We started the day by waking up in a medieval tournament tent in the middle of a vineyard on the grounds of Leeds Castle!
The night before we arrived at Leeds for two nights of Glamping! Our tent was The Kingston and we had a lion crest! We got rolling and headed off to Dover Castle!
At Dover (based on one of my tour books) we went straight to the War Time Tunnels. Now, I have to say the Dunkirk evacuation is truly an AMAZING story. They managed to save most of the Brits in France after Hitler rolled over the country in a few short days! But, sadly, the exhibit at Dover really did not do the story justice. We had studied the evac before leaving for leaving for Britain. So thankfully the kids had an idea of what happened, but still the presentation could and should have been much more dramatic!
After finishing with the War Tunnels, it was off to the main castle. You may or may not know, the Castle was originally built by Henry II (who employed William Marshal, insert shameless plug for my book here). The castle was also restored and decorated to reflect the period around Henry II’s time.
We were there on a weekend and a few performers where milling around pretending to be people from the era. We had a nice chat with one of them. He said he was on a mission to petition the king to have land returned to him. He claimed his Earl had confiscated the land when his family purchased it a generation ago. We decided to go to the throne room and watch the proceedings.
Prior to seeing King Henry, we explored the castle a bit. We saw the kitchens, the armory, the bed rooms. One thing I noticed were all the colors. They favored very vivid blues and reds and of course, gold!
When it came time for the knight to petition about his land, he claimed The Captain was THE EARL who stole the land from him! What? The Captain was a good sport and played along trying to mount a defense in front of the king. But the “people” (ie the other tourists) were chosen as jury and sided with the knight over The Captain!
Next, I was called forward. The claim was I killed my hubs, a local potter. Gulp. We explained that it was all a show to the Princess, but when I was sentenced to death, I think she got a little nervous. It all turned out okay of course.
We also explored the grounds and saw the old Roman Lighthouse or Pharos built at Dover. For thousands of years, it has been a major point for crossing the Channel.
The weather was really cooperating so we went off to walk the famous white cliffs of Dover. We could see France across the way and it was simply a lovely afternoon. We didn’t walk too far because the kids were hot and tired, but it was still neat.
Then it was back to Leeds. The boys played some chess at our tent and then we walked the grounds and had dinner.