Love Bedford Medieval Festival

It’s not every day that you stumble across a medieval festival…

Love Bedford, Bedford’s Business Improvement District, is hosting a series of events and entertainment this summer bringing a bit of culture and history to the town.

I discovered these cute little events one weekend when visiting my family and exploring the local area. We’re definitely the kind of family that embraces these weird and wonderfully entertaining pop-up events and yes, that’s me above holding a ferret – I’m about five going on six if you haven’t gathered by the way!

The ‘BID’ brand is great at doing these events, we have a very successful ‘BID’ effort in Winchester, not far from where I live.

Here’s what I discovered on my morning walk along the river…

Bedford Castle

A key landmark in central Bedford is the Mound, a hill that used to be home to a castle built by Henry I after 1100. It is now a grassy tribute to what once stood in the heart of the town centre.

It’s an excellent space to host events, especially ones steeped in history, it’s right by the River Ouse and is in the most quaint English setting.

Medieval Festival

Filling the green by the mound were lots of colourful tents full of characters living history right in front of you. There was plenty of hustle and bustle despite the drizzly weather including archery, crafts, ferret racing, a medieval feast and a medieval sword fighting tournament.

It was very peaceful watching the re-enactors pottering around their camps fixing things, cooking and speaking to the public. I even got collared by the King’s Executioner who told me gruesome stories of punishments of the middle ages. Witches were hung, heretics were burnt and a swift axe to the head was the privilege of the rich, it cost a lot of money to have a quick death!There were performers from so many different societies and groups, Heritage Bedford and the Bedford Association of Tour Guides ran guided tours of the Ice House and Lime Kiln.

“Bedford’s Castle Mound makes for a great setting for a Medieval Festival and the fact that is historically authentic has really helped persuade some great re-enactment groups and performers to come to Bedford for the weekend,” said organiser, David Smith.

Ferret Cuddles

We pottered around the tents, sampling mead and then we wandered around and that’s when I saw it. The sign that changed my weekend. A sign that said ‘Ferret cuddles £1’.

I mean it was meant to be! About five minutes later after shoving my way past the actual five year olds and I exchanged one shiny pound for a furry little ferret – what a deal.

I sat bemused as a tiny little creature was plopped into my hands. The owner had popped a little fish oil on her tummy, which she licked furiously and stopped her from wriggling around and scurrying off. It was hilarious as I swear it didn’t even know I was holding it because it was so obsessed with the fish oil.

A ferret is a lot lighter and softer than I thought it would be, and I felt so happy, like a kid again. Isn’t that a magical feeling. Something so simple can make you feel wonderful.

After a very entertaining morning we stood and watched some medieval sword fighting displays and then decided to go and get ice cream – it was a delightful way to spend a day!

Take a look at other Love Bedford events!

8 thoughts on “Love Bedford Medieval Festival

    1. It was so good! I’m always up for something a bit different – the fight displays were interesting as they showed how to defend and fight with different weapons which was a real crowd pleaser. Do you have many of these things where you live?

      1. I live in San Jose Ca, and we do. They call them Renaissance Fairs, there is one this weekend….I just checked the calendar lol. We went to one last year and The Mountain was there doing his strongman stuff, very cool!

      2. Oh that’s really cool – a Renaissance Fair – ha ha that I’ve only ever heard on Gilmore Girls! We have some cool jousting tournaments in my county too with real horses and actors – which is really fun. You should go! I’m based on the south coast of the UK but spent a summer out in Cali in LA and San Diego, I drove up past Santa Barbara to the edge of Big Sur – that whole area is stunning! I never made it as far as San Jose though- I’ve defo got a few places there I’d love to see for real!

      3. The last one had jousting, the giant log throwing thing with men in kilts, black smiths, food shops and life action sword fights. And I mean the kind you see in movies!
        We were just in San Diego for the 50th anniversary of Comicon! Awesome, one of the best places to see people in character and costumes. Never been to the U.K. but would love to go someday

      4. Oh that’s amazing!

        Comicon is so cool – I was in the Gas Lamp Quarter and by the convention centre the week before when I visited a few years ago – and there were storm troopers, Frodo’s and Trekkies in all the bars already dressed up – I’ve never seen anything like it! I heard they did a tribute to Stan Lee this year. What was your favourite bit? My Uncle goes to collect comic art and speak to the graphic artists. Hope you had fun!

      5. My favorite part was seeing Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes talk about their new movie ‘Jay and Silent Bob: Reboot’ in Hall H. Over all everything there is awesome! People in costume, all the shops and comics!

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