Roman market, gladiators and archery among activities as Arbeia Festival takes place at South Shields fort

Gladiators, their owners and other historical characters are living onsite at Arbeia, South Shields’ Roman Fort.

By Sian Cripps
Monday, 29 July, 2019, 06:00
Roman gladiators fighting in the arena

Gladiators, their owners and other historical characters are living onsite all week at the Roman fort, with lots of different events culminating in the highlight event Arbeia Festival on Saturday August 3.

Arbeia – with full-scale Roman reconstructions like a Commander’s Villa, barrack and the impressive West Gate is from where Roman Empower Severus commanded part of his Scottish invasion - has a bumper crop of free summer events lined up.

With gladiator tours and challenges for children – and adults – the Arbeia Festival see the fort come alive with Roman market, gladiator battles, have-a-go archery, artisan crafts and much more.

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On August 7, Boudicca attacks – with The WheelAbouts who create bespoke performance pieces built around wheelchairs – with her slave and her trusty puppet horse.

At Destination Arbeia on August 10, in association with GemArts families, can delve into activities from around the world, with Celt face painting and storytelling, Henna tattoos, calligraphy, silk painting and music.

Roman cavalry displays and hands-on activities take place on August 17 and historical Birds of Prey displays on August 24.