Royal Armouries spearheads a bid to establish Yorkshire as the jousting capital of Europe this summer, in a series of high-octane clashes at the Leeds museum.

Visitors will see history come alive as some of the country’s finest jousters battle it out on horseback on Fridays and Saturdays from July 26 to August 17 – pitching steel against steel.

The Tiltyard will resound to the clamour and pageantry of an authentic medieval tournament, as knights in shining armour throw down the gauntlet and conduct a series of battles royal.

The competition is set to reach a thrilling climax in the Grand Final of the Tournament of Champions (August 24 to 26), officially closing the tournament season at Royal Armouries – Britain’s oldest public museum.

Museum director Peter Armstrong said, “An authentic joust never fails to thrill the crowds, and jousting is a central part of Royal Armouries’ long and illustrious history. Our Leeds museum is home to many of the world’s most famous and spectacular armours, including those of King Henry VIII – probably the most famous jouster in our history.”

The summer programme also includes falconry displays, living history displays, a chance to get your hands on history – and lots more.

Running from Friday, July 26, to September 1, the school holiday programme Summer Knights includes the following highlights:

FRIDAYS AND SATURDAYS, July 26 to August 17 – CHAMPIONSHIP JOUSTING: Enjoy the thrills and spills of a spectacular joust, in the heart of Leeds. Find out how gallant knights steeled themselves for battle, and the kinds of weapons and protection they relied on.

There’s also a chance to meet the knights and the horses after each daily show, with great photo opportunities and the chance to discover life as a knight in shining armour. Tickets £6, £4 concessions, heats at 12 noon and 3pm.

SUNDAYSANIMALS: Marvel at amazing flying demonstrations as falcons, owls and eagles are put through their paces in shows at 12 noon and 3pm. Get up close to the birds, after their displays, and also meet farm animals from the medieval farm (July 28, August 4 and August 11 only). Visitors can also explore the museum and track down the animals in the national collection – everything from lions to tigers, and snakes to dragons.

MONDAYSLIVING HISTORY: Have-a-go at a variety of interactive events, including a chance to learn medieval archery and longbow techniques, plus knife throwing.

TUESDAYSCOMBAT: Master the art of swordfighting with our experts, and experience arms and armour handling, plus watch swordfighting demonstrations.

WEDNESDAYSANIMALS: Another chance to get up close and personal to the falcons, after their magnificent displays and meet the animals down on the medieval farm (July 31 and August 14). There’s also a chance to meet Sir Henry and Lady Greatham and their trot-about hobby horses Dobbin and Whinny as they ride out to the tournament. Join Innerstate for fun tales and high jinx.


Jester’s Yard Play Area – Craft activities, games and dressing up. Suitable for ages 0- 10 (11am – 4pm, £2.50)

Crossbow Range – Are you a hot shot? Have a go with a real crossbow in our shooting gallery.

Knight Skool – Children can enter the medieval world of knights and maidens. Train to be a knight, have a go at games that young squires would play plus try on a special mini suit of armour. Sessions throughout the day.

Hands On History – Weapons and object handling sessions throughout the day.

Notes to editors

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