Beautiful campsites

Hello everyone and hope that you are well, I have had a lovely weekend away at our last event of the season in South Wales, another beautiful place to camp and I will share some pictures of that event later in the week.

We are so very lucky as re-enactors to camp in amazing places and this was the view I had from my tent the weekend before last at Lincoln Cathedral.

Lincoln Bishops' Palace show

Lincoln 3

The cathedral looked amazing lit up at night and the sky was beautiful as well, all very atmospheric and makes you realise what a powerful impact these magnificent buildings would have had in medieval times.

Lincoln 5

Lincoln 2

Lincoln 6

Lincoln 7

Here are some more pictures that I took of the interior of the cathedral.

Lincoln 11

Lincoln 12

Lincoln 13

Lincoln 14

Lincoln 15

This is my favourite because of the light coming through the windows – just beautiful!

Lincoln 16

Bishops’ Palace where we held the event, would have been very impressive as well, now sadly ruined, partly as a result of damage during the Civil War.

There were several Great Halls for entertaining, one of which we used for our camp and the other for our tournament arena. This one below was once used to entertain King Henry 8th and Katherine Howard.

Lincoln 10

Lincoln 4

Lincoln 8

It is brilliant to be able to camp in these places and help bring them to life once more!

I am busy this week¬†with preparation for the new term, not long to go now. This weekend is set aside for making the wedding jacket so wish me luck ūüėČ

Have a good week ahead and thanks for visiting.

What a lovely end to the season!

Well we had a brilliant weekend away at the Mortimer’s Cross event at Hampton Court Castle.

I knew it was going to be a fab weekend when after a very pleasant train journey spent sewing more flower brooches I ended up pitching my little tent in a field with this view and settling down to a cold cider and my last evening meal in the open air for this year. A lovely end to a busy week.

Hampton Court camping

Hampton Court 2-camping

The weather was perfect and so I had a wander round the gardens on Saturday in between the two battles.

Hampton Court  -gardens

Hampton Court 4 -gardens

Hampton Court 5-gardens

Hampton Court 6-gardens

Hampton Court 7-gardens

Hampton Court 8-gardens

We then had a tour of the castle before tea (contemplating how we would redecorate if we bought it as it is currently up for sale at only £9 million).

Hampton Court  - castle

Hampton Court 10-castle

This is my new friend Angela who I first met at the Caldicot event.

Hampton Court 11- castle

I would keep these fabulous light fittings, they reminded me of the William Burges designs at Cardiff Castle.

Hampton Court 12- castle

Hampton Court 13- castle

Hampton Court 14- castle

Hampton Court 15- castle

Hampton Court 16- castle

There were two bands on Saturday night including a wonderful Celidh band with an excellent fiddle player so we danced lots and stayed up far too late really ūüėČ

Sunday was more of the same, the weather held and the two battles that day were even better, everyone making the most of the last event.

Hampton Court battle

Hampton Court battle 2

Standing on the field with the guns going off and arrows raining down I couldn’t have been happier. Such a lovely time and an excellent way to end a very good season.

You can tell how happy I am in this picture as it looks like I am dancing with these two friends in armour. Thanks to Pat for the battle photos, he did a brilliant job as always of capturing the action for us.

Hampton Court battle 3

This has to be my fave picture of the season, another one of Pat’s photos – a friend captioned this as ‘now we know that gunners have hearts!’

Hampton Court battle 4 - guns

Looking forward to our first off-season kit making weekend, the Sisters Kerry and Ellie plus friend Jamie will be here.There will be linen everywhere and hopefully completed shifts at the end of it!

Meanwhile there are more brooches and Christmas ornaments to be made, what would life be without fabric and wool?

Thanks for visiting and look out for the next post which will be a very special one as it my 400th so I will be having a little giveaway!

A wonderful view (when you get to the top!)

We are very lucky and we get to camp in some amazing places, castles and historic venues and this weekend we had an event at Peveril Castle in the Peak District. The views were amazing and well worth the very long climb (with tents and lots of kit!) to the top of the hill.

Peveril the castle 2

Peveril view

Peveril the gorge

Peveril tent and view

Due to the nature of the site we only took modern tents rather than authentic as we had to take the tents down each morning as well. The picture below shows Mark and Shane climbing up on Saturday morning with their kit, it was a long steep hill!

Peveril Castle

But this picture just sums up everything I love about re-enactment, breakfast (bacon butties of course!) in the sunshine outside the tent.

Peveril Castle

The weather was brilliant Рdespite my fears that this might be a very wet weekend, it was actually a little too hot on the Saturday, we girls were ok in the shade down by the entrance to the castle doing our head dress talks but the boys were sweltering at the top and did a brilliant job of running the events in that heat.

Thanks to Wendy, Kevin, Philip and Daniel for these pictures that they posted to our group Facebook site.

Peveril show

Luke had a new cotehardie to show off – he looks brilliant and I love this picture.

Peveril event

I also really love this one of the girls looking at the view.

Peveril the sisters

Peveril Me and Ellie

Here are Luke and Jamie doing a dagger display.

Peveril Luke and Jamie

This is the arena from the top of the castle.

Peveril event

And here am I with Luke’s very impressive horned helm.

Pevril me and view

Pevril Sisters

Peveril Luke and Mark

Peveril Paul and Jamie

Pevril me and king

Peveril end of show

We were all so tired that after a trip down to a pub at the bottom of the hill for a very nice meal Saturday evening we only had a little sit round the campfire before bed.

A really excellent weekend and a great way to finish the Swords of Mercia events for this year. The Sisters still have¬†a few events left before the tents go away for winter ūüė¶

Ellie is now here for a week’s holiday so we may do some days out later in the week, we do have a trip planned to a textile museum en route to moving Jake into a new flat in Middlesbrough.

Hope you have all had a good weekend and thanks for visiting.

Happiness is a new tent and a sunny weekend to use it!

Hello everyone

Hope that you have been enjoying the fantastic weather we have had this week in the UK, I was very glad that the high temperatures we had last week during the working part continued for the fun bit that was Tatton Medieval Festival.

I love this show, it is one of my all time faves for so many reasons, the venue is beautiful and only one hour from home and it is small enough to be friendly and be able to see everyone to say hello but large enough to have a nice market and beer tent and battle – essentials for a good re-enactment weekend ūüėČ

I bought some new mugs from Jim the potter, am saving the rest of my spends for the big market at Tewkesbury where a new belt and pouch are on the list.

Tatton Pottery

Tatton Pottery 3

We took my latest tent for its first outing, this is a new (bargain) that I bought at the end of last season.

Tatton new tent

I seem to buy new tents in response to extreme weather, the first (new to me) tent last year was after the icy hail storm at Rufford so we had somewhere to all shelter and this one was in response to the 38 degrees at Tewkesbury so we have some shade!

It worked very well, it is a great size tent for just me and Ellie as there is plenty of space for kit and room to stand up and get dressed in. And at only ¬£40 almost brand new it was a great find – it had to be repaired due to a broken zip after it was first bought so Outdoor World were selling it cheap.

It was a really lovely weekend and not only that thanks to Jamie and Sam I have lots of photos to show you as Jamie very kindly posed for some costume pictures and Sam took lots of the battle.

Tatton Jamie soft kit

Tatton Jamie soft kit 2

Tatton Jamie soft kit 3

Jamie is wearing his very smart tunic showing the dagging on the sleeves, dagging was extra material to show how rich you were and was often lobed like this or oak leaf-shaped. He is also wearing his black hood or chaperon over the topic of the tunic and a bicocket hat. The tunic was made by Jackie from Cloak’d and Dagger’d.

As we were taking these pictures along came another very well dressed gent in later period costume (don’t know his real name but he was playing De Massey in the battle).

Tatton Jamie and De Massey

He is wearing a more fitted doublet with puffed sleeves and the later version of the chaperon when it evolved into a hat, complete with dagging and liripipe or tail. This style of outfit is around mid 1400s whereas Jamie’s is mid 1300s.

Here are the battle pics, love the one of Ellie in the smoke and the last couple that Jamie has put some filters on.

Tatton battle 2014

Tatton battle smoke

Andy and Rhys at Tatton

Ellie at Tatton battle

We are off to Spain this weekend – yippee more sun! Have loads more photos to post from various things which I may get chance to do before I go if not will have to have a serious blog update when I get back!

Have fun and thanks for visiting.

Outlaws in the Forest

Hello again, I hope that you have all had a good week.

I have been enjoying another weekend at home and our first at home BBQ of the year, my last weekend here for two weeks as I have shows then a holiday with my friend Kerry!

Last year we took the opportunity to travel round some of the National Trust properties down South after one of our shows and are doing the same again this year going to visit some places in Somerset, Dorset and Devon.

I am so happy that the season has started again, the joys of cooking bacon butties for breakfast outside the tent and meeting lots of lovely people – it is a great way to spend a weekend. Look at this lovely tent owned by one of our friends – wouldn’t you love to camp in this?

Sherwood event -tents 2

Sherwood event -tent detail

The theme of the first show this year was crime and punishment as it was in Sherwood Forest the home of Robin Hood and his band of merry men. We had another great weekend with really lovely weather so lots of people came to see us. It was just a small event with about 8 groups but there was plenty to see in the living history camps.

Sherwood event -tents 3

Sherwood event -tents 1

It was also a very significant first because Ellie came up in Kim and we drove all the way to re-enactment in the car! She did really well as we went on the motorway and she was not at all fazed (even when there was a big lorry trying to come into the lane). I am really proud of her and it was very lovely being driven all the way there (and back as well by my brilliant friend Kerry).

Because of having all this transport we were able to take the medieval tent and some stuff for the display which was a real luxury, am very happy in any tent but to have my medieval one is very special ūüėČ

We were camped with some friends who were doing weapons and armour talks all weekend and we did our usual headdress and embroidery talks which was a nice complement to their display.

Sherwood event -weapons

This picture shows the camp after the battle with the boys’ arming jacks and paraphernalia everywhere!

Sherwood event -kit

And we had the great excitement of a new recruit to the group at her first event. And not just a new recruit for the main group this is our new sister for our little watercarrying group. Here is Sadie all dressed up and ready to go for her first show.

Sherwood event -Sadie

Sadie works with Ellie at Hardwick and has been sword training for a while but decided she would like to join us as well and she really enjoyed herself, she will be coming to many of our future shows as well.

So here’s to many more sunny weekends to come – don’t really mind it raining during the week as long as it always dries up by Friday ūüėČ

Thanks for visiting and see you in a couple of weeks.

The Castle Camping Club

Hello and hope you are having a lovely time enjoying the sun! Isn’t it wonderful to be warm.

We have a little group on Facebook for posting pics of our medieval encampments in castle grounds called The Castle Camping Club and there are some fab pics there of people’s camps in the most beautiful settings.

This weekend I was at Ashby de la Zouche Castle  in Leicestershire with my group, Swords of Mercia, and we had a fantastic time.This is Kerry and I Рas usual with our group I was being Sister Margaret and Kerry was playing a peasant rather than a lady.

Ashby - Me and Kerry

And here is Mark and one of our new members Trevor early on Saturday morning.

Ashby - boys

We were joined by some friends from other groups as well, this is Malcolm and Jean, Malcolm was our King (Edward Hammer of Scots) in our last group and this weekend he came with his box of religious relics.

Ashby - Malcolm and Jean

This was my view on the Saturday evening, a beautifully sunny end to the day, we had takeaway as is traditional at Ashby and sat around the campfire – bliss!

Ashby - view

I couldn’t take my medieval tent this time so I took my lovely little ‘just for me’ tent , doesn’t it look pretty in the sunshine!

Ashby - tent

The weather was really lovely (a little damp on Sunday but it dried up in time for us to pack up!) and we had lots of people come to see was lovely.It was the first show we have done just with the new group, the other events have all involved being at larger events where we are doing slots as part of a bigger show and it was brilliant to be doing a successful show with the new format.

Thank you to everyone who came to see us, I hope you enjoyed it as much as we did.

I now have a busy few days at work before heading off again, next weekend is the Midlands Living History Festival ¬†– do come along if you are in the area as it will be great fun, I am looking forward to seeing the Vikings – love those axes!”

Thank you for visiting. See you soon.

Happy birthday to me – my new tent

Hello there, hope you are all well and happy.

I have just returned from an excellent birthday weekend at Harewood House. We had a really brilliant time with our new group Swords of Mercia and I have lots more pics to show you of the event which I will post about later.

I took my new tent with me this weekend, I have had this tent for about 9 months but have not used it yet.This is my little ‘just for me without the kids’ tent and it passed with flying colours. It has lots of room for me and all my re-enactment kit, room to cook inside in case it rains (which it did on Sat night!) and is lovely and warm and waterproof!

New tent

Here we are on Friday evening enjoying catching up in the camp РI so,  so love camping and thanks to all my re-enactment friends for making this such a brilliant birthday!

Evening at Harewood 1

Take care and will post again soon. Thanks for visiting.

More Glamping

Hello there

You may remember last year I did a couple of posts on the art of glamorous camping or glamping¬†– well we have been adding to our stock of glamping¬†gear and have just spent a lovely weekend at the Tribfest Music Festival ¬†in North Yorkshire where we had a very sunny and enjoyable weekend listening to lots of different tribute bands. My absolute faves were the Take That tribute band ‘Back for Good’ ¬†on Saturday night, I have never seen the real group but these were excellent and I very much enjoyed myself.

We had very good facilities again including the most glamping portaloos ever Рof course they still got smelly but this is what they looked like. Sinks and mirrors and pretty pictures on the wall! And inside were real flushing toilets with wooden seats and everything!

Glamping 1

My sister bought me some new glamping accessories for my birthday Рsome wine glass holders that you can use in a  field. You just push it into the ground and it provides a very stable holder for your tipple! You may remember that I have previously posted on the little accessories we have for our drinking round the campfire and these are very lovely for when I do not have my little wine glass table. She bought them while on holiday earlier on in the summer, sorry I do not know where from. Here is Ellie modelling them for me while pouring me a little pre-mixed G and T on Friday night while getting ready to have a BBQ.

Glamping 3

As befits a sophisticated festival there were lots of lovely outfits and some wonderful fancy dress Рone of my faves was the Alice Cooper lookalike on Friday night Рyou can just see him in the middle of this pic, complete with plastic snake!

Glamping 2

I am just about to buy a new tent for next year on the grounds that they are all reduced at the moment, the one we have had for the last 3 years, a Vango¬†Tamor¬†500, has been great but is starting to show signs of wear and there are a couple of split poles that we have had to patch so we are going to keep that as a reserve, festival tent that kids can use (as in I don’t mind if it comes back even worse for wear) and get another Vango, this time the Icarus 500 which is an updated version. These are great tents for us as they are light weight for taking on the train, sleep 5 so plenty of room for us and all our kit and also have really good bedroom heights so that we can hang our re-enactment clothes up and get dressed in comfort.

I managed to get a good pic of the Seasonal exchange I got when I came back from Spain which was this lovely flower pillow from Lynn. I have put some ribbon on it so that I can hang it with the others in the dining room.

spring ornie from Lynn

Have not got any other finishes to show Рthings have been very slow around here what with all the being away and we are away again this weekend at Bolsover Castle  for our last re-enactment show of the year.

Hope you all have a lovely week and I will be back again next week with hopefully more pics of sunny camping!

Thanks for visiting.

Glamping Part 2 – The Festival Edition!

Well we have just got back from a very fab and very hot weekend at Tribfest Рwell hot until the middle of last night when it decided to pour down so we had a wet pack up to acclimatise ourselves for the return home, where it is also wet so the tent is in hanging up to dry in the garage! It was a great event where we saw tributes to lots of bands including Madness, Bon Jovi, Green Day and Lady Ga Ga. We really enjoyed it and are buying tickets for next year asap. 

We bought VIP tickets on the advice of my sister who went last year as you get lots of extras for not much more money such as camping near the arena Рso you can mellow out back at the tent (or knit in my case!) and still listen to the bands, a VIP tent with bar,  indoor and outdoor seating and extra bands and best of all jacuzzis! 

This is us on Friday afternoon –¬†

Glamping - jacuzzi
Sadly they only sold champagne by the bottle or I would have been sipping some as well

The kids had a great time Рmy niece Sarah and my sister Jacky dressed up for the occasion Рthis is Sarah on Friday night. 

Tribfest - Sarah
There were lots of people in fancy dress - tutus were very in this year!

Ellie had her festival wellies on (as did most of the girls РI must get some pretty ones for next year -mine are a boring blue). 

Tribfest - kids
Ellie, Jake, Sam and Sarah

Some people were even more dressed up – this is the festival mascot –¬†

Tribfest Cow
I bet he was a bit warm!

We had a very nice VIP beer tent to sit in –¬†

Glamping - Tribfest tent
Look flowers on the tables!

And a great view of the stage from the outside seating area –¬†

Tribfest - stage
A little bit of summer festival sun

Jacky’s friend Chris was also with us – another glamping camper with a selection of mini wines –¬†

Chris's wine
Mini rose and glass
Glamping - Chris's glass
This is one Chris bought at a previous festival - it came full with a peel off lid - how convenient!

My finger is mending well – thanks for the good wishes – and I was able to finish off knitting the wristwarmers, finally made a second matching one that I happy with – here they are in the field outside the tent where I finished them yesterday – while having a little mellow and a glass of red!


Wristwarmers 1
Not identical but good enough!
Wristwarmers 2
Waffle Stitch Wristwarmers - a freebie from Ravelry

I have just got to stitch them up the side now РI knitted these at Xmas for Jake and they are a very quick knit and look very effective. The waffle stitch pattern is a simple four row repeat which uses knit two, purl two for two rows and then two rows of plain knit. 

Talking of wristwarmers¬†(or fingerless gloves) ¬†my friend Barbara from knitting group has just finished the most gorgeous pair for her daughter. I hope that she won’t mind me sharing this pic from her blog with you –¬†

Barbara's mitts
They look even more gorgeous in real life - knitted in a silky sublime 4 ply

I would love to have a go at these – pattern details are on Barbara’s blog – it is from Ravelry¬†but uses double-pointed¬†needles which I have not tried yet. Barbara is a much cleverer knitter than me and does all sorts of gorgeous patterns using fine needles.¬†

My new Xmas cross -stitch patterns from JBW have arrived today so I have got lots to amuse myself with Рnext weekend is the last camping of the season where we shall be back at Bolsover for our final show of the year, then it will be candles lit and on the sofa for another winter season! 

Thanks for visiting.

The art of glamping

Well here I am back from a lovely 10 days in various fields – the weather was very kind to us (extremely hot at Berkeley thankfully so lots of visitors).

I have read a couple of articles in the newspapers recently about the art of glamping – glamorous camping – and as this is something we strive to do all the time thought I would share my tips with you.

Location of course is very important and we get to camp at all the best historic sites at the UK which makes for some fab picture opportunities Рhere is one of the tents at beautiful Ashby Castle. 

Glamping 1 - Ashby tent
How about that for a campsite?


Facilities at our campsites are usually a bit limited (portaloos and ‘glasgow showers’ aka baby wipes) but the sight of the sun setting over some of most gorgeous castles in the world make up for that.¬†

But we do not stint on the other little luxuries in life Рin particular a little tipple or two for round the campfire. As I am travelling by train I need to pack light so have found the perfect mini drinks to go. 

Glamping 2 - small wine bottle
Mini wine with added glass which is actually the lid - unscrews and can be refilled!


That only holds about two glasses but is perfect for the train and as back up how about the weekend sized wine box Рmodelled here by me at our campsite in the Forest of Dean last week. 

Glamping 5 - wine box
2 bottles worth of lovely red - available from my local Co-op!


Of course while sitting round the campfire suitable furniture is need to make sure spillage is avoided and my lovely friend Keith has just made all of the girls in the group some little wine tables. He is a builder and gets lots of wood from various sources to burn and turned up in July with boxes and boxes of little legs Рsome of which we burnt but others got turned into these Рwe have asked for footstools next! 

Glamping 3 - wine table
The table in action at Ashby Castle


When I met up with my sister in the Forest of Dean she showed me a very dinky little travel case that she had been given as a present so we had a little G and T to christen it. 

Glamping 6 - shots case
Collapsible cups, miniature bottles, ice tongs and stirrers!


I was catching up on blog reading last night and came across a post by the lovely Hen of Hen House  about her recent holiday  (July 29th 2010 post) in one of the glamping locations I was going to share with you. She stayed in an Airstream caravan on the Isle of Wight run by a company called Vintage Vacations. Check out these lovely pics! 

Glamping 6 - overlander-main
The Airstream Overlander - all pics from Vintage Vacations site


Glamping 7 - overlandertable
Inside showing the seating and eating area


Glamping 8 - Overlander-single-beds
Single beds with knitted patchwork covers


They look fab if you want to re-enact the 1950s rather than the 1350s as we do and are very reasonable prices РI will store that up as a future holiday idea. 

No more trips for a little while now so I will be spending the time gardening and doing various house sorting activities until our next weekend away. In between the lovely Yorkshire rain of course! Brief dry spell now so am off to do some pruning! 

Thanks for visiting – see you soon.