24th–30th June 2024 - Broad Chalke, Salisbury


Our hands-on experiences allow visitors to actively engage with history in a meaningful and memorable way.

Whether you’re exploring a Second World War trench, learning a historic dance, or training to become a secret agent in our SOE Training Camp, the experiences at the festival provide a deeper understanding of the past and offer a chance to truly immerse oneself in history.



Purchased separately, experience tickets are additional to your day tickets. With the exception of the Soldier School.


Our hugely popular SOE Training Camp is back for 2024! This unique experience is the perfect opportunity for kids and adults to learn the skills and techniques of espionage from the Second World War. During the camp, you will be put through your paces as you learn self defence, codes and signals, explosives training, and weapons handling. This is a rare opportunity to learn exciting and unique skills, and it’s perfect for kids and adults who love adventure and espionage. Wednesday: 16:30 – 18:30. Thursday & Friday: 15:30 – 18:30. Saturday & Sunday: 10:00 – 17:00. Book Now 


Step back in time and experience the sights, sounds, and smells of the Second World War in our immersive Trench Experience. You will be transported back to July 1944 and the pivotal battle for Hill 112, one of the most strategically important objectives in Normandy. Complete with authentic uniforms, equipment, and props, this is a unique opportunity to experience history up close. Monday – Sunday. Check programme for timings. Book Now

SOLDIER SCHOOL – no additional booking required!

Our expert instructors will be taking recruits from the parade ground to handling weapons in this Second World War Soldier School. Perfectly tailored for younger children, this engaging and educational experience provides youngsters with a unique opportunity to step into the shoes of a World War II soldier. Whether your child is a history buff or simply curious about life during World War II, the Second World War Soldier School offers an unforgettable adventure filled with excitement and discovery. Running everyday, this is a free non-ticketed event.


In 1887, ‘Buffalo Bill’ Cody brought his Wild West exhibition to the people of Victorian Britain, painting a picture of the American frontier as a place of sharpshooters and daring deeds – a picture which lived on in tin can alleys and Hollywood movies. This year, we have four new have-a-go activities that will transport you to the Victorian ‘Wild West’.
In Sword School, try your hand learning to use cavalry sabres. Used in both the Napoleonic Wars and American Civil War, these mounted cavalry weapons were used into the First World War, became popular for duelling, and are still used in the Olympic Games.
Our Have-a-Go Archery school offers a unique opportunity to try out Native American bows used on the American plains. Our instructors will be on hand to hone your technique, whether you’re an experienced archer or you’ve never picked up a bow before.
Brand new for this year is Tomahawk Axe Throwing. Become a true warrior and test your eye to see if you can hit the target in this thrilling (and safe!) activity.
Fancy yourself a John Wayne? Don’t miss our gun slingin’, quick drawin’ Wild West Shooting Range for a chance to have a go with an iconic Colt Peacemaker revolver in a Victorian-style shooting range.

Saturday & Sunday: 10:00 – 17:00. Book Now 


The historic fairground will be returning to Chalke History Festival! Step back in time and enjoy a ride on the Big Wheel and the Helter Skelter from Downs’ Traditional Steam Fair. Imported from Eli Bridge of America in 1935, the Big Wheel was operated at Butlins holiday camp at Bognor Regis until 1970 when Allan Downs Jnr. acquired the ride. The Helter Skelter was built by Supercar of Warwick in 1952 and spent many years in various amusement parks until it was rescued by Arthur Price and family. One of only a handful of original examples left in existence, it has been lovingly restored and has since travelled all over the world. Additional tickets to be purchased on the day.