Northumberland (Saturday and Sunday)

The knightly star of the show will be facing his foes in shining armour at a multi-talented meeting here, where you can witness a military drill and mounted clashes. Performances, plays and music have their tastes set firmly in medieval times.

Become a junior knight at Beeston Castle and Woodland Park, Cheshire (Saturday and Sunday)

Hundreds of feet above the Cheshire plains, this 13th century castle is the setting for a retelling of the tale of the patron saint of England and soldiers. Kids can try out drills while a variety of fun and games goes on throughout the weekend.

Get hands-on at Kenilworth Castle and Elizabethan Garden, Warwickshire (Saturday and Sunday)

A Norman castle lavishly rebuilt into a kind of palace over the centuries, Kenilworth wants would-be dragon slayers to turn up to this. Hands-on activities, stories from history and live re-eneactments are all part of the programme.

Battle a beast at Bolsover Castle, Derbyshire (Saturday and Sunday)

Grade I listed and a Scheduled Ancient Monument, Bolsover’s 12th century origins make it the perfect place to learn about royal history and brutal battles. A re-enactment of the central rivalry will take place, but perhaps the chance to pick up a sword and attack a mythical beast is the most exciting bit.

Visit a mansion at Wrest Park, Bedfordshire (Saturday and Sunday)

A country house, mansion and gardens are usually reliably serene. For St George’s Day, however, the grounds will reverberate to the sound of shattering lances and ridiculous jesters. Stories of wartime Britain and an Edwardian falconry display are among the highlights.

Enter St George’s Quarter at museums in Liverpool

The spectacular Walker Art Gallery gets creative with gallery trails, knight helmet-decorating and headband-making, based on firebreathing dragons and deploying collage supplies. The World Museum, meanwhile, provides a fancy dress competition, crafts and decorations and the odd encounter with CBBC's Mike the Knight, who will be appearing at Queen Square, Central Library and other locations on Sunday.

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