The Emmy Nominations reveal the shining lights of Britain

The 71st annual Emmy Award nominations have shone the spotlight on a host of ground-breaking British and Britain-filmed dramas, comedies and thrillers. From Amazon’s Fleabag (produced by the BBC) to A Very English Scandal and Game of Thrones, the nominations reveal some of the UK’s best talent, both in front of and behind the camera. And while London leads the way when it comes to screen-worthy backdrops, the nominations feature a host of other locations dotted around Britain that are well worthy of taking centre stage. 

 

Killing Eve, London

 

Nominated for nine awards including Outstanding Drama Series, the AMC/BBC America series Killing Eve has gripped audiences since it first aired in 2018. Starring Sandra Oh and English actress Jodie Comer, both of whom received nominations for the Outstanding Drama Actress award, the thrilling spy series has featured many iconic British locations, with London the star of the show. While much of the drama was shot in West London Film Studios, visitors to the city can check out featured locations including the Barbican, known for its iconic Brutalist 60s architecture, not to mention Trafalgar Square, the Tate Modern and the Southbank. Filming also took place outside Guy’s Hospital and on Blackfriars Bridge in Southwark, inside the ornate art-deco Banking Hall in east London, and at The Observatory Photo Gallery near St Pancras – a gallery, photography school and café featuring an ever-changing range of exhibitions. Fans of London’s nightlife will recognise the legendary Fabric, which doubled up as the nightclub in Berlin in Series One, while those looking to travel further afield can get a little taste of Russia in north London at Hornsey Town Hall in Crouch End – the building’s art deco interiors were used to film the scenes at Hotel Atlasov.

 

Fleabag, London

 

Fleabag is the British show that’s taken the world by storm with its darkly comedic look at life as a young single woman in London. With 11 Emmy nominations, including Outstanding Comedy Series and Outstanding Comedy Actress for writer and star, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, the series is set and filmed in Dartmouth Park in Camden, north-west London. Visitors to the area can dine at the real life setting for the Guinea Pig Café, a thriving Turkish restaurant called Bold Café & Restaurant on York Rise. Alternatively, head on over to Smith & Wollensky in Covent Garden – the luxurious steak restaurant was used as the backdrop to the spine-tinglingly awkward family dinner at the start of Season Two. Art fans can explore Tate Modern, where Fleabag’s godmother’s ‘Sexhibition’ scene was shot, while those enraptured by the ‘hot priest’ can visit the Parish Church of St Andrew’s, Kingsbury, where many of the scenes were filmed. Alternatively, those with a passion for Fleabag and Downton Abbey can get their fix of both at Hedsor House. The location of Fleabag’s silent retreat, the Thames-side mansion has been graced by guests including George Clooney and Brad Pitt and also featured in the hit historical drama.

 

Brexit: The Uncivil War, London

 

Charting the lead up to the 2016 referendum and the Vote Leave campaign, HBO’s Brexit: The Uncivil War scooped a nomination for Outstanding Television Movie. Starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Dominic Cummings, the director of the Vote Leave campaign, much of the film takes place around Westminster and the Houses of Parliament. Visitors can follow in the footsteps of the ‘Tate Plotters’ who met in secret at Tate Britain, or get a bird’s eye view of the Houses of Parliament from the London Eye, which also featured in the film. Alternatively, why not head to Kensington Gardens, where key scenes were recorded, or enjoy a stroll along the Southbank and across Lambeth Bridge, a favourite running route of Cummings in the film.

Game of Thrones, Northern Ireland

With an incredible 32 mentions, the fantasy epic Game of Thrones has set the record for the most Primetime Emmy nominations for a show in a single year, with Outstanding Drama Series, Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series, and Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series making the list. Filmed in destinations across Europe, it’s Northern Ireland that has provided some of the most memorable backdrops to the show, including Castle Ward, which doubles as Winterfell. Fans of nature can visit Tollymore Forest in County Down, the setting of the Haunted Forest North of the Wall and the home of the Direwolves, while those keen to cross the Dothraki Sea can do so at the Glens of Antrim. Visitors looking to wander the Kings Road should head to the Dark Hedges in Ballymoney, while those looking to explore more can immerse themselves in the world of fire and ice with Discover Northern Ireland’s list of attractions and filming locations.

 

 

A Very English Scandal, across the UK

 

Starring Hugh Grant and Ben Whishaw, A Very English Scandal charts the real-life 1979 trial of former MP Jeremy Thorpe, who was accused of the attempted murder of his former partner, Norman Scott. Snaffling four nominations including Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie (Grant) and Outstanding Writing for a Limited Series or TV Movie. The first series to be granted permission to film at the Old Bailey inside Court One, the movie showcases diverse locations around Britain, from iconic London landmarks to lesser- known highlights including Manchester Town Hall. Visitors can explore the ornate lobby of the Old Bailey, visit the Palace of Westminster, or head over to the Hoover Building in Ealing – an architectural city icon that doubled as Blackpool in the film! Those looking to travel further afield could explore Saunton Sands, a golden beach on the North Devon Coast that features as California in the film, or take a trip to the historic village of Chittlehampton. Alternatively, why not visit Bridgend in Wales – an idyllic town just 20 miles from Cardiff which doubled as Dublin in the drama.

 

 

Carpool Karaoke: When Corden Met McCartney Live From Liverpool, Liverpool

 

With an impressive six nominations including Outstanding Writing for a Variety Special for Carpool Karaoke: When Corden Met McCartney Live from Liverpool, British presenter James Corden was the most-nominated person at this year’s Emmys announcement. Filmed on location in Liverpool, the Carpool Karaoke episode revealed some of the city’s highlights through the eyes of Beatles legend, Sir Paul McCartney. Follow the footsteps of Corden and McCartney with a trip to Penny Lane and Tony Slavin’s Barber Shop, which was immortalised in the hit song. Visit Penny Lane Flowers for some of the freshest blooms in the city and explore 20 Forthlin Road, McCartney’s childhood home, before heading to The Philharmonic Dining Rooms. Known as the ‘most ornate pub in Britain’, the pub is located just a stone’s throw from the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, and was the setting for McCartney’s surprise gig at the end of the live show.

Dotty for Downton - discover the filming locations of the Downton Abbey movie

The feature length Downton Abbey movie hits the screens in September, with the new trailer providing plenty of reasons for fans of the period drama to get excited.

Director Brian Percival’s feature length production will welcome back the stars of the hit ITV series, last seen on screens in 2015. And there are ample opportunities to visit the real Downton Abbey, both before and after the movie lands in UK cinemas on 13 September.

What to expect from the movie?

Set around a year after the finale of the TV series, in 1927, the Downton Abbey movie will revolve around a royal visit from His Majesty King George V and Queen Mary.

It will once again follow the aristocratic Crawley family and their dedicated staff on the fictional Yorkshire estate. Starring old favourites including Dame Maggie Smith, Michelle Dockery, Hugh Bonneville, Joanne Froggatt, Laura Carmichael, Allen Leech, Lesley Nicole and Elizabeth McGovern, Jim Carter will also return as Carson the butler in a bid to restore Downton to its former glory.

See the real Downton Abbey!

The picturesque star of the movie, and of the past television series, Highclere Castle near the Hampshire/Berkshire border doubles up as the famous setting for Downton Abbey. The home of the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon, the stunning period property and 5,000-acre estate features Jacobean Revival architecture from Sir Charles Barry which dates back to the 1820s. In addition to the country house are its pristine grounds, landscaped by renowned gardener Capability Brown in 1770, and designated a Sight of Special Scientific Interest since 1991.

Events at Highclere Castle

Highclere Castle opens for a limited period during the summer, and on selected other dates for special events throughout the year, giving Downton Abbey fans a chance to experience the impressive building first-hand.

When? The Castle and Gardens, as well as an onsite Egyptian Exhibition, will be open to the public from 7 July 2019 to 2 September 2019, although the Castle is closed on Fridays and Saturdays.

Downton Abbey Live Open Air Concert

Fans can prepare for the forthcoming movie release by taking in the TV show’s magical soundtrack this June. Set in the grounds of Highclere Castle, the Chamber Orchestra of London will join forces with the TV show’s composer John Lunn on piano for an exclusive open air concert. Hosted by Jim Carter, renowned for his portrayal of Mr Carson, the Downton Abbey Live open air concert aims to bring the TV phenomenon to life on 22 June.

When? 22 June, from 4pm

Costumes, Cocktails and Castle Tours

Just in time for the Downton Abbey movie release, Highclere Castle is hosting Costumes, Cocktails and Castle Tours on the weekend before it hits cinemas. Visitors can tour the castle, walking in the footsteps of the stars, while taking in a spectacular collection of costumes from the 1920s era. Highclere’s own cocktail van, ‘Josephine Vanessa’ will also be on site serving up a delicious array of refreshing drinks.

When? 7-8 September 2019. Grounds open from 10am to 6pm, with access on the Castle limited to the type of ticket. Morning ticket access from 10.30am to 12.30 pm. Afternoon ticket access from 12.20pm to 2.30pm.

Real Lives and Film Sets – Special guided tours

Once the film is released, fans of Downton Abbey will be able to set foot in many of the locations were the scenes were shot as part of exclusive special guided tours. Real Lives and Film Sets will enable visitors to explore the beauty of the State Rooms, climb the Great Oak Staircase and be immersed by the extensive Egyptian Exhibition – which details the discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun by the fifth Earl of Carnarvon and Howard Carter – while discovering more about the rich and varied history of the site. Tours also include a seasonal buffet at the estate’s Coach House Tea Rooms.

When? Tours on selected dates in September (14, 17, 20, 25, 28, 29) and October (16, 17, 23, 24) with morning sessions starting at 10.30am and afternoon sessions starting at 2.30pm for entry to the Castle.

Beamish Open Air Museum

Used as a backdrop for the upcoming Downton Abbey film, the renowned Beamish open air museum in County Durham explores life in North East England in the 19th and 20th centuries. The 1900s Town allows visitors to discover how families lived and worked in the build-up to the First World War, supported by highly engaging and thought-provoking Pit Village and Colliery experiences. A recreated tramway, a 1940s farm, an Edwardian style railway station and 1820s Pockerley are among the other star attractions.

When? Open daily from 10am to 5pm until 3 November 2019, with reduced opening hours of 10am to 4pm during the winter. Beamish is closed on selected days during the winter.

Edinburgh in film - discover Edinburgh as seen on the silver screen

The 73rd instalment of the Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF) arrives in the Scottish capital in June, bringing with it a wealth of new cinematic ideas and film premieres. Showcasing the very best in international cinema, the EIFF takes place on 19-30 June and is renowned around the world for discovering and championing British talent and for encouraging changes in global filmmaking.

With a dynamic programme of experimental cinema, documentaries, shorts and feature films, the festival is a celebration of the cinematic world and allows audiences to engage with film in new and exciting ways in venues across the city. British directors including Danny Boyle, Bill Forsyth and Stephen Frears have all premiered their work at the EIFF in the past.

Venues

The EIFF screenings and galas take place at five main locations in the centre of Edinburgh, with a distinct focus on inclusivity and accessibility.

Filmhouse: A three-screen independent cinema, serving as the festival’s official home and as the central box office, at 88 Lothian Road, EH3 9BZ.

The Festival Theatre: A performing arts venue with a contemporary glass-fronted foyer and large art-deco auditorium for the main galas at 13-29 Nicolson Street, EH8 9FT.

ODEON: With the capability of showing both 2D and 3D screenings, ODEON is a state-of-the-art cinema at 122 Lothian Road, EH3 9BG.

Traverse Theatre: Scotland’s foremost new writing theatre. Established in 1963, it features two custom-build and versatile theatre spaces at 10 Cambridge Street, EH1 2ED.

VUE: A 12-screen venue with three digital 3D screens and more than 2,100 seats at the Omni Leisure Building, Greenside Place, EH1 3AU.

The EIFF main events

The EIFF programme includes a varied mix of screenings, as well as several high-profile events and galas, as detailed below.

Toy Story 4 – Pre-festival screening

The next instalment of Disney Pixar’s incredibly popular Toy Story franchise is set for a special pre-festival screening at the Festival Theatre. Tom Hanks will once again voice Woody in Josh Cooley’s animated tale Toy Story 4, with the screening scheduled five days before the film is released to UK cinemas on 21 June. The festival has a long standing partnership with Disney Pixar and has hosted gala screenings of the award-winning WALL-E, Toy Story 3 and Inside Out in past years.

When and where? Festival Theatre Main Hall, 16 June 2019 at 3pm

Film Fest in the City with Edinburgh Live

Free open-air cinema returns to St Andrew Square Garden for the eighth time in 2019, with three days of screenings of new and old releases just days before the festival gets underway. EIFF, in partnership with Essential Edinburgh, will screen the Oscar-winning Bohemian Rhapsody, The Greatest Showman and Mary Poppins Returns, as well as Mamma Mia! and sequel Mamma Mia 2 as part of Film Fest in the City with Edinburgh Live. In addition, there will be screenings of Groundhog Day, The Iron Giant, Xanadu, Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse and When Harry Met Sally, while an array of pop-up bars will provide refreshments.

When and where? St Andrew Square Garden, 14-16 June

Opening Night Gala: Boyz in the Wood

The European premiere of the social satire Boyz in the Wood will kick-start EIFF 2019. Described as an “anarchic cocktail of generational politics, hip-hop loving farmers, and hallucinogenic rabbit droppings”, music video director Ninian Doff’s first foray into feature film follows four city boys as they try to escape a mysterious huntsman deep in the Scottish Highlands. Just don’t expect the Highlands’ police force to provide any meaningful assistance.

When and where? Festival Theatre, 19 June at 8.45pm

The Family Gala: UglyDolls

Animated musical adventure and global plush-toy phenomenon UglyDolls will premiere at the Family Gala of this year’s festival, giving festival goers a unique opportunity to walk the red carpet. Featuring the acting and singing voices of Kelly Clarkson, Nick Jonas, Blake Shelton, Janelle Monae and Pitbull, director Kelly Asbury’s animated tale confronts notions of beauty in a fun and unusual way.

When and where? Festival Theatre, 23 June at 2pm

The People’s Gala: Balance, Not Symmetry

The Jamie Adams drama Balance, Not Symmetry will provide a cinematic tribute to music, art and Scotland at the People’s Gala. Made in close conjunction with Scottish band Biffy Clyro, who assisted with both the storyline and the score, and starring Laura Harrier (of Spider-man: Homecoming fame), the inspirational and moving film is set for its debut during EIFF.

When and where? Festival Theatre, 23 June at 8.30pm

Closing Night Gala: Mrs Lowry and Son

The world premiere of Adrian Noble’s intimate biopic of renowned painter L.S. Lowry, Mrs Lowry and Son will bring the curtain down on EIFF 2019. Timothy Spall stars as the iconic British artist, who found fame for his depictions of industrial life in north-west England. Vanessa Redgrave provides support as Lowry’s mother Elizabeth, with whom the artist lived until her death. The film focuses on the relationship between the pair and on Lowry’s quest for recognition of his work, and Vertigo will release it to UK audiences this summer.

When and where? Festival Theatre, 30 June at 5.15pm

Ticket Information

The full programme of events for the 73rd edition of EIFF is released on 29 May 2019, with tickets going on sale to EIFF Friends and Filmhouse Members at 12pm the same day.

Tickets go on public sale at 10am on 31 May 2019.

Britain’s top Game of Thrones® and medieval experiences

The epic television phenomenon Game of Thrones® returned this week for its 8th and final series, with the surviving characters set to battle it out for their seat on the Iron Throne. Based on the novel series A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R Martin, HBO’s mega hit is renowned for its stunning filming locations, incredible battle scenes and unexpected twists.

Northern Ireland has provided the spectacular backdrop for a host of influential scenes throughout the series, and alongside visiting the locations, there are an abundance of fantastic Game of Thrones® and medieval experiences spread across Britain for visitors to enjoy.

Experiences in Northern Ireland

The Game of Thrones® Tapestry

Already eclipsing the length of the famed Bayeux Tapestry, the Game of Thrones® Tapestry at the Ulster Museum details every key moment from the monumental series. Designed and finished by hand but weaved by a state-of-the-art machine, the tapestry reveals the highlights of every episode from Seasons 1-7 on linen sourced from Ferguson’s Irish Linen, one of Northern Ireland’s last surviving linen mills. The Season 8 panel is set to be completed once the show reaches its finale.

When? On display until 28 July 2019

Game of Thrones: The Touring Exhibition

The official exhibition of the HBO show comes to the TEC Belfast in April, providing an in-depth look into the world of Westeros and beyond. From authentic props and sets to weapons and armour, Game of Thrones™: The Touring Exhibition uses an array of immersive environments and interactive displays to transport visitors to the heart of the Seven Kingdoms.

When?  11 April – 1 September (April to May, 10am-7pm; June to September, 9am-8pm)

Glass of Thrones

 

Visitors to Belfast can now discover a brand new installation, Glass of Thrones. As each episode of Season 8 airs, a beautifully crafted, freestanding stained-glass window will be placed in a location in the city. Illustrated by hand and stained by an artist in Bangor, Wales, each window focuses on a House from the show and depicts the most exciting and talked-about moments from the family’s history. The first window, unveiled on 15 April, focuses on the Starks. By the end of Series 8, the windows will form a new Game of Thrones® trail, leading fans across the city to the final window at the Titanic Studios, where much of the show has been produced.
 

When? 15 April onwards

Doors of Thrones

Having been hit hard by Storm Gertrude in 2016, felled trees from the Game of Thrones® filming location known as The Dark Hedges were carved into 10 intricately designed pub doors, each telling the story of an episode in Game of Thrones® Season 6. Each door is set near to one of Northern Ireland’s filming locations for the hit show, allowing visitors to embark on a Journey of Doors from Cairncastle and Cushendun Caves to pubs and hotels in Belfast, Ballintoy and Newcastle, among other locations.

When? Year-round (pub and cafe opening times vary)

Explore Castle Ward

Used as Winterfell when filming Season 1 of Game of Thrones®, Castle Ward is packed full of exciting themed experiences for fans to enjoy. Home to the Stark family in the hit show, visitors can dress up in full costume and fire arrows at a replica of the Winterfell Archery Range that has been carefully recreated in the courtyard. Cycle around the many filming locations as part of a cycle tour or visit the Winterfell Master-at-Arms for Game of Throws, an axe throwing experience new for 2019. Alternatively, fans can meet the real Direwolves, Odin and Thor, as part of the Direwolves tour, providing unique insight into the dog breed used for filming.

When? Year-round (booking in advance is required)

Giant Tours Ireland

Explore Northern Ireland’s lesser-known filming locations on a specialist tour with Giant Tours Ireland with Flip, the stand-in for Hodor during Season 6. The private tours take in many of the filming points that larger tour groups do not have the time or space to see, allowing fans to immerse themselves in the mysterious and beautiful backdrops that Game of Thrones® is renowned for.

When? Tours on selected days throughout the year (booking in advance is required)

Tour Tollymore Forest

Venture into Tollymore Forest Park and discover all of the different scenes it features in as part of an exciting guided tour. Be transported to the Haunted Forest north of the wall as part of the immersive experience, set foot on The Kingsroad and explore The Wolfswood near Winterfell while donning Stark coats for added effect.

When? Daily tours at 10am and 3pm (advance booking is required)

Be amazed by The Dark Hedges

Having featured as The Kingsroad on the path to King’s Landing, The Dark Hedges in Northern Ireland is one of the country’s most photographed spots. The rows of mature beech trees on either side of Bregagh Road in County Antrim date back to the 18th century and helped form the setting for Arya Stark’s escape, cementing their place in Game of Thrones® folklore.

When? Year-round

Find out more about Game of Thrones® filming locations at discovernorthernireland.com/gameofthrones. Alternatively, download the interactive app to discover all 26 incredible filming locations at discovernorthernireland.com/things-to-do/attractions/game-of-thrones/game-of-thrones-app/

Please note, the aforementioned experiences in Northern Ireland are independently run and are not affiliated with, sponsored or endorsed by HBO, nor anyone associated with Game of Thrones®

Experiences in Scotland

Discover the secrets of Winterfell

Take a unique guided tour of Winterfell at Doune Castle in Scotland, the stunning backdrop used throughout Game of Thrones® and also featured in Monty Python’s Holy Grail. Explore one of Scotland’s best preserved castles, its huge Great Hall and exquisite courtyard design.

When? Tours run throughout the year (advance booking is required)

See falconry in action

Get hands-on with owls, buzzards, hawks, falcons and eagles as part of tailor-made bird of prey experiences with Falconry Scotland. Operating on an appointment-only basis from two sites, Dalhousie Castle Hotel and Spa and another at Shieldaig Lodge in the West Highlands, expert falconers provide flying demonstrations and handling sessions, as well as archery experiences.

When? Dalhousie Falconry operates year round; Shieldaig Lodge opens from 12 April 2019 (booking in advance is required)

Axe Throwing for all

Competitors of all abilities, ages and nationalities can compete at the Axe Throwing Scottish Open 2019, held in the beautiful grounds of Scone Palace. Participants across various categories can camp on site, while the Scottish Knight League is also hosting a Medieval Fighting Championship.

When? 4-5 May

Experiences in England

Walk the real life wall

Built by the Romans nearly 2,000 years ago, Hadrian’s Wall once marked the border of England’s wild northern frontier. Much like the Wall in Game of Thrones®, the historic landscape and its crumbling forts remains an imposing sight. The best-preserved Roman site in the country at Housesteads Fort, the Temple of Mithras near Brocolitia Fort and the impressive Vindolanda Museum all provide a fascinating look into the region’s turbulent past.

When? Year-round (Housesteads Fort is open 10am-4pm in the winter, extended to 10am-6pm from March - September; the Vindolanda Museum is open daily 10am-5pm in the winter, extended to 10am-6pm from April - September)

Find adventure at Warwick Castle

Journey back to medieval England with a stay at Warwick Castle’s Knight’s Village, a set of themed tents, lodges and suites where guests can sleep like royalty. Take a trip through 1,000 years of history during the immersive Castle Dungeon experience, featuring carefully created sets and surprising special effects alongside a cast of historic characters. Or venture outside to see the world’s largest siege machine in action – a colossal replica of a Trebuchet that is fired in the shadow of Warwick Castle’s walls.

When? Warwick Castle opens at 10am (closing times vary depending on dates and events)

Fight it out in Battle Archery

Mixing the skills of archery with the tactics of paintballing, Battle Archery is a thrilling action-packed game using bows and foam-tipped safety arrows. Based in Avon Valley Adventure and Wildlife Park, different mission scenarios require a range of different strategies, but the soft arrows make for a pain-free experience.

When? Weekends and selected weekdays on request (booking in advance is required)

Experience a medieval banquet

Dine with knights, acrobats and jesters as part of an immersive banquet-theatre experience in St Katherine Docks, London. Don period dress and enjoy a song and dance while tucking into a Medieval Banquet as part of a fantasy meal out to remember.

When? Wednesday to Saturday at 7.15pm, Sunday at 5.15pm

Develop swashbuckling sword skills

Try out sword fighting at the London Longsword Academy, providing an opportunity to master a diverse set of medieval and Renaissance weapon styles. Get hands on with a longsword, messer, rapier or dagger in a safe and controlled environment that welcomes everyone from beginners to expert martial artists.

When? Classes take place on weekday evenings using different weaponry

Celebrate history at a Medieval Festival

See history brought to life at medieval festivals across England, while marking famous battles and discovering what life was like in medieval times. England’s Medieval Festival fills the grounds of Herstmonceux Castle, in East Sussex, and features everything from re-enactments and jousting to stage shows, music and dance, camping and medieval banquets. The Bosworth Medieval Festival provides a modern take on the battle, alongside a medieval market, a living history encampment and author talks, while the Tewkesbury Medieval Festival includes a dramatic re-enactment and impressive Sunday parade. Colchester Medieval Festival and Oyster Fayre Market features an array of period stalls and a combat arena where visitors can watch demonstrations of arms and armour. The annual Traquair Medieval Fayre hosts a cannon firing display and demonstrations of ancient crafts, giving visitors the opportunity to try their hand at willow weaving, watch chainmail making in action or trial Longbow archery. A sword and shield making workshop should keep children entertained too.

When? 25 May (Traquair Medieval Fayre), 15-16 June (Colchester Medieval Festival), 13-14 July (Tewkesbury Medieval Festival), 17-18 August (Bosworth Medieval Festival) 24-26 August (England’s Medieval Festival)

Watch jousting in action

Hear the crash of lances and the thunder of hooves as armoured horsemen go head to head in jousting tournaments across Britain. The Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds is hosting the International Jousting Tournament, with knights from four nations set to battle it out for the ultimate prize. Watch as jousting lances splinter at Leeds Castle in May, or catch two weekends of medieval mayhem at the Loxwood Joust in August, packed full of workshops, experiences and delicious food to feast on. Kent’s Hever Castle also hosts regular jousting tournaments throughout July and August.

When? 19-22 April (Royal Armouries Museum); 25-27 May (Leeds Castle); 3-4 and 10-11 August (Loxwood Joust); 13-14, 20-21 and 27-28 July, 10-11, 17-18 and 23-26 August (Hever Castle).

Take a seat at the Knight’s Table

Sample delightful food at Arundel’s Knight’s Table Restaurant, with a menu that features classic meals from the bygone era, alongside more contemporary options. Think rotisserie chicken, delicious pies and a hog roast, as well as a carvery on selected days. Just what is needed after a visit to the spectacular Arundel Castle.

When? Wednesday to Sunday (opening times vary on those days)

See knights fight it out

Be transported back to the heart of a medieval encampment and watch as rival knights battle it out at Bolsover Castle’s Knight’s Tournament in May. Try on armour, discover more about the Middle Ages and get a taste for old-fashioned combat before the winning knight is crowned in the Grand Finale.

When? 25-27 May

Experiences in Wales

Feast in Welsh tradition at Ruthin Castle

The medieval feasts at Ruthin Castle take diners back to when the Earl of Warwick hosted extravagant feasts during the 16th century. Guests are encouraged to dress in traditional clothes and are entertained in the banqueting hall with a mix of Welsh and English song. Expect an evening of dining with daggers while toasting with mead and goblets of wine.

When? Feasts take place on a selected day or two each month

Venture into the dragon’s lair at Caerphilly

Come face to face with dragons at Caerphilly Castle! The 12th-century fortress is home to the Cadw dragon family, a set of incredible dragon models that form part of an audio-visual display. A set of medieval-inspired siege engines regularly catapult ammunition into the moat of Wales’ largest castle too, demonstrating the incredible engineering and ingenuity that existing in the medieval period.

When? Year-round (opening times vary by season)