Start fooling around and head to the Jester contest

Muncaster Castle: Home to some tomfoolery. Picture - Ashley Watkins

Muncaster Castle: Home to some tomfoolery. Picture – Ashley Watkins

THE annual Muncaster Festival kicks off on May 29 and culminates on May 31 with the selection of the top jester to be the Fool of Muncaster.

Muncaster Castle was the home of the original Tom Fool, and each year jesters from all over the world descend on the Ravenglass location hoping to be picked as the new Fool.

Thomas Skelton – from who the phrase ‘tom foolery’ originated, was Jester for the castle in the 1500’s and his ghost is said to still haunt the castle. Tom Fool’s tree stands in front of the castle; legend tells how Tom Fool would sit under the tree giving directions to passers-by – but those he didn’t like he would direct over the treacherous quick sands on the estuary.

During the three-day bank holiday even there will be plenty of tomfoolery including aerial shows, pyjama drama children’s workshops, a climbing wall, archery, bouncy inflatables, face-painting, woodcrafts and much more.

The castle also features panoramic gardens with views across the estuary and southern fells.

And you’ll also find the Hawk and Owl Centre based at the castle (entry is part of your admission ticket). Flying displays are given by the handlers.