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A right royal day out for the June Bank Holiday

This year's Jubilee Jousting event will span three days, with archery, falconry, dare-devil horse riding, wood-fired pizzas and more at Henley's Stonor Park. I'm in. Are you?

This June is a bank holiday bonanza, so you’ll want to get something booked in that’s fun, outdoorsy and good for every age in the household, right? Fear not – we’ve got it nailed… Stonor Park near Henley is putting on its annual joust fest (3-5 June), but this year’s Jubilee Jousting is going to be bigger than ever with all manner of feisty medieval activities to get stuck into… or view from a safe distance, depending on your take.

Here’s my low-down on what to expect…

Well, first-off, of course is the engaging spectacle of two knights, in full medieval regalia, aboard Andalusian geldings, galloping full pelt at each other in an attempt to thwack their opponent’s shield and knock them off their horse. What kid (or big kid) won’t love that? The knights also throw in slapstick humour, encourage the audience to take sides and to boo and hiss aplenty, and there’s all sort of japes with swords and balls and chains. Oh, and a dress-up competition, judged by the real knights themselves, so the littlies should raid the fancy dress box for their finest knight/dragon/princess/royal regalia.

Weaponry. That one word will surely win the heart of any small member of your household? Twice a day a ‘cannon crew’ (where do I sign?) will put on an almighty firepower demonstration using everything from medieval handguns to full size cannons of the style used during the Battle of Agincourt, to which the house has a connection (Lord Camoys, head of the Stonor family, is a direct descendant of Lord Thomas de Camoys, who commanded the left wing of the English army at the Battle of Agincourt).

For the aspiring Hunger Games fans among us, there’s a chance to actually have a go at archery – under the watchful eyes of the pros. And you can buy as many bundles of arrows as you like… I feel a family contest coming on…

Between the jousting high jinx there will be all manner of entertainment, including falconry displays (expect owls, falcons, hawks and our fave – the enormous eagle owl – swooping over the crowds).

Plus, a working medieval forge, armoury to try on actual armour, and Agincourt history theatre, including 150 reenactors who will bring history to life – medieval era on the syllabus? You’ve got this nailed! All this and a Platinum Jubilee beacon will be lit each day as part of the royal festivities.

Sounds like hungry work? There will be local food and drink providers aplenty on hand. For a start there’s Stonor’s own woodfired pizzas, hand cooked at the Rumble Hut, which have most definitely passed muster with various members of the Muddy team. Also expect Italian soft scoop ice-cream and a host of other locally produced food and drink options.  

Wanna go? Tickets to the event on June 3-5 cost £16 for adults and £13.50 for kids aged 2-15. The price includes access to Stonor’s fabulous adventure playground, Tumblestone Hollow and the Gardens, would normally cost £6.50 each. It makes the jousting day pretty good value in our view, if you make a day of it and can get round the whole lot.

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