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Welcome to Leeds Castle, Kent

Opening Times

GROUNDS OPEN 10.00am

CASTLE OPEN 10.30am

LAST ADMISSION 3.00pm (Oct - Mar)
4.30pm (Apr - Sep)

GATES CLOSE 5.00pm (Oct - Mar)
6.00pm (Apr - Sep)

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CELEBRATING 900 YEARS

Discover 900 years of history and explore 500 acres of beautiful parkland and gardens at Leeds Castle in Kent.

The whole family will enjoy the maze and grotto, thrilling falconry displays, punting on the moat, adventure playgrounds and more!

What’s On

Sunday Afternoon Tea in The Castle Dining Room Sunday Afternoon Tea

DATES ADDED
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Mother's Day Afternoon Tea at Castle View Restaurant31st March

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Adventure Golf & New Playground Official Opening with Ben Cajee13th April

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Bird of Prey Centre Behind the Scenes Tour19th to 22nd April

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Easter Fun with the Junk Orchestra19th to 22nd April

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ACCOMMODATION

Come and stay in the grounds of “The Loveliest Castle in the World”

Holiday Cottages


Historic properties located within the Leeds Castle Estate
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Bed and Breakfast

Twenty two luxury en-suite bedrooms within the Maiden’s Tower and Stable Courtyard
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Knight’s Glamping

Escape to the countryside for a glamorous camping holiday in one of our eight splendid striped pavilions
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Battel Hall Logo

Leeds Castle's New 5 Star Country House Venue

HOSPITALITY

Leeds Castle provides first class service and events for all occasions

Weddings

Say 'I do' in the most romantic of settings, "the loveliest castle in the world".
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Conferences

Let us cater for all your business needs in a choice of historic venues. 
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Banquets


Celebrate a special occasion with fine dining and first class service.
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The Leeds Castle Foundation

Upon her death in 1974, Lady Baillie left the Castle to the Leeds Castle Foundation, a private charity whose aim is to preserve the Castle and its grounds for the benefit of the public in perpetuity. In accordance with her wishes, the Castle is kept as a living house, with bedrooms that regularly accommodate guests at weddings, conferences and banquets.

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Leeds Castle Foundation Logo

Restoration & Conservation

If you visit the estate between October 2018 and March 2019, you won’t fail to notice scaffolding on the front of our historic Castle. Here’s why...

Leeds Castle is run by the Leeds Castle Foundation; a charity whose main aim is to look after the Castle and its estate for the enjoyment of today’s visitors and future generations. Now in its 900th year, restoration on its stonework and exterior fabric has inevitably become a necessity in conserving this beautiful Castle for the next 900 years.

The current project taking place on the front elevation of the Castle is due to be completed in March 2019, and is part of a long stonework repair programme which first began in 1995 on the Castle Island, then moved onto the Maiden’s Tower; Gate Tower; Moat Bridge and Gloriette.

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History Highlights Podcasts

Podcast

Episode 5: 1926-1939: Olive, Lady Baillie reinvents Leeds Castle as a celebrity retreat
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Podcast

Episode 4: 1520 - Henry VIII at Leeds Castle en route to the Field of Cloth of Gold
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Available on Itunes

Podcast

Episode 3: 1321: The Great Siege of Leeds Castle
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Available on Itunes

Podcast

Episode 2: 1278-1290: Eleanor of Castile transforms Leeds Castle into a queenly paradise
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Available on Itunes

Podcast

Episode 1: 1066-1278: The Normans at Leeds Castle
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Available on Itunes

Leeds Castle News

  • Behind the Teams: Leeds Castle Curator

    As part of our new ‘Behind the Teams’ series, step behind the scenes of Leeds Castle and hear from the experts who work here about their day-to-day work, where their passions lie, and what their jobs involve. 

    We are proud to have such a wonderful curatorial department at Leeds Castle. With an expertise spanning from the restoration of furnishings to collection documentation, it’s the job of Curator Annie Kemkaran-Smith to ensure the protection of the Leeds Castle collection for future generations. 

    We speak to Annie about what her role entails, the restoration of Castle rooms, and what to look out for during your next visit. 

    How long have you worked at the Castle? 

    I started here in August 2015 - so I’ve been here almost four years now. 

    What’s the best thing about being the Curator for Leeds Castle? 

    I love that every day is different! I get to work with different teams throughout the estate and carry out large scale refurbishment projects. This can involve anything from researching historic fabric, to supervising the decant of large and extremely valuable objects. It’s really varied and there’s always something to do. 

    Have there been any particular moments or milestones during your time here that have stood out to you? 

    The first major project I completed here was the refurbishment of Yellow Drawing Room inside the Castle. The room’s silk wall hangings had suffered from years of light and environmental damage, resulting in severe wear and degradation, so needed replacing. I had to research where the original silk had come from and managed to get an exact replica made to replace it. All of the objects in the room also needed some level of conservation, but the large mirror above the piano was in a very bad state and had to be completely dismantled to undergo treatment. 

    Do you have a favourite historical artefact in the Castle that visitors should look out for during their visit? 

    My favourite artefact within the Castle is the charcoal sketch of Lady Baillie’s Great Danes, Boots and Danny, which hangs on the wall at the start of the upper bridge corridor. Lady Baillie loved dogs, and as a fellow dog lover, I can really understand why she would have commissioned a portrait of them. They were quite naughty animals and I think the portrait depicts their mischevious nature! 

    Favourite area on the Castle estate? 

    I have a few favourite spots around the estate. One of them is the ruined Mill, since it’s such a picturesque area. Another is underneath one of the willows looking back at the cascade – it’s the perfect spot for a summer’s afternoon. 

    To find out more about Leeds Castle’s ongoing conservation projects, visit the Restoration page here.

  • Garden Highlights: What to See at Leeds Castle this Spring

    Open all-year-round, the grounds of Leeds Castle provide the perfect setting to experience all four seasons; from the widespread autumn colour and spring wildflowers that fill the Woodland Walk with life, to the expertly planted formal gardens that bloom vividly each summer. 

    Our Head Gardener, Andrew McCoryn, shares his top tips on what flowers to look out for around the Castle grounds this spring… 

    February 

    By the end of this month, you should be able to spot pockets of seasonal snowdrops bursting through in the Mill Garden and in the Woodland Walk on your approach to the Castle. Be sure to also visit the Culpeper Garden to see the dozens of vibrant purple crocuses. 

    March and Apri

    Throughout March and April, visitors will be able to see hundreds of daffodils growing both alongside the Castle moat and in the Culpeper Garden. Meander through the enchanting Woodland Walk to see masses of ‘scilla’ (tiny bluebell bulbs) and ‘anemona blanda’ - a wildflower which spreads through the woodland like a blanket of beautiful blue flowers. 

    May 

    Enjoy a splendid display of tulips and bearded irises in a rainbow of colours in the Culpeper Garden. Beautifully bright and fragrant wisteria also blooms here, on the Pergola in the Mediterranean Garden, and on the Pavilion Lawn. 

    What next? 

    Keep an eye on the website for more information about what to expect from our gardens in the summer months – from beautiful peonies, azaleas and roses, to the brand new gardens which will be unveiled this June in celebration of the Castle’s 900th anniversary.

     

  • Rooting for Future Generations

    When BBC Countryfile visited Leeds Castle in the lead-up to our 900th anniversary, something that particularly captured their attention was the variety of historic trees located around the estate. 

    From native broadleaved trees to evergreen pines, some of the most beautiful standout trees that we have on-site today were planted centuries ago - some of them possibly bearing witness to significant historical events, such as the visit of Henry VIII to the Castle in June 1520. 

    It is the job of our dedicated team of Estate Rangers to care for the variety of woodland habitats, but with many trees now beginning to show their age, they’re in need of some urgent care in order for them to survive for centuries to come. 

    To coincide with the Castle’s 900th anniversary this year, we are embarking on an ambitious conservation programme called, ‘Rooting for Future Generations’. With help from friends of Leeds Castle, we want to ensure the estate’s oldest and most majestic trees are still here for the Castle’s millennia, such as the beautiful ‘Tree of Judea’, a wonderfully floral tree located at the Barbican; and the magnificent ‘Cedar of Lebanon’, the most iconic tree on the Cedar Lawn. 

    As part of this much needed conservation programme, we have been inviting friends of the Castle and companies we work with to become official sponsors for one or more of these glorious trees. It’s great news that several companies have already put themselves forward as sponsors, including The Oak & Rope Company, Jackson Lifts and Hob Mechanical Services Ltd, but there are yet more historic trees that need specialist help to maintain them for many years to come. 

    If you’re interested in becoming a sponsor, please contact enquiries@leeds-castle.co.uk who will send you our sponsorship package options.

  • BBC Countryfile Celebrates 900 Years of Leeds Castle!

    Leeds Castle has kick-started this year’s 900th anniversary celebrations with a feature on BBC Countryfile. 

    The episode, which aired Sunday 13th January on BBC1, saw presenter Matt Baker explore the estate and lay the very first plaque on the new Woodland Walk timeline; a walk which will take visitors through nine centuries of history on their approach to the Castle. Matt even tried his hand at a spot of falconry with the Castle's resident birds of prey!

    Describing it as an experience he “will always remember”, Matt was invited to fly Barney; one of the Castle’s Kestrels. Using a lure to fly the falcon, which is a technique commonly used by Falconers to exercise the birds, Matt said the task was much “trickier than it looks” after receiving a lesson from our Falconry and Wildlife Manager, Mark Brattle. 

    Also featured was a Cedar of Lebanon overlooking the Castle; one of the estate’s most iconic trees. Joined by specially trained tree surgeons, Matt Baker and the team established cable systems to stop its branches from wilting out after suffering from storm damage - ensuring the tree will still be standing strong for centuries more to come. 

    Footage from inside the Castle was featured during an interview with Curator Annie Kemkaran-Smith, who spoke about its history and the 900th anniversary celebrations. Co-presenter Margherita Taylor also caught up with Matt at the end of the programme in the Castle’s Thorpe Hall Drawing Room. 

    Leeds Castle’s landmark year will celebrate nine centuries of history, dating back to 1119 when Robert de Crevecoeur built the first stone castle on the estate. A series of special events and activities are planned to celebrate the 900th anniversary, including a Carnival of History and the Big 900 Story Challenge! 

    If you missed Sunday’s episode of Countryfile, be sure to catch up here. Alternatively, to find out more about the Castle’s 900th anniversary visit the information page here.

     

Read more news stories from Leeds Castle

LEEDS CASTLE VIDEOS

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Simon Calder's Travel Review of Leeds Castle

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Medieval Jousting Tournament 2019

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Motors by the Moat 2019

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Weddings at Leeds Castle

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