THE National Trust is hosting a range of family-friendly events around Somerset this summer.

Dunster Castle will take visitors back in time to the English Civil War, when the Taunton Garrison reenactment group sets up camp in the castle over July.

The group’s ‘living history’ camp promises guests the opportunity to experience the ‘sights, smells and sounds’ of the period - during which the castle came under siege by Parliamentarians.

Visitors will also be able to see muskets being fired in weapon demonstrations and children are invited to take part in historically accurate pike drills. The camp will be set up every Saturday and Sunday in July, from 10.30am to 4pm.

The castle will also play host to an outdoor evening of opera on Sunday, July 28, when the Wild Arts music charity will put on what it bills as “75 minutes of musical heaven.” The event will take place in Dunster Castle’s iconic gardens, with audience members encouraged to bring picnics with which to enjoy the show.

Fyne Court, near Broomfield, is holding a series of outdoor theatre events on the historic home’s walled-off lawn. Performances, which are set to take place through July and August, include classic Shakespeare plays Malvolio’s Revenge and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, as well as the iconic Victorian tale of The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde.

Guests will each enjoy a free cream tea and scone with their tickets, served up by the nearby Courtyard Cafe.

And in Selworthy day-trippers will have the chance to go beaver spotting. The National Trust has invited guests to explore its dams and pools - and promised the chance of actually eyeing one of the lesser-spotted critters in its natural habitat. The event will be hosted by a Trust ranger, in an area ordinarily closed-off from the public.

For more information visit the National Trust website.