On arrival we were warmly greeted by the staff on duty and I must say how welcoming they were. The children were handed audio/visual guides and shown how to work them, these could be used with or without headphones and gave audio and visual guidance around the grounds and castle. They then explained the theme to this week's activity which is 'Norman Knight Time'. A timetable for the day was situated near the lawn where the activities were taking place. The sessions were split into 3 schools as below.
- Page School - first stage of training as you prepare to become a page, chance to ask questions and be taught the etiquette for your new role.
- Squire School - try on armour and practice sword skills whilst learning your new responsibilities.
- Knight School - final stage of training, more sword skills and time to received your knighthood.
The above sessions were in the morning and repeated in the afternoon and all children were given a Norman Knight School certificate on completion. Gee had great fun listening to the tales and trying her hand at becoming a knight, it was so good to see all the children participating and enjoying the history lessons which were made so enjoyable.
In between attending the Norman Knight School we walked around the Castle and grounds. Bolsover Castle is stunningly beautiful and has such amazing views. The castle was founded in the late 11th century by William Peveril who was one of William the Conqueror's knights but it was neglected from the mid 14th century and since being in the care of English Heritage in 1984 numerous restoration works has been carried out to make it the show piece it is today. From exploring the ruins, to climbing the little castle (which has many stairs) to relaxing in the Fountain Garden there really is something for everyone to enjoy.
Also in the grounds is a nice little coffee shop and children's playground. The food on offer is limited, but what is available is good. Children are catered for by the way of lunch boxes containing a sandwich, drink, cookie, raisins and crisps priced at £4.50. I had quiche of the day accompanied by a side salad and potato salad for around £6, this was very tasty. The cakes are something to look forward to.
The children's playground is fabulous, the girls loved it. Built in a wooden castle design there are various activities inside the equipment and I could hardly tear them away. Great fun when they are wanting to let of some steam after they have taken in all the information about the castle.
We had a thoroughly enjoyable day and will definitely be returning in the near future, thank you English Heritage
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