The Kent Website since 1999
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.
The most beautiful castle in the world
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.
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.
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.
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.
The castle is closed 13 July, 9 and 10 November and Christmas Day 2013.
If you've visited Leeds Castle want to share your thoughts your feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org. Where possible we'll publish your comments below.
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.
Something for everyone
Kent is as beautiful as it is diverse, within its boundaries there exists a rich range of things to do and places to see. Outstanding natural beauty, a rich history, sites of world wide cultural and religious importance, sensational beaches, ancient woodlands, the list is endless. The point being; if you are looking for a day out Kent can offer something to suit every pocket and taste.
Disclaimer & feedback
This feature has been checked and edited but if you feel there is an error or omission let us know.In common with all our pages, this is a feature under development, changes will occur from time to time. We take care over our content but we're happy to correct errors, please see our disclaimer. If you wish to suggest somewhere worth visiting in Kent please let us know.
Your comments matter
This is a website formed, produced and published in Kent. By endorsing any one of the features in this section you will draw the attention of our audience to somewhere well worth a visit. In this way you can play a part in promoting the best Kent has to offer. We welcome feedback on all local tourism issues not just those connected to places to visit.