English Heritage launches campaign after survey reveals children more likely to experience a castle in fiction than reality
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English Heritage launches campaign after survey reveals children more likely to experience a castle in fiction than reality

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Today's children are increasingly likely to catch their first glimpse of a castle on a screen rather than in real life

English Heritage has launched a new campaign for families to visit its castles, after a survey by the organisation revealed that children's memories of castles are more than twice as likely to have come from film and fiction instead of a real-life visit.

A 2,000 person survey of both children and adults showed that while most adults' first castle sightings are likely to have been in real life, almost two thirds of children remember their first memories from fictitious castles featured in the likes of Harry Potter, Cinderella and Frozen.

Of the children surveyed, more than two thirds said that they enjoyed visiting castles, however less than 40 per cent had visited one in the last year, and 12 per cent had never been to one.

English Heritage manages 66 castles – more than any other organisation in Britain. In an effort to boost attendance through the summer months, the body has launched #LoveCastles – a campaign aiming to bring more families to these historic sites.

As part of the campaign, English Heritage will offer a variety of events, ranging from jousting tournaments to sandcastle building workshops. English Heritage is also encouraging Minecraft players to visit, hosting on-site workshops featuring the popular videogame.

"While most of us can remember our first trip to a castle – whether on a day out with the family or a school trip – today's children are increasingly likely to catch their first glimpse of a castle on a screen rather than in real life," said Kate Mavor, chief executive of English Heritage.

"This summer, English Heritage is calling on families up and down the country to reverse this trend, and take a day out to a real life castle, where kids can run around in the sunshine.

"From Norman earthworks to mighty royal fortresses and from Cornwall to Northumberland, these castles and forts tell the turbulent and often surprising story of power, war and siege in England.

"We encourage you to explore the history of castles through time, learn more about medieval life, and plan a memorable day out at a castle near you."

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