Battling knights, hot air balloons and flamenco dancing are among the events on this half-term across the country

Visit England have put together some of their top recommendations for the week-long break:

National Trust activities

There’s a variety of special events at National Trust properties across the country.

Visitors can be a ranger for the day on Brownsea Island in Dorset where you can go tree climbing, search for coastal creatures and take a family-friendly nature walk.

There’s bug house building at Lyford Gorge in Devon, where you can learn basic woodcraft skills and make your own wooden mallet.

Children hunting for bugs

Bug hunting

At Barrington Court, in Somerset you can visit a woodcarvers’ workshop and paint a hand-cut, solid wood decoration.

Knights’ Tournament at English Heritage sites

From May 25 to 30, watch rival knights demonstrate their archery and swordsmanship skills at five English Heritage sites.

The events are on at Bolsover Castle, Derbyshire; Beeston Castle and Woodland Park, Cheshire; and Kenilworth Castle and Elizabethan Garden, Warwickshire. Prices vary per property.

Visitors can get a glimpse of medieval life in encampments, try on knight’s armour and see the cooking and the weapon repairs which were part of life at camp.

Wannabe warriors can join in with drills out on the field and get a taste of medieval combat in the kids’ battle.


Sky High (May 27 to 30)

This is a hot air balloon festival on the Isle of Wight – more than 40 hot air balloons will take to the skies at Robin Hill – visitors can meet the pilots, walk inside the balloons and win the chance to take a flight.

Plus there’s kite making and flying workshops for children.

child flying a kite in a blue sky

On May 27 and 29 visitors can also see the balloons at twilight in a sound and light production called Night Glow.

Prices from £23.00, go to the website.

Feria de Londres, London South Bank (May 24 to 26)

Inspired by Southern Spain’s traditional spring fairs, this event celebrates Spanish cuisine and entertainment.

There will be Sevillana dance lessons and flamenco rhythm workshops plus family-friendly activities. Entry is free. Go to

Nature Festival, Gilbert White’s House and Gardens Hampshire (May 26)

There will be stalls, talks, activities and a 24-hour bioblitz with local wildlife experts and organisations to remember the work of Gilbert White – a pioneering 18th century English naturalist and ornithologist.

Adults £10, children £15, go to the website.

Fairyland Fair, Bradmoor Woods in Norfolk (May 26 and 27)

A fairytale-themed fair featuring a magic workshop, a fairy queen and a dressing up competition.

There’s music, food, drink and entertainment including bands, story tellers, craft stalls and walkabout performers, plus games, Maypole dancing, competitions and woodland trails.

Early bird tickets £7.50 each, then £9 per person (family Tickets £28/£34), under-threes free, go to the website.

Mudeford Seafood Festival at picturesque Mudeford Quay in Christchurch, Dorset (May 25 to 27)

This new festival is a family-focused celebration of seafood.

There will be cooking demonstrations, entertainment, local celebrities, musicians and more.

It is free, visit the website.

Happy half-term everyone, have fun whatever you do!

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