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Magna Carta Weekend

Graphic artwork depicting illustration of medieval encampment at Runnymede with banner saying 'Magna Carta Weekend'
Celebrate the sealing of the Magna Carta at Runnymede | © FDK Design

On Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 June , we’re celebrating the anniversary of the Magna Carta which was sealed at Runnymede on 15 June 1215. We're turning our paddock at Runnymede into an Medieval encampment where you’ll find family games, crafts, and activities exploring the very special history and significance of this floodplain meadow.

On the 809th anniversary of the sealing of the Magna Carta the entire community in and around Runnymede is celebrating this hugely significant day. Make a trip to Runnymede as part of your family day out and explore the very place where the Magna Carta was sealed.

What's on

The People Who Made Runnymede trail

Discover the history of Runnymede and Ankerwycke through the people who made it what it is today. Find the seven people located across the site, each of whom have a significant connection to this special place. Whether it’s Lady Fairhaven or Gwen Lally, or someone you may not have heard of before, learn more about these people’s impact on Runnymede and Ankerwycke. Each illustration, created with local artist, Nami Ralph, has been made to the same height as the real person they represent, to bring our history to life.

Medieval Games

Come and have a go at some traditional medieval games; some you may have heard of, some you may not. Queek anyone? You may not realised it, but games like quoits, tic tac toe and skittles have been played for centuries and it great that they're still popular today. Spark up some rivallry and challenge family and friends to a game or two.

Dressing up

Children will be able to let their imaginations run wild with a medieval dress up station. Perhaps they can dress up as King John and the rebel barrons and re-enact the sealing of the Magna Carta.

Archery

Look out for the longbow and arrowhead display then test your hand eye coordination in our archery arena.

Wild Crafts and other activities

Pick up our Nature Knights activity booklet and follow the route using the trail points in the booklet, try the activities as you go, and keep track of your adventure in your Knights Notes. Then have a go at some wild crafts making crowns or shields.

An archer and archery targets in Bodiam Castle grounds
Test our your archery skills | © National Trust/Molly Smith

Archaeology of Runnymede and Ankerwycke

In one of the tents you'll find Surrey Country Archeology Unit (SCAU) showcasing the work they've undertaken over the past few years uncovering the hidden history of the Thames-side landscape. If you every fancied trying your hand at being at archeologist, then grab a trowel and brush and see what you can uncover in our dig boxes. Younger ones can also pick up an activity sheet, alongside getting their hands dirty in the test pits.

Come on a guided walk

Come and explore the nature and history of the ever-changing landscape of the floodplain meadow at Runnymede by joining a guided walk. Discover the hugely rich and biodiverse wildlife and plants on a guided walk with our habitat monitors or find out about Runnymede's wider history on a guided history walk. To join a walk, meet us at the Canopy in The Medieval Encampment five minutes before the start time. Walks and talks are free of charge, but donations are welcome.

Schedule of Walks - Saturday and Sunday

  • 11am and 1pm – Habitat Monitor Guided Walk: Explore the natural beauty of the varied habitats you can find at Runnymede. Led by one of our butterfly and bird monitors, learn more about the species at our wild place and how we’re helping nationwide conservation efforts.
  • 12pm – Ankerwycke and Runnymede Riverside: Be led through time with archaeologist and Ankerwycke expert, Stuart Burgess. Learn more about our extensive history, hear about our archaeological discoveries and view the Ankerwycke Priory across the waters of the Thames.
  • 2pm – The Juror: Ever wondered what the designs on The Jurors mean? Join one of our Day Maker Volunteers to hear all about Hew Locke’s beautiful artwork in our meadow.
  • 3pm – Ankerwycke and Runnymede Riverside: a Habitat Monitor guided walk, this time along Runnymede's Riverwide path.
Colourful flags with messages about freedom, part of the Reflections in Colour art installation at Runnymede, Surrey
Explore the artworks and installations at Runneymede and Ankerwycke | © National Trust/Brendan Burbage

River Thames boat trip

Take a boat ride along the Thames for an opportunity to see key features of Runnymede and Ankerwycke from the River. National Trust members will receive a 20% discount on adult and children’s tickets during Magna Carta week. To take advantage of this offer, please present your National Trust membership card when purchasing your tickets on the boat. (This offer is not available for online purchases.)

Free shuttle to Egham's Magna Carta Day - Saturday 15 June

A free shuttle service will be running throughout the day on Saturday 15 June between Egham's Magna Carta Day event in Egham town centre and Runnymede. Park at the Riverside car park and take the opportunity to make the most of both events. If you're already in Egham, you can pick up the bus from St John’s Egham car park. Services runs every 30 mins.

Rest and refuel

The Magna Carta tearoom will be open throughout the weekend offering a variety of hot and cold snacks and beverages. Alternatively, look out for the hog roast stand in the encampment and get into the real medieval spirit.

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