Battle lines drawn for festival fun

GRUESOME gladiators, a Victorian seaside, bloody battles, military combat and chariot racing will be among the 100 displays at a huge festival of history taking place in Kelmarsh this Saturday and Sunday.

The seventh annual 'living history' event, held in the 3,500-acre grounds of 18th century Kelmarsh Hall, will see 1,000 historical interpreters and re-enactors in 100 spectacular performances commemorating England's past.

This year's weekend will feature Second World War tank displays, complete with Hollywood-style special effects, King Henry V's siege at Harfleur in 1415, a St George and the Dragon, Tudor jousting, the Battle of Waterloo and many more.

Emily Burns, head of events at English Heritage which organises the festival, said: "It's by far our blockbuster event of the year.

Since its inception seven years ago the Festival of History has attracted more than 90,000 visitors from across the world."

English Heritage say it is the biggest event of its kind in Europe.

There will also be stalls, food, refreshments and numerous hands-on activities for youngsters.

Day tickets cost 18 (children 10, concessions 14, family 45) and weekend tickets 28.50 (children 14.50, concessions 23, family 72). It runs from 9.30am to 6pm on both days.

There are discounts for English Heritage members and their guests. For more information phone 0870 3331183 or visit the website