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East Anglia: Activities for Fans of the Medieval

East Anglia is a region rich in history and character, famous for its nature as much as its cathedrals. Livestock, wildlife and adventure seekers can be found roaming its coasts and countryside. Castles, owls, deer, endless paths and rivers await to help you escape the stress and troubles of modernity, even imagine the olden days. If Medieval-inspired activities are indeed something of interest, then East Anglia has plenty for you to see and do. Bring the family or simply your smile, muscle and fun-loving attitude to one of the most beautiful parts of England.

“in a medieval town….” by Hans Splinter (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Festivals

There is nothing quite like the wide-eyed joy that a well-organised fair can inspire. Maybe watching the many adaptations of Robin Hood or King Arthur is enough. Maybe taking part in Game of Thrones betting is more your thing, with Tyrion Lannister currently being favoured to rule Westeros at 11/2. But some people need more than that. They want to be surrounded by voices and laughter, music and mouth-watering delicacies, enthusiasm of things supposedly antiquated yet strangely original and rejuvenating.

The 2018 Countryside and Falconry Fair has come and gone, leaving behind memories that will not likely be forgotten any time soon. Set at Stonham Barns, the East Anglian Daily Times’s overview of what to expect stirs the imagination. Arena events, exhibits and hands-on activities does not quite suffice to describe electronic clay pigeon shooting, gardening and beekeeping, numerous country arts and crafts, and, of course, bird, pig, dog and horse shows, the last including animals from Game of Thrones.

A similar event, the Colchester Medieval Festival, is always a busy attraction. Food, dance and storytelling are accompanied by falconry, archery and armed combat, all within a medieval-themed setting. Dressing the part is not essential, but strongly advised. How often do you get to immerse yourself in such vividly creative and historic celebrations? Join the fun and learn a portion of what was meant by entertainment in centuries past.

Clubs

Archery, as already mentioned, still has an audience. The Kings Forest Bowmen gathers over 170 members in the woodlands of Suffolk. Full access to 14 target courses, shooting events and worldwide competitions are some of the perks of joining this group of merry men and women. Three taster sessions are available for anyone who wants to try their hand at the sport, as well as expert advice on equipment and technique should you wish to dedicate yourself further. At the next Medieval Festival, you could be the Hood.

Sword fighting is even more popular with several martial arts schools across East Anglia offering their variations of the impressive skill. But how amazing would it be to learn it Viking-style? This is your chance at the Dragon Shields Combat Training that takes place in Bradwell. The club, generally involved in re-enactment presentations, combines Viking and Oriental techniques to master the use of the sword, shield, axe, spear and longbow, while putting their skills to the test as a team or against other groups at events, like the Festival above.

“Fête médiévale « Des Vikings à Rieux ! »” by melisa launay (CC BY-ND 2.0)

East Anglia is proving itself quite the hub for ancient indulgences. Get fit or full of educational fun by diving into any or all of these great opportunities, but do not stop searching. The

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