Which medieval fairs in the UK offer the most authentic jousting exhibitions?

When you hear the word "medieval," what comes to mind? Perhaps it's images of gallant knights in shining armour, majestic castles, and of course, the thrilling spectacle of jousting tournaments. The realm of medieval entertainment is alive and well in the United Kingdom, where a number of themed festivals promise to transport visitors back to the Middle Ages.

The Loxwood Joust - West Sussex

The Loxwood Joust is one of the foremost medieval festivals in the UK. This event, usually held in the heart of the summer, offers a unique and immersive trip back to the Middle Ages. As the name implies, jousting is one of the main events at this festival. However, the entertainment extends far beyond that.

The knights who partake in the Loxwood Joust are true professionals, trained extensively in the historic art of jousting. They don their armour and mount their steeds, ready to do battle in a thrilling display of skill and bravery. The jousting tournaments are conducted under historically accurate conditions, with the knights using traditional weaponry and following the rules and standards of the medieval period.

As you watch the jousting tournament, you can also explore the delights of the medieval market, try your hand at archery, or even learn about the history of falconry. However, the jousting event remains the highlight of the day, ensuring that the Loxwood Joust earns its place on your wishlist of must-see medieval events.

The Battle of Hastings Reenactment - East Sussex

Recognised as one of the most significant events in English history, the Battle of Hastings is reenacted every year in October at the original battlefield in East Sussex. The event offers an authentic taste of medieval life, from the grandeur of the King's Court to the thrill of the battlefield.

But it's the jousting exhibition that often steals the show. The participating knights engage in a fierce competition, demonstrating their impressive horsemanship and martial skills. Using traditional weapons and riding war-trained horses, they strive to unseat their opponents in a contest that's as close to the original medieval tournaments as you'll find in the modern day.

England’s Medieval Festival - Herstmonceux Castle

Located at Herstmonceux Castle in East Sussex, England’s Medieval Festival is the largest of its kind in the UK. The castle’s magnificent grounds provide the perfect backdrop for a full weekend of medieval merriment.

Jousting is a central part of the festivities, with not one, but two tournaments held each day. The knights, clad in full plate armour, compete in a series of jousting events that culminate in a grand melee. This tournament is a must-add to any medieval enthusiast's calendar.

The Warwick Castle Jousting Tournament - Warwickshire

The Warwick Castle, with its impressive stone walls and towering turrets, is the ideal setting for a medieval festival. Each summer, the castle grounds play host to the Warwick Castle Jousting Tournament.

The tournament is a spectacle to behold: knights charge at each other with lances, aiming to strike their opponent's shield and score points. The authenticity of the event is enhanced by the involvement of the Knights of Middle England, a group of professional medieval jousters who dedicate themselves to recreating the chivalry and combat of the Middle Ages.

The Royal Armouries' Easter Tournament - Leeds

Last but not least, the Royal Armouries in Leeds hold an annual Easter Tournament, which is said to be the UK's most prestigious jousting competition. The tournament, held over the Easter weekend, sees internationally renowned knights from across the globe competing for the coveted Sword of Honour and the Queen's Jubilee Trophy.

This tournament offers some of the most authentic jousting exhibitions in the UK. The competitors, all professional jousters, participate in a series of challenges that test their prowess in horsemanship, swordsmanship, and lance skill. The winner is crowned the Champion of the Tournament, a title that carries with it great honour and recognition.

These are but a handful of the magnificent medieval festivals held across the UK. Each of these will not only enlarge your understanding of medieval history and culture but also provide an entertaining day out for the whole family. Whether you're a history buff, a fan of jousting, or simply looking for a unique form of entertainment, the medieval events in the UK have something for everyone. Enjoy the thrill of the tournament, the pageantry of the knights, and the beauty of the castles - and step back in time to the Middle Ages.

The Tournament of the Knights - Arundel Castle

Nestled in West Sussex, the magnificent Arundel Castle stands as a testament to medieval grandeur. Each year, it hosts the Tournament of the Knights, a medieval jousting spectacle that draws enthusiasts from near and far. This event truly is a medieval themed extravaganza, with a bustling medieval market, period music, and a grand parade of knights, adding to the historic ambiance.

The jousting tournament, however, is the undisputed highlight of the festival. Adorned in dazzling armours, the knights mount their magnificent steeds, ready to engage in a thrilling display of chivalry and courage. Using period-accurate weaponry, the knights aim to unseat their rivals, their lances clashing with thunderous impact. The authenticity of the joust makes it a truly captivating experience and a medieval entertainment highlight in the UK.

The tournament's winner is crowned the Champion of the Castle—a title that carries with it immense honour, much like the medieval times. The sheer grandeur of the occasion, coupled with the thrilling spectacle of the jousting match, makes the Tournament of the Knights a must-add wishlist item for any fan of the Middle Ages.

The War of the Roses Live - Warwick Castle

At Warwick Castle, the War of the Roses is brought back to life in a dynamic, live action jousting show. The War of the Roses Live event at this historic castle is a thrilling combination of stunt riding, special effects, and formidable battles, all set in a riveting story from the heart of England's history.

The competitive jousting tournaments are the central event at this festival, where knights, representing the houses of Lancaster and York, face off in dramatic, action-packed encounters. With a powerful display of horsemanship and martial skills, the knights, equipped with traditional medieval weapons, offer a display of jousting that is as authentic as it gets.

The energy, the excitement, and the charged ambiance make the War of the Roses Live a must-see event. It's more than just a jousting display—it's a full-on medieval experience. This event should be part of your wishlist medieval festivals to attend in the UK—it's certain to be a fun day out for the entire family.


From the colourful spectacle of the Loxwood Joust to the thrilling reenactment of the Battle of Hastings, the UK offers a host of medieval festivals that bring the excitement and pageantry of the Middle Ages to life. The aforementioned events, offering authentic jousting tournaments, add an extra layer of authenticity that sets them apart.

Whether it's the grandeur of the Tournament of the Knights at Arundel Castle or the action-packed War of the Roses Live at Warwick Castle, these medieval festivals offer a magical peek into the past. They not only provide a day of family fun but also an educational excursion into the rich tapestry of history.

Add these events to your wishlist, immerse yourself in the world of medieval jousting, and experience the thrill of stepping back in time. The UK's medieval themed entertainment scene awaits your enquiry response. Enjoy the unique blend of education and entertainment that these festivals offer, and make your visit to the UK's medieval festivals a cherished memory.

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