Dover Castle in Kent holds events for English Heritage #LoveCastles campaign

by Lauren Abbott

What do Hogwarts, Cinderella's castle and Dover Castle all have in common?

All three were named by children in a survey conducted by English Heritage about the castles they'd most like to visit.

The organisation is launching a #LoveCastles campaign, which is encouraging families to visit the nation's forts to prevent children's castle experience and knowledge being only something they can relate to through films and television programmes.

Dover Castle (2936798)
Dover Castle (2936798)

Kate Mavor, chief executive of English Heritage, said: “We are in danger of creating an ‘iCastle Generation’ of kids who have only ever seen a castle on a screen.

“Most of us can remember our first trip to a castle – whether on a day out with the family or a school trip. But today’s children are increasingly likely to catch their first glimpse via TV or film rather than in real life.”

Other fictional castles named in the top 10 list included Elsa's Ice Palace from the Disney film Frozen, Sleeping Beauty's castle and the Far Far Far Away castle in Shrek.

Alongside Dover Castle, real-life monuments Edinburgh Castle and Windsor Castle also made the top 10.

To help launch its #LoveCastles campaign English Heritage is hosting a range of events and activities at some of its properties this summer including sandcastle building, jousting and Minecraft workshops.

We've rounded up below some of the events taking place at Dover Castle throughout July and August:

Learn how to build the perfect sandcastle at Dover Castle
Learn how to build the perfect sandcastle at Dover Castle

Sandcastle building workshops: Saturday, July 21 and Sunday, July 22

Get beach ready with a family master-class in sandcastle building with sand sculpture experts Sand in Your Eye.

The workshops using sand-tables with buckets and spades provided, are suitable for children five and up with adult supervision needed for under 12's so parents and grandparents can join in! Workshops run hourly each day from 11am (last one 4pm). Each workshop session lasts 45mins. Places are limited so please book in on arrival at the castle.

Plagues and Punishment: Saturday, July 28 and Sunday, July 29

Embark on some medieval madness at the end of July! Explore a medieval village, hear the clash of steel as knights do battle, laugh yourself silly with the local jester whilst the kids enjoy hands on games with the muck slinging peasant. Learn about the ultimate punishment from the grim executioner, and discover the rotten occupation of the plague doctor. This fantastic fun weekend promises to bring medieval lives to life.

Tudor Pageant: Saturday, August 11 and Sunday, August 12

Gather with England's most famous King, Henry VIII, as he prepares to invade France.

Hear the sounds of cannons, muskets and drums. Join the king in a parade and watch as actors perform a play for the famously bad-tempered monarch.

Dover Castle (2936800)
Dover Castle (2936800)

Grand Medieval Joust: Saturday, August 25 until Monday, August 27

This spectacle of skill and speed returns for the three-day bank holiday weekend.

Enjoy battles between the mounted knights, surround yourself in the pageantry and enjoy living history encampments, which will take you back in time.

Budding knights can also enjoy their own hero moment as they test their bravery in the hobby-horse jousting.

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