Medieval Games - Outdoor Games & Entertainment

Outdoors, there were many forms of recreation - especially for medieval knights and wealthy landowners. They made sure of this. Outdoor activities were a very important part of medieval life.

Here is a list of the main outdoor games, sports and activities that are known to have been enjoyed in medieval times, particularly the 14th century in England.

This was done only by knights and nobles and for 2 reasons - for fun and for food. Hunting was split into 2 types:

Hunting on horseback - for deer, foxes, wolves, otters and wild boar. This type of hunting took place in forests which were set aside specifically for nobles and knights to hunt in. No-one else was allowed to hunt there and this encouraged plentiful game to be on hand whenever a hunt took place. Hunting has for a long time been referred to as 'the sport of nobles' and this is perhaps the reason why. Read more about medieval royal forests.

Hunting with birds (falconry) - where the birds would be trained to catch and bring back rabbits and hares. This type of hunting had a strict code of who was allowed to use which kind of bird - basically as follows:

Bird Only allowed to be used by
Eagles Emperors
Gyrfalcons Kings
Peregrine falcons Princes
Sakers Knights
Lanner falcons Squires
Merlins Ladies


This is where knights on horseback would gather to practice their combat skills. Read more about medieval tournaments.

Ball Games
This type of recreation was enjoyed by the medieval castle workers. One of the most popular types of medieval ball game was handyball which was played with a large leather ball (similar to today's soccer ball) and curved sticks. There was also a game similar to modern day tennis which was played using the palm of the hand and a smaller ball. It's interesting to note that the Arabic for palm of the hand is rakat and this could well be where the word racquet comes from as used in tennis.

Medieval Jester, Medieval Juggler ~ Modern Medieval Jester & Juggler ~ Medieval Entertainment