On Saturday 29th November, I travelled up to the lovely town of Ludlow for the very popular Medieval Christmas Fayre.
Being a two-day festival in the heart of Britain, I wasn’t surprised to see quite a crowd enjoying this chocolate-box community. Before I even reached the castle grounds there was an abundance of Christmas cheer with carol singers, a market and Santa and his reindeers.
The charming town in Shropshire is lined with quirky listed buildings, quaint English pubs and independent retailers and cafés. Ludlow is certainly worth a visit anytime of year.
As I arrived at the stone castle gates, the straw hay underfoot and cloaked costumes promised an authentic 17th century experience from the get-go.
So many details paid tribute to this fascinating time in British history. I walked around dozens of stalls in the main marquee and people were keen to snap up inspired handmade crafts, woven garden decorations and house ornaments.
From hog roasts and hot pies, to crepes and sponge cakes (with medieval recipes), there was plenty of food to deliberate over. The welsh cakes were delicious and the pasty was share-size!
Within the castle walls were more stalls offering immersive experiences for all ages.Many children enjoyed archery while some adults joined in and tried on the heavy medieval armour.
You could also wince at gory medical equipment, browse handmade jewellery stalls or get up close and personal with some large birds of prey.
I was really curious to sample the Victorian hot chocolate with cardamon, long pepper and cinnamon. It had a very unique peppery flavour – an ideal winter warmer.
I climbed up the castle’s keep to see views over the whole Fayre. It’s a fantastic perspective and I imagine on a crystal clear day it would be even more excellent.
The experience also reminded me just how grand Ludlow Castle must’ve been, it’s a mighty impressive fortress to witness firsthand.
By nightfall, the fun at the Fayre really fired up. I certainly recommend staying in the evening as the smokey orange glow from the castle and lamp burners really added to the medieval magic.
Activities also continued right the way up to 9pm with staged reenactments, coin making and the Ludlow giants, Brother Sid and Lady Bella.
When leaving, the Mayor had arrived to turn on the town’s Christmas lights. It was a very merry end to an enchanting day in Ludlow!
There was over 100 exhibitors at the Fayre from across the country. As mentioned earlier, it’s only on for a small amount of time so if you’d like to attend the 2015 on the 28th-29th November, visit http://www.ludlowmedievalchristmas.co.uk/ for information.