This Easter holidays have been jam packed with activities and days out, one being a visit to the beautiful Canterbury on a Medieval Adventure! Last weekend we set off first thing in the morning to drive to Canterbury in Kent to meet up with my sister and her family for a day out and to explore The Canterbury Tales.
The Canterbury Tales is a visitor attraction based a short walk from Canturbury Cathedral itself in the town centre. It provides a great introduction to the historic city and its famous literary connection as well as being a thoroughly enjoyable day out for the family. Set inside a former Church, the inside has been constructed to depict 14th Century England and it’s pretty remarkable and fascinating. The figures, costumes, set, sounds and the smell take you back to the ‘olden days’: as the kids will say.
The tour of the attraction takes you on a journey back in time to discover five of Geoffrey Chaucer’s tales from the famous book ‘The Canterbury Tales’ and an opportunity to experience the pilgrimage from London to Canterbury. You can also voluntarily dress for the part if you want, which is what my sister and I did! We took Harry and his cousin Gabrielle on the tour with us, because they are of a perfect age (7 and 8) to appreciate the full effect. Stanley may have been a little scared by the sounds so it was best he stayed outside with daddy.
We were given audio guides to listen to along the tour, which are set for adults or children and in a language of your choice. However to begin with you are introduced to the experience by a costumed guide in ‘full character’ who starts you at ‘The Tabard Inn’ in London to get you on your way and then joined by another guide at the end for the final leg of the pilgrimage!
The set design and visual impact inside was incredible and both the children and adults were in awe of how clever it was all laid out. From creepy old men drinking tankers of beer, to saucy young couples caught in love triangles! The timber clad structures of the 14th century houses and cobbled streets, combined with the sounds of cackles and street life were pretty magical. You really did feel like you were taken back in time, and what’s more is that this was something the children had never experienced or seen before.
In addition to the tour, was the Medieval Story Garden put on for this Easter break and something that everyone of all ages, including Stanley and his young cousin Zac could get involved in too. There was storytelling in the tent, taking part in a Knights’s School quest where you can learn medieval techniques, Maypole dancing AND (probably our favourite) learning about medieval medicine. They all thoroughly enjoyed yielding swords (of course!) and Harry and Gabrielle participated in some role play where Harry was the patient with a headache and Gabrielle was his doctor. She had to concoct a remedy from some commonly found herbs and plants by grinding them down with a pestle and mortar! Medicine making at its very finest!
If like us you want to experience this Medieval Adventure, they have plenty more fun activities running throughout the year during school holidays including ‘Mystical Beasts’ and ‘Magical Paterns’. I certainly recommend the attraction for a very different and unique fun day out with the family. It’s thoroughly educational but in an exciting way for the children (and us adults) to submerge themselves in.
To find out more, visit their website here: www.canterburytales.org.uk
By Laura xx