Hear Ye, Hear Ye! The Loxwood Joust is a jabbing good time

Billingshurst, West Sussex

Join the rebellion against a tyrannical king at the UK’s largest immersive medieval and jousting festival. By Phia Langley

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If you’ve always wanted to know what life was like as amedieval peasant, step right into Loxwood Meadow for a fully immersive medieval festival.

In the lush, wooded green of Loxwood Meadow hides a forgotten kingdom where squires and serfs alike work the land and live by the sword. This August the current King is throwing a festival to celebrate his first year of ruling, generously paid for out of his own coffers (that he filled with hefty taxations on the townsfolk), so come and lose yourself in on the of the UK’s best historic immersive experiences.

Immersive storytelling

Last year reputable lords and ladies of the realm contended for the throne but two houses in particular held strong campaigns, the conniving and sly Lord Villian and mead empire heiress Lady Helena. Supported by the unwitting townsfolk Villian took the crown and locked Lady Helena away in a tower, but now she has escaped and stirs up a rebellion in the shadows to return Loxwood to its former glory.

This year the festival returns for its third instalment of its ongoing saga following the trials and tribulations of the fictional kingdom of Loxwood. When you enter the site you’re invited to choose who to give their allegiance to – those who decide to follow the dictatorial King Villian can even report sightings of Helena’s hooded rebels to the nearby Bailiff. If tattling on merry men isn’t your style however, there is still plenty to do at the Loxwood Joust.

Medieval crafts and mead on tap

In the living village you can learn to make chainmail or perfect how to write with quill and ink, and you get to take your wonderful crafts home with you. If you’d rather have some ready-made mementos then there are plenty of stalls selling silver jewellery, medieval wares and even some delightful fudge.

Just wandering around the site is pretty magical: a local witch sits beside her cauldron at the end of the faerie woodland, the local executioner gives gruesome ye olde TED Talks about medieval torture, and colourful characters of the town surround the jousting arena from blacksmiths to jesters and royals to peasants.

Real life jousting

Of course, a jousting festival wouldn’t be complete without the main event itself. Watch as trained knights ride toward each other at lance-shattering speeds to prove their skill and hold your breath while professional warriors wield real swords and wear authentic armour in full-contact fighting, a new competitive sport sweeping through the UK. On the Woodland Stage period-appropriate performances of song and dance provide great entertainment while visitors feast on mead and hog roasts.

Banquets fit for a king

There’s no need to bring a picnic because Loxwood has plenty of food options whether you have the appetite of a king or prefer to snack throughout the day. From a traditional hog-roastery, mead shack and garlicwood BBQ chicken to more modern fayres like pizza, burgers, ice cream and coffee, there truly is something for everyone to enjoy while meandering through the Kingdom – vegans and vegetarians too!

For full immersion in the Loxwood fantasy you can buy an add- tickets to a special banquet where you can rub shoulders with lords and ladies and watch exclusive performances under the private cover of the Royal Marquee whilst enjoying a specially prepared historically authentic banquet. Fare thee well, my liege!

How to get there

    

Car – The festival is situated on the B2133 between Loxwood and Wisborough Green in West Sussex, RH14 0AL, just over an hour from London. There is free parking available on site.

Train – The nearest train station is Billingshurst where the event is just a 10-minute taxi ride away, or alternatively there is a shuttlebus service directly to the event from Horsham station.

Where to eat

    

There are many food stalls on site, from authentic hog roasts and a mead shack to coffee shops and burger vans.

Accessibility

    

The festival takes place on flat grassland and the woodland paths are suitable for wheelchair users, however it can get muddy due to rain. There are also viewing areas for the joust and battle especially for wheelchair users.

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