Wednesday, 4 June 2014

enjoying castle season

We're counting down the days to the summer holidays here, the weather is better (sometimes), and we're easing ourselves into the fun filled seven weeks of summer holidays with fun filled weekends.

Newark Castle in Port Glasgow.  Our latest visit.
I'm a massive fan of castles, and there are so many good castles to visit nearby.  I tend to find plenty to do in a castle anyway - there is usually lots to learn, and you can let your imagination run riot.  

If the castle itself wasn't enough for you, there are lots of great events coming up as part of the Historic Scotland Homecoming 2014 (do you have any idea why they've called it Homecoming?).  I thought I'd tell you about some of them here.  The best bit is that all these events are all included for the usual entry fee.

This Sunday afternoon (8th June, 12-4pm) at Dumbarton Castle you can see reenactment and find out more about the Scottish civil wars of the 1600s, when covenanters took the castle (very useful for English types like me with a woeful understanding of Scottish history).  

Next Sunday afternoon (15th June, 12-4pm) at Bothwell Castle there will be a reenactment of the events of 25th June 1314 - 700 years ago!  After the English Army had been defeated at Bannockburn and had retreated to Bothwell Castle, Edward Bruce, brother of King Robert came to the castle to force the English commander to surrender.  You can watch the stand off and cheer on your favourite (I'm guessing not the English).

The week after (Sunday 22nd June, 12-4pm) at Dundonald Castle we're back in territory that feels more familiar to me, looking at the rise of the Stewart family in the late C13, with battle displays, and the opportunity to experience daily medieval life.  That's the one I'm most excited about I think.

All three castles are under an hour's drive from Largs, and also close to Glasgow.  Should be some top days out.

But a really good one to bear in mind is Spectacular Jousting at Linlithgow Palace - we went last year and I wrote about it here.  This year it's only on for one weekend - 5th & 6th July, with jousting, lots of battle displays, and loads more to do.  It really is an amazing visit, and Linlithgow is only an hour and a half away.

Spectacular Jousting at Linlithgow Palace 2013.  Hopefully this year it'll be dry.
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The book challenge
Words at 3/6/14 - 82,500.  
43,000 words done since the challenge began, 11,500 last month.
Where I'm at in First Draft - Chapter 20.
What I did last - had a story rejected (oops).