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Journey back in time to discover region's heritage

By Western Daily Press  |  Posted: March 29, 2014

  • Watch out for pirates in the South West, like these at Tintagel in Cornwall

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You can step back in time with a whole season of events at English Heritage properties in the South West of England.

A packed season of spectacular events will see history come to life at English Heritage properties in the region this spring and summer.

From almighty battles with jousting knights, to displays of the awe-inspiring power of the Roman army, and a season of pirates and legends – this summer promises plenty of time-travelling adventures for the whole family to enjoy.

The season starts with a brand new Easter Adventure Quest at Tintagel Castle in Cornwall. Inspired by the dramatic location, the Adventure Quest will put a twist on the traditional Easter trail and invite visitors to meet Tintagel's King and help him find his missing crown by exploring the castle grounds.

At Pendennis Castle in Falmouth the 'Smugglers and Pirates' and 'Soldiers and Spies' academies promise Easter holiday days out packed with action, espionage and dastardly deeds.

In May you can step back in time over 2,000 years as the world-famous Ermine Street Guard lead a Roman invasion at Old Sarum in Wiltshire. Expect marvellous displays, almighty siege machines, and the chance for budding young centurions to see if they have what it takes to join the army.

The late May Bank Holiday sees an invasion of a different kind at Dartmouth Castle in Devon, when the Wardour Garrison will bring the Civil War to life in the Castle grounds. In 'Under Enemy Control' learn how to load and fire a musket, discover cookery and crafts of the day, and witness what life was like under the threat of siege.

Pendennis and Tintagel Castles will both be transported back to an age of chivalrous knights and battles of valour with 'Fighting Knight' events over the summer half-term holiday. Find out what life was like for people of the time – both at home and on the battlefield – and don your armour and try out your combat skills.

Throughout the summer holidays the castles of Cornwall and Devon will be the perfect destinations for an historic day out by the sea. Pendennis Castle will come to life with the roar of thundering hooves, clashing lances and cheering crowds with a season of spectacular medieval jousts; Dartmouth Castle sees the crew of La Grande Derriere move in as the 'Pirates Invade!'; and at Tintagel Castle storytellers will spin tales of magic, mystery and adventure as the legends of King Arthur take centre stage.

In a final flourish to the season, Pendennis Castle will be under siege from the scourge of the sea in 'Pirates Attack' at the end of August. With battle drills, musket displays, the pillaging pirates will launch a full-on assault, promisng a spectacle on a grand scale to mark the Falmouth Tall Ships Regatta.

In Wiltshire the summer holidays marks a season of family fun at Old Sarum, with a different event to try out each week.

Budding young history hunters can join an academy for 'Knights and Princesses', discover the tricks of a fearsome outlaw or valiant champion in 'Heroes and Villains', get inspired by Roman crafts at 'Legionaries and Gladiator School', or unearth Old Sarum's secrets at the 'Archaeology Weekend'.

At the 'Tales of Robin Hood' events running throughout the holidays at Old Wardour Castle, near Tisbury, the whole family can hear stories of daring deeds, and get a chance to join the legendary band of Merry Men.

Another legend will be celebrated in the finale to the summer season at Old Sarum in August with 'King Arthur – Battle of a Legend'.

Celebrate the greatest victory of one of the most iconic of British Heroes, Arthur of the Britons, in this spectacular show for all the family.

The event will feature arena shows and a living history encampment where visitors can meet characters from history.

With so much to see and enjoy over the coming months – English Heritage promises hundreds of years of history, and fun days out aplenty, in the South West this Summer.

English Heritage members get free or reduced-price entry to events, as well as free entry to over 400 unique historic sites.

For further information, visit the website at www.english-heritage.org.uk/membership

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