Leeds Castle - Lady Baillie's Kent Home

One Of The Must See Attractions In Kent, Leeds (Kent) Castle And Grounds

Welcome to our Leeds Castle page, it has been open to the public for just under forty years. The Castle (located on this site since 1119) is in the village of Leeds, 4 miles outside of the county town of Maidstone. It provided a country retreat for Edward I and later a home for Catherine of Aragon, the first wife of Henry VIII.

In the ten years since we first published tourism features, user feedback has played an important part in developing our coverage. If you've visited Leeds or any other Maidstone tourist attractions we'd like to hear from you. Our contact details are at the bottom of the page. For more places to visit in and around the area check out our Discover Kent page.

Leeds Castle - The most beautiful castle in the world
The most beautiful castle in the world

About The Castle

Leeds Castle is probably most peoples' idea of what a castle should look like, with ancient stone walls and a moat. In fact it's built on two islands and surrounded by the waters of the river Len. It is undoubtedly one of the most impressive sights in Kent.

There was a wooden castle built on the site in the 9th century and it is believed to have been the seat of the Saxon Kings. The present castle was constructed soon after the Norman conquest and became a royal palace in the reign of Edward I. It remained a royal castle until, after the death of Henry VIII when it was given to Sir Anthony St Leger and after that remained in private hands.

The last owner of Leeds was an American heiress, Lady Baillie who bought it in 1926 and then set about restoring the castle and grounds to their former glory; leaving it to the nation in 1975 following her death.

The interior of the castle is breathtaking, it includes several rooms furnished in an imitation of the original style. This includes the Queen’s room, bathroom, and the Henry VIII’s Banqueting Hall. Visitors can take refreshments in the cafe or restaurant, there is also a gift shop.

Attractions

In addition to the furnished rooms there are a number of attractions, the impressive park and various designated woodland walks on the 500 acre estate are open all year round.

Gardens
The gardens offer all year round colour and contrasts, the Wood Gardens display thousands of spring bulbs, scented roses in summer and late flowering plants in the Lady Baillie Garden.

Dog Collar Museum
A hundred dog collars creates a visual display of the history of this indispensable item for dog owners. The collection includes the world's biggest display of medieval collars.

Knights’ Realm Playground
A wooden scale model of the actual Castle, climbing, jousting and taking a zip wire trip to the ground are almost obligatory. There's also a Toddler’s Play Area for knights and maidens under five.

Pay & Play Golf Course
A 9-hole, par 33 golf course with a number of challenges in scenic surroundings, golf lessons can be arranged call the Golf Shop on 01622 880467 or visit the website.

Other things to see and do include: a turf maze for children, an opportunity for hot air balloon rides, falconry, Go Ape, Elsie the Castle Train and much more, see the website for availability, prices and timings.

Special Events 2013

  • 29 March to 1 April - An Easter Treasure Hunt
  • 18 May - The Supercar Siege 
  • 28 May - 2 June - Medieval Jousting
  • 13 July - Open Air Classical Concert 
  • 25 - 27 July - Open Air Theatre: Shakespeare's "As You Like It" 
  • 6 September - Open Air Cinema: "The Blues Brothers" 
  • 7 September - Open Air Cinema: "Casablanca" 
  • 15 September - Go Walkies at Maidstone Fun Day 
  • 26 October - 3 November - Halloween at Half Term 
  • 9 & 10 November - The Leeds Castle Fireworks Spectacular

Visit the regularly updated website at www.leeds-castle.com for the full programme of special and ticketed events.

Leeds Castle also has rooms for hire in aid of any special occasion, there is a dedicated team who will help and advise on and facilitate any special event, including conferences, dinners and weddings.

Admission Prices 2013

  • Adults: £21.00
  • Concessions: £18.50
  • Children £13.50

Opening Times 2013

  • April to September (Grounds open at 10am daily)
  • The castle opens at 10.30am with the last admission at 4.30pm, the gates close at 6.00pm
  • Shops: 10am to 5:30pm

The castle is closed 13 July, 9 and 10 November and Christmas Day 2013.

Access

Wheelchair access everywhere except the top floors of Castle and in the maze.

Location & Contact:

The castle is near Maidstone and is sign posted from Junction 8 of the M20.
  • Leeds Castle, Leeds, Maidstone, Kent ME17 1PL
  • 01622 765400

Feedback & Reviews

If you've visited Leeds Castle want to share your thoughts your feedback to content@yourcounty.co.uk. Where possible we'll publish your comments below.

 

Leeds Castle Front View

Feedback & Disclaimer

Our content is checked regularly but if you find any error or omission let us know.We welcome feedback, If you'd like to recommend an attraction drop us a line with 'Discover Kent' in the email title. Please see our disclaimer.