Home » DAYS OUT: Summer fun for all the family at Devon’s Powderham Castle

DAYS OUT: Summer fun for all the family at Devon’s Powderham Castle

History is coming alive for families at Powderham Castle in Devon this summer. 

The 600 year old home to the Courtenay family near Exeter is set to keep kids entertained all summer long with different activities planned each week of the holidays. 

From delving into the incredible past of animals and critters from the Tudor times. A living history group bringing the grounds to life with an encampment portraying life in the 17th century. A pooches at Powderham event, and interactive pirate-themed sessions from a theatre company. Live parrot shows, and a visit from Tractor Ted, kids will be spoilt for choice. 

Medieval Madness at Powderham

We recently had a great day out at Powderham for their Medieval Madness event. I’d not been since I camped in the grounds as a Girl Guide (yes, really) And that was nigh on 25 years ago (no comments, please). So it was lovely to see it all again on a family day out with my parents, boys and nephews.  

It was part of a week-long event with so much going on throughout the day. The highlight for us all was watching the Knights of Royal England’s amazing jousting displays. The boys had no idea what to expect, but loved the sword-fighting and jousting. Children were invited to get involved at the start. Obviously not with the swords or animals. And the whole audience got behind their ‘team’ cheering and booing as the knights were knocked off their horses. It was a real spectacle and something completely different to watch. 

Theatre company’s medieval mischief

We also saw one of the Pocketwatch Theatre Company’s performances of medieval mischief. It transported you back to medieval times, and even involved the children trying their hand at archery and child-friendly jousting. 

As part of the event, the boys were able to paint their own shields or swords. Some more skilfully than others…  As well as draw their own creations on the courtyard tarmac.

As well as the Medieval Madness activities, we had free reign of the castle and its grounds. We made the most of a tractor trailer ride through Powderham’s deer park. And spotted so many of the beautiful creatures. We also had a play in the park, and visited the animals in the castle’s walled garden. The boys were able to let off some more steam playing on the grass where we had our picnic. 

We had a great day, and the summer holiday events look set to be just as much fun:

Beastly Bygones Week – July 29 to August 2 

Beastly Bygones Week will delve into the incredible past of historic animals and critters. These include rats, giant land snails and frogs from the Tudor times. Children will be able to enjoy interactive sessions with Zoolab. They can have a hands-on experience with the fascinating creatures. 

Living History Week – August 5 to 9

Living History Week will allow visitors to step back in time to the 17th Century when Powderham Castle played a crucial role in the English Civil War. Wardour Garrison, the premier 17th century living history group will bring the grounds to life with an encampment portraying trades. There will also be crafts and life as it was in 17th century England.

Pooches at Powderham Week – August 12 to 16

Pooches at Powderham week will celebrate your canine companions with exciting dog shows. There’ll also be have-a-go sessions and the chance to stock up on all your puppy’s needs. Stallholders will be across the castle grounds for your ideal dog-friendly day out.

Pirates and Parrots Week – August 19 to 23

Pirates & Parrots Week at Powderham will include the Pocketwatch Theatre Company putting on their fantastic interactive pirate-themed sessions. Plus live parrot shows where the kids can hold them and learn all about them.

Tractor Ted at Powderham – August 26 to 30

Rounding off the summer holidays, Tractor Ted, the universally-loved green tractor will be chugging into Powderham for the last week of August. This little green tractor has wowed millions of children over the years. With his real life farm stories which are told in a fun, educational and totally charming manner. All stories are told with young children in mind. They are introduced to what is happening on the farm from potato harvesting to milking the cows.

All the activities are included in Powderham’s day admission prices. There’s also a seven day free return so there’s no pressure to fit everything into one day – just go back again within the week! 

Disclaimer – we were given admission to Powderham Castle to enjoy their Medieval Madness activities. This was for the purpose of this review, but opinions, words and pictures are my own.

How did I do?

Did you enjoy this post? Keep an eye out for the latest Local Stuff here. And if you’re into castles, how about you check out this post about Framlingham Castle in Suffolk. Or you might like some of my other days out or travel bits and pieces. If you’re local you MUST read my Ultimate Summer Days Out Guide For Families in and around Plymouth. Also read all about our brilliant day at Paulton’s Park and Peppa Pig World. Or about our AMAZING farm stay at Glynn Barton Farm Cottages in Cornwall. Or Why a holiday to Bluestone is awesome with another family. And if you’re looking a bit further afield, what about 5 Things To Do In Blackpool or Holiday Parks Near Great Yarmouth.

If you like a bit of social media madness, pop over to my Facebook page where you’ll be able to have a laugh at what ridiculousness goes on in my house with three very small boys on a daily basis. Warning – there is often sarcasm, and usually swearing. There are also great travel reviews and some AWESOME giveaways. Feel free to join my Twins, Tantrums and Cold Coffee – Shits and Giggles Parenting Group too, where everyone shares their hilarious stories.

And if you want to work with me, feel free to give me a shout here or at helen@twinstantrumsandcoldcoffee.com and I’ll get back to you.

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Nicola | Travelling with Boys 05/08/2019 - 8:55 pm

Sounds like a fab day out. I love how much they have going on over the holidays!

Twins, Tantrums and Cold Coffee 08/08/2019 - 8:41 pm

Loads going on! It was great.


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