A few years ago now, the MBFF tribe headed to the 🎪 Les Grandes Médiévales d’Andilly with some friends and their children. We had a fabulous day (the whole family concurred and all of the friends too!). It really was a memorable day . . . and the 2020 edition is nearly here!
So, what do you need to know about this extraordinary family event?
What are Les Grandes Médiévales d’Andilly?
🎪 Les Grandes Médiévales d’Andilly is a medieval event for the whole family, which takes over a small 🌳 enchanted forest – the Forêt des Moulins (this same forest becomes the fabulous Parc des Epouvantails a few weeks later!) . . . you are transported back 700 years to the 🎪 Middle Ages (Vth until XVth centuries): lords and ladies, knights and 🏰 castles under siege, troubadours, princesses, camps, costumes, shows, and also a magical, féerique world (a bit Game of Thrones . . .)!
More than 500 artists and volunteers work together to bring you this superb event, and together they produce 20 hours of spectacles: jousting, fire shows, horse shows, falconry, storytelling, magic . . .
When is Les Grandes Médiévales d’Andilly?
🗓 2020 May & June dates: weekends of 30th & 31st May and 1st June (long Pentecôte weekend) AND 6th & 7th June;
Spectacles & Animations
Even before you pass the entrance gates of this event, you are plunged into the medieval world . . . when we went, we shared 🚌 a navette from the car park with a knight and some maidens!
Once you are through the entrance gates, then you are free to roam at your own pace through the grounds, which have been decorated meticulously to make you feel like you have truly entered a medieval world. There are certain 🎪 spectacles at specific times, and these are all outlined on the programme and map available at the entrance. How much spectating you decide to do will depend on your family rhythm. Among the entertainment, you will find:
- 🤺 jousting shows;
- 🎪 re-enactments of battles and key points in medieval history;
- 🦉 falconry shows and demonstrations;
- 🎟 magic shows;
- 🥁 music;
There are also déambulations throughout the day and througout the grounds – you don’t have to hunt these down, you will inevitably stumble across these as you wander . . .
[ for more information about the spectacles and animations, see here ]
Medieval camps & demonstrations of trade
Within the 🌳 Forêt des Moulins, you will find different 🎪 camps of knights, soldiers and mercenaries . . . and here you can learn how life was for those on a military campaign: the techniques and art of warfare and the daily chores for men, women and children of these camps (whether knight, soldier, squire, artisan).
You will find:
- 🤺 demonstrations of combat, of fencing and archery;
- 🤺 presentations of armour;
- 🎪 demonstrations of catapults and canons;
- 🎪 demonstrations of forge works;
- 🎪 torture methods of the medieval times;
- 🎪 medieval games;
- 🎨 workshops: weaving, calligraphy, wood sculpting, instrument making, medieval cooking, medieval herbs and medicinal plants . . .
Marché des Artisans
You will also find items to buy at the 🎪 Grandes Médiévales d’Andilly, with a market showing off medieval wares . . . here you will discover the different occupations of the day, and the techniques used to make products: wood sculpting, glass blowing, leather works, weaving . . .
Especially for children
There are 🎨 specific workshops aimed at children: they can become an apprentice dragon-trainer, build their own house with straw and earth, make their own magic wand, become a petit chevalier . . . and much more (see website for more details).
Within the grounds of 🎪 Les Grandes Médievales d’Andilly, is 🐖 a farm (with goats, sheep, pigs, donkeys, ducks, geese), deer and the owls and birds of prey that participate in the spectacles . . .
You can take a picnic to 🎪 Les Grandes Médiévales d’Andilly and there are plenty of places to buy food and drink too.
You can buy tickets for 🎆 the nocturnes (on the day of the event) for the long weekend opening, from 18h (but only when there is enough availability). This first weekend, the park is open until midnight and there are several night time spectacles.
MBFF’s top tips for a great day
- 🎟 BUYING TICKETS – buy online before 26th May 2019 to get the cheapest tickets (see below);
- ⏳ TIMING – plan to be there for the whole day – there is so much to see and do!
- 🧚♂️ COSTUME – go in costume, to get into the medieval spirit (though weapons are obviously NOT allowed!);
- 👟 FOOTWEAR – wear appropriate footwear for forest paths; trainers are ideal;
- 🗺 MAP & PROGRAMME – pick up a map and programme at the entrance (plan your day around the spectacles you’d like to see or workshops you’d like to do), but leave yourself time just to relax and wander, and just absorb the superb atmosphere;
- 👨👩👧 BRACELETS for CHILDREN – write your name and phone number on the bracelet provided at the entrance, and arrange a meeting spot for a “getting lost” scenario;
- 👨👩👧 BABY-CHANGING FACILITIES & BUGGIES – and places to leave buggies at entrance to spectacles (buggies are not permitted within the spectacles, for security reasons), but these are not watched / all of the grounds are accessible otherwise with a buggy;
- 🍏 PICNICS – there are plenty of picnic tables and places in the shade;
- 🐶 NO DOGS allowed!
- 🎒 there is NO cloakroom on-site, so be prepared to carry what you take;
- 🛍 SHOP – you will leave the event via the shop, so if you do not intend to buy anything, give children plenty of warning! (we used some birthday money to buy shields);
- 💵 MONEY MATTERS – bring enough CASH (refreshments, etc . . .) though you can buy your tickets with a card;
- ♿️ ALL-TERRAIN WHEELCHAIRS – there are « fauteuils roulants tous terrains » available; reservations: email@example.com;
- 🚾 TOILETS – there are dry toilets situated around the site;
- 🥤 RECYCLING – no throwaway cups are available on-site; instead you will be served in a re-usable gobelet, with a deposit of 1€ (refundable, once returned);
- 🚚 CAMPING CARS – you can park in the car parks available, but there are no amenties available;
🗓 2020 May & June dates: 30th & 31st May and 1st June AND 6th & 7th June;
🗓 opening hours: from 9h until 19h (billeterie open from 8h30);
🗺 getting there by car, bus or train: see website for more details;
🅿️ parking: from the main roads, you will find lots of signposts directing you to the available car parks. From these car parks, there are regular FREE navettes (from 8h30 until 20h or 24h) taking you to the entrance. If you arrive early enough, you can try to park at the car park right by the entrance.