Ludlow Medieval Fayre visitors explore the inner bailey of Ludlow Castle. Photo by Ashleigh Cadet

Popular Shropshire annual spectacle Ludlow Medieval Christmas Fayre is to return as a live event to provide its unique mix of family entertainment in the run-up to Christmas.

The well-loved south Shropshire celebration will attract thousands of people to Ludlow Castle as they travel back in time for a weekend of fun, hearty food and live performances over November 27-28, all in its full traditional style.

Dakin Events, the Shropshire-based family business which organises the Fayre, promise old favourites will return to perform live, along with a mix of stall holders with a range of delights to savour and workshops for audience members to get “hands on” with their history.

Leading local businesses and regular performers will again be on board for the 2021 Fayre, with its unique mix of theatre, music, comedy and storytelling, along with workshops, tours, demonstrations and more.

Having moved to a digital version in 2020 due to Covid-19, the 23rd Medieval Christmas Fayre to be staged in the historic castle will see a full return to the immersive Medieval gathering which delights audiences of all ages.

Seen by the Castle Custodians as “one of the highlights of the calendar” for Ludlow, the Fayre will again take place in the heart of the beautiful Marches countryside across two days. The castle and its grounds will be transformed into a lively festival with more than 100 stalls along with a programme of live entertainment, which will take in medieval jesters entertaining audiences and knights fighting in shining armour through to evocative period musicians.

To keep audiences safe, the event will be for pre-booked ticket holders. Exhibitors and entertainers from across the UK will join the celebrations, alongside visitors who travel from across Shropshire and the wider West Midlands. Regular Fayre goers travel from as far afield as Scotland and Cornwall to be among the audiences.

Last November, audiences joined the Fayre from the warmth of their homes when it was held online for the first time due to the Covid pandemic. In a break with tradition, the Fayre took place on digital platforms with families from as far away as the USA and Europe logging on to enjoy the entertainment from workshops, exhibitors and more.

Mother and daughter team Prue and Abi Dakin, who run independent company Dakin Events, are delighted the Fayre will be back in its rightful place for its 23rd year.

Abi said: “The 2021 Ludlow Medieval Christmas Fayre promises to be one of the best staged, with a host of old favourites coming back to the Castle for two days of entertainment and medieval-style revelry.

“For many people, the Fayre is part of their countdown to Christmas so we hope they will be as excited as we are to hear it will be back as a live event. Everyone has missed being able to gather and celebrate together so we will be gearing up to ensure all our visitors have an experience to remember back at Ludlow Castle.

“We will be announcing more details about the programme in the coming weeks but for now we encourage everyone who loves the Fayre to sign up for our newsletter on our website to hear first when the tickets go on sale very soon.”

Prue said: “This year is a personal landmark for me as it is 30 years since I first staged an event at Ludlow Castle so being able to bring the Fayre ‘home’ after the pandemic seems even more important. We missed the Fayre, as it is part of our family heritage, and we know many other families missed being able to attend.

“We are very grateful to everyone who has supported the preparations for the 2021 Fayre so far and look forward to working with all our partners to ensure the event comes back as strong and as safely as ever.”

Sonja Belchere, Custodian at Ludlow Castle, said the historic venue was pleased to be welcoming back Fayre goers. Sonja said: “The Medieval Fayre is one of the highlights of the calendar for Ludlow, generating warm affection among those who visit from far and wide.

“We are pleased to be hosting the 2021 live event and look forward to seeing people enjoy the Fayre, which for many is one of the Shropshire highlights of the build-up to Christmas.”