To celebrate the 20 anniversary of Terry Deary's series of children's books, Horrible Histories has teamed up with Warwick Castle to bring Foul Fayres to the nation.
Set in the grounds of the medieval Warwick Castle, the Vile Victorians, Stormin' Normans, Measly Middle Ages, Terrible Tudors and the Vicious Vikings bring the gory, plague-ridden history of Britain to life.
Small camps are set up around the castle depicting the different ages throughout history. Each have two or three characters to interactive with and charm (and charm they do) the visitors. We rowed a long boat with the Vicious Vikings, bowed before terrible Tudor, Queen Elizabeth I and threw rats through a hoop at the Measly Middle Ages. The kids tried on a Norman soldier's chain mail vest before brandishing their swords at invading Saxons
And there's plenty of opportunity to get involved. Lola dressed up as a Tudor princess and perfected her Royal curtsey. She even volunteered to have her head cut off by a rather charming executioner. A larger than life King Henry VIII strutted around the grounds in all his glory, eyeballing children and chatting up the ladies, even I was tempted to marry the old soul.
My gang particularly loved the Vile Victorians. Set in the old Mill House, they were able to dress up as Victorian children and take part in a lesson lead by a stern school mistress armed with a cane. I've never seen my kids so well behaved. While none of them received six of the best, they did learn about classroom etiquette and the punishments Victorian children endured in the 1800s.
Foul Fayres aside, Warwick Castle is a fantastic family day out. We witnessed sword fights, birds of prey displays and discovered the illicit past of 'Daisy' the Countess of Warwick on an actor's tour of the castle. The firing of the trebuchet is the day's grand finale. We watched in awe as this incredible piece of medieval machinery flings a fireball through the Warwickshire countryside. A fitting end to a truly gruesome day out.
Dates for Horrible Histories at Warwick Castle are:
25 May - 2 June
20 July - 1 September
For more information, visit Warwick-castle.com.