Though most medieval people got up at dawn and worked long hours, they still had time for leisure, particularly in the light summer evenings.
The writer William Fitz Stephen gives a fascinating description of Londoners’ pastimes in the prologue of his Life of Saint Thomas (about 1173). Medieval London was small, so people could take a short walk out of the gates and be out in open fields where they could practise archery or, when the marshes of Moorfields froze over in the winter, ice-skating.
Other entertainments included watching horse-racing at Smithfield or cockfights at school, playing football, and jousting. As today, chess was a popular game, and dice were used for gambling.