Cumbria Crack

Dive Into Heritage For Fairies, Fools, Flowers And Fantasies

Muncaster Castle
Muncaster Castle

Make a family trip to Cumbria during the Whitsun holidays and enjoy fairies, fools, flowers and the fantasy of being a king or queen, courtesy of members of Cumbria’s Living Heritage.

At Kirklinton Hall and Gardens, north of Carlisle, there’s a May Fairy Day on May 31 featuring Magical Mel and her troop of fairies and elves. Seventeenth century Kirklinton is the year-round home of the face of faerie princess, Maelgwyn the Fair and this event will allow families to trip down to see her in her glen, whilst also enjoying lots of activities, stalls and food. Don’t forget to ask about the 21 fruits of pommology!  Tickets cost £6 and can be bought by heading to

At Muncaster Castle and Gardens in the Western Lake District, families can enjoy the ever-popular Muncaster Festival between May 28 and 30, culminating in the International Jesters Tournament on the final day.  This year’s contenders to be Fool of Muncaster 2017 are The Fire Man Dave, Dizzy O’Dare and THE Jon Hicks, but in the build-up to their battle, there’s plenty to keep you occupied, including circus and ukulele workshops, walkabout comedy, bands and orchestra, face painting, archery, chainsaw carving and Meet the Ancestors with Wild Dog Outdoors.  Don’t forget to ask about Tom Fool – the Muncaster legend who inspired this event.  Adult tickets cost £10.20 for festival entry to the gardens only, or £12.75 for castle and gardens, with children’s tickets being £5.10 or £6.37 respectively.

Carlisle Castle will be the venue at which royal history comes to life this half term. Visitors will be treated to incredible stories from the past – including tales of Mary Queen of Scots – and kept busy with hands-on activities.  The icing on the cake, however, has to be enjoying your own coronation! Thrilling though this is, do make a note to seek out the famous licking stones – where thirsty prisoners tried to stay alive by licking their prison’s walls.  Adult tickets covering all of this cost £6.80 and children’s are priced at £4.10.

Heading to Wordsworth House & Garden in Cockermouth will put the seal on a great Whitsun holiday, as you taste flowers and touch bugs with some guidance from a costumed servant, just as the young Wordsworths would have done.  Sessions run on June 1 and 2, at 11.30am and 2.30pm.  With the opportunity to write with a quill and ink, hear ghost stories and make bread, there’s lots to see and do in general.  Adult tickets cost £7.50 and children’s £3.75.

There’s more to discover at these and many other members of Cumbria’s Living Heritage, if you head to and download a Heritage Past-Port full of quirky facts.  Have fun at places that breathe life into heritage and it will change your view of the past forever!

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