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Sophie Hewitt
25th June 2024

From medieval fun and games and pirates and knights at Dover Castle, to summer quests at Walmer Castle and Roman history and discovery at Richborough Roman Fort, it’s in English Heritage’s nature to host a historic family-friendly summer. Little historians will have plenty to keep them entertained with fab and fun activities going on every day throughout the school holidays, plus we’ve got a few discounts and ideas to keep parents smiling this summer, too.  

Medieval Season at Dover Castle

20th July – 1st September

Dover Castle will be embracing the medieval heritage of the Great Tower this summer holiday! Bring along your little learners and find out what life was like during the time of Henry II’s reign with plenty of medieval games, sword school and more on the cards this summer. As every week will offer a different activity, English Heritage members are in for a treat with an ever-changing calendar of excitement to keep the kids from uttering the dreaded line of, “I’m bored”.

Pirates! At Dover Castle

3rd – 4th August

We’re setting sail for Dover Castle, and we hear pirates have come ashore! This sensational sea-faring weekend will offer up adventures on the high seas with tales of barnacles, booty and bounty. See history’s most grizzled pirates fighting it out, get hands-on with plenty of pirate activities and see shows featuring scallywags and salty sea dogs. Better yet, book your day out online and you could save a gold coin or two with a 15% discount.

Clash of Knights at Dover Castle

24th August – 26th August

It’s a battle for victory at the Clash of the Knights as these noble men will have their skills and strength put to the test. Witness breath-taking clashes and soak up the atmosphere of the Middle Ages with open-fire cooking, live music, jester shows and storytelling. You and the family will even have the chance to get stuck in with archery, all set in the shadow of the magnificent Dover Castle, which will be transformed with fluttering banners to really help you get into the medieval spirit. Pre-book online and you could save 15%.

Summer Explorer Quest at Walmer Castle

20th July – 1st September

With its beautiful gardens, natural play area, glades and of course that magnificent castle at its heart, Walmer Castle is one of our go tos for a fun family day out. This summer the castle will be hosting the 'Where's my shadow' quest through the gardens, with little ones invited to help trusty guard dog, Noble, and his friends as they search for his lost shadow! Follow in Noble's paw prints, join in on the adventures and complete challenges on this exciting hunt through the grounds. What’s more, we recommend pre-booking online to save 15% on your tickets.

Richborough Roman Fort

If you haven’t visited Richborough since its transformation last year, we seriously recommend you treat the kids to a day out there this summer. This remarkable site will teach historians of all ages about the history of Romans in Britain and the fascinating setting that was once a thriving trading hub. Climb to the very top of the replica of the Roman gateway and you’ll be treated to jaw-dropping views across the countryside. Visit the museum with its newly discovered artefacts which showcase Roman life, or pay a visit to the remains of the amphitheatre where gladiators once captivated the crowds.

Deal Castle

Just along the coast from Walmer Castle, we highly recommend adding Deal Castle to your summer must-visit list. Open every day throughout the holidays, this incredible Tudor fortress will help shed light on the history of Henry VIII’s reign, standing as one of the castles the monarch commissioned to protect the coast. Explore the underground tunnels, before heading to the castle walls for some of the best sea views around.

St Augustine’s Abbey

Just a stone’s throw from the heart of Canterbury and part of its World Heritage Site, St Augustine’s Abbey has been an important part of Kent’s history for centuries. Once the burial place of Anglo-Saxon kings, these tranquil ruins will tell of the rebirth of Christianity in Kent once the Romans made their departure. A great spot for the WHOLE family, stroll the grounds with your four-legged friend, or pack up a picnic of Kent goodies for a fun afternoon with your little ones.