Seven May Day Bank Holiday days out to enjoy

The May Day Bank Holiday will see thrilling reenactments at our grandest castles, traditional fetes and Roman-style revelries

Kenilworth

With its roots in pagan Anglo-Saxon times, the May Day Bank Holiday has now become a popular national holiday throughout Britain. The earliest May Day celebrations are thought to have occurred during the Roman era when youths would celebrate the coming of spring with a day of dancing dedicated to the goddess Flora. Today the holiday celebrations typically include Morris Dancing – a form of folk dance – and maypole dancing.

In celebration of the start of summer English Heritage has organised a host of events of the Bank Holiday weekend across the country which herald back to a bygone era, ranging from battling Roman gladiators, to Victorian fetes. Scroll down through our list of the seven best May Day Bank Holiday events for a taste of what May Day in Britain is all about.

1. Party fit for a Queen, Elizabethan Revels at Kenilworth Castle

At splendid Kenilworth Castle, Warwickshire, it’s 1575 again, as Queen Elizabeth and her colourful court descend for a packed programme of events including swordsmanship and dressage, along with music, plays and a party fit for a Queen. Don’t forget to practise your curtsy for the arrival of Gloriana herself.
Sunday 3 to Monday 4 May. To find out more visit the English Heritage website here. 

2. Clash of Knights at Framlingham Castle

Visitors to Framlingham Castle, Suffolk, can expect a day of chivalry and surprises as chain mailed and adrenalin-fuelled teams of knights meet head-on in a contest of skill, strength and honour.
Sunday 3 to Monday 4 May. To find out more visit the English Heritage website here.

Roman-Soldiers

3. Gladiators! at Wroxeter Roman City

Relive Wroxeter’s Roman heyday as ancient Viroconium as a troop of gladiators come to town to show you what entertained an empire. Budding young centurions can hone their skills in a series of drills and games, and the whole family can discover more about the challenges and triumphs of life in Roman Britain.
Sunday 3 to Monday 4 May. To find out more visit the English Heritage website here.

4. Falconry of Roman Britain at Chesters Roman Fort

Discover the fascinating falcons and hawks in a display at Chesters Roman Fort, at the world-famous Hadrian’s Wall. Courageous visitors will even get the chance to feed these birds of prey.
Saturday 2 to Monday 4 May. To find out more visit the English Heritage website here.

5. 1940s Weekend at Belsay Hall

Belsay Hall, Northumberland, will play host to a 1940s village fete, complete with live music, food and games. Be transported back in time to do your bit for the War effort and enjoy games, 1940s music, fashion and food with a cast of costumed actors telling the stories of Belsay.
Saturday 2 to Monday 4 May. To find out more visit the English Heritage website here. 

Brodsworth_421F8

6. Merry Month of May at Brodsworth Hall

In May, Brodsworth Hall and Gardens brings you traditional Victorian entertainment, including a May Day fete with a Punch & Judy puppet show, music and a whole host of traditional games for all of the family to enjoy.
Saturday 2 to Monday 4 May. To find out more visit the English Heritage website here. 

7. Grand Victorian Travelling Show at Audley End

This Victorian May Day fete at Audley End, Essex, will amaze you with its travelling sideshow full of colourful characters, a Wild West horse show and Victorian stalls.
Sunday 3 to Monday 4 May. To find out more visit the English Heritage website here. 

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