Leeds Castle is one of Kent’s most famous historic gems. It is surrounded on all sides by a picturesque lake, wildlife and scenic nature. With its museums, mazes, gardens and playgrounds, the site offers entertainment to suit visitors of almost any age.
The castle dates back to 1119 and has passed through the hands of several historical British figures, including King Edward I and King Henry VIII. Tour rooms laid out with period furniture and decoration.
Amble around 500 acres (200 hectares) of well-kept grounds. Get lost in the twists and turns of a hedge maze, then walk through the underground grotto that lies beneath. Admire the mythical deities carved into the walls of the grotto.
See birds from five different continents at the Falconry Displays and allow a hawk to land on your arm during the daily shows. Visit the Dog Collar Museum, the only collection in Britain that’s wholly dedicated to dog collars.
Take the kids to the Turf Maze, which leads to a mini castle made of wood at its center. Let youngsters explore the Knights’ Realm and Toddler’s Playground, which has towers, walls and castles to climb on.
Bring a picnic to one of many scenic spots in the parkland that surrounds the castle, including the Wood Garden, Culpeper Garden and Lady Baillie Garden.
See some of the best views of the buildings and grounds as you take a tour along the moat on a punt. Tours have a fee and are available March through October.
Leeds Castle is located 5 miles (8 kilometers) southeast of Maidstone and is a one-hour drive from London.You can also take the train from nearby towns in Kent county to Bearsted Station and then catch a coach shuttle service to the castle for a small fee.
There is an admission fee for Leeds Castle but your ticket is valid for a whole year so you can come and go as many times as you like. Children get in free on rainy days. The castle is open year-round.