Diamond Jubilee: a summer of celebration

PUBLISHED: 13:29 01 June 2012 | UPDATED: 21:27 20 February 2013

Bodiam Castle archer (Photo credit NTPL Rob Judges)

Bodiam Castle archer (Photo credit NTPL Rob Judges)

As the Queen's Diamond Jubilee arrives at the start of this month, The National Trust is throwing itself wholeheartedly into celebrating the second-longest reign of a British monarch in more than 1,200 years of British history as Emma Ward tells us

AS AN organisation, The National Trust was just three years off its own Diamond anniversary when Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II became Queen in 1952. Sixty years later, The National Trust is still going strong as, indeed, is she and we are proud to be helping to mark the Queens special year with a series of special events, exhibitions and activities. Here are just a few things happening around Sussex.

Royal preparations at Bodiam Castle Think of British royalty and you automatically conjure up images of majestic castles and they dont come much more majestic than Bodiam Castle in Robertsbridge, East Sussex. Every day between 2 and 5 June, visitors can watch the castle prepare for a medieval royal visit. Costumed characters will be dotted around the castle, ready to explain what they are doing for the impending royal stay and why everything must be absolutely perfect. This event is free after entry to the castle has been paid.

Trailblazing Several specially-themed family trails and activities will be running at National Trust houses and gardens in Sussex in June too, to coincide with both the Jubilee and the late spring half term holiday. Learn all about historic kings and queens on our specially devised trail at Uppark, near South Harting.

In East Sussex, a half-term trail is also available at Alfriston Clergy House, Alfriston, while Batemans is holding a heroes and villains trail over half term plenty of kings and queens from history fitted into these categories! Full details of all half term events and family trails, including dates times and locations are on our website at www.nationaltrust.org.uk. Right royal entertainment at Petworth House and Park Families can also visit Petworth House and Park in Petworth, West Sussex for a whole lot of Jubilee-themed fun on 4 June. There will be space for children to draw royal-themed pictures afterwards, we will take a photo of the artwork to send to Buckingham Palace! Or, children can decorate (A4-sized) postage stamps of the Queen, which will be laid out to make a giant 60 in the Pleasure Grounds.

Also on 4 June, from 12pm, families can join a Summer of Celebration picnic in the Pleasure Grounds children who come dressed as a Queen (or King) can enter the competition to find the best tiara. Free after admission price has been paid.

Regal retailing in National Trust shops No Jubilee is complete without a range of souvenirs available to buy and pass down the generations. This summer, our shops are stocking a top quality selection of Jubilee memorabilia, including a beautiful, commemorative fine bone china tankard for 20. We have been very careful to choose and stock Jubilee-themed items that will suit every pocket, and they can all be bought at several of our houses and gardens, as well as from our online shop.

However you celebrate our Queens Diamond Jubilee, we hope you include us in your celebrations and join in one or more of our events.

Look out for British treasures Wallace and Gromit this summer at National Trust venues across the whole country, as the loveable duo team up with the organisation to enjoy a Summer of Celebration.

More details of activities in Sussex and the rest of the country are available online at: www.nationaltrust.org.uk.

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