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Henry VIII's Royal Jousting Tournament at Leeds Castle

By This is Kent  |  Posted: May 08, 2009

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Henry VIII's Royal Jousting Tournament

Leeds Castle

Near Maidstone, Kent

Take the family to historic Leeds Castle and celebrate the 500th Anniversary of Henry VIII's accession to the throne. From Tuesday May 26 to Sunday May 31, Henry VIII's Royal Jousting Tournament recreates the pageantry of Tudor England against the stunning backdrop of the 900-year-old castle near Maidstone, Kent.

Experience the thrill of twice daily jousts with knights on horseback and men at arms. Staged by Europe's premier jousting company, the Knights of Royal England, the non-stop action features galloping horses, daredevil stunts, falls and fights in an authentic jousting arena complete with a royal box on the Cedar Lawn.

Hands On History present Tudor-themed activities with cannon drill, archery practice and mini jousts for children. The fun, interactive activities are a great way to experience learning outside the classroom in a heritage environment. There's even an opportunity to meet Henry VIII on one of his walkabouts – a right royal treat for all the family.

Journey through 900 years of history as you explore the castle. A royal residence for six medieval Queens of England, Leeds Castle was a favourite of Henry VIII who transformed it from a fortified castle to a royal palace to rival those in France.

Rooms in the 13th century Gloriette show how the castle would have looked in the medieval and Tudor periods. The magnificent Henry VIII Banqueting Hall was created for Henry's visit in 1520 en route for Dover to embark for an historic meeting with the King of France. A painting of Henry's fleet embarking from Dover for what became known as the Field of the Cloth of Gold hangs in the Banqueting Hall.

To mark the occasion of Henry coming to the throne, Leeds Castle is hosting a number of Tudor-themed events throughout the year. Creative visitors and children can apply Tudor-inspired designs to ceramics and T-shirts in the Craft Café, open at weekends and school holidays. There's a second chance to catch the exciting jousting tournament at the Family Fun Weekend on September 19 and 20. A Tudor Flower Festival takes place from October 7 to 11, followed by Half Term Heraldry from October 24 to 30.

Set in 500 acres of parkland, a visit to Leeds Castle in the Garden of England is full of discovery. Tickets grant admission to the castle and grounds for one year from date of purchase, representing great value for money for families wanting to make the most of the Tudor-themed events.

Leeds Castle is located near Maidstone in Kent just off junction eight of the M20.

Grounds open at 10am daily castle is open from 10.30am. Last admission 5pm, gates close 7pm.

Tickets: £16.50 adult, £13.50 senior or visitors with disability (carer goes free), £9.50 child, under-fours free

For further information visit www.leeds-castle.com or phone 01622 765400

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