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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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Valentine's Dinner in Castle View Restaurant13th & 14th February

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Half Term Hunters16th to 24th February

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A Night To Remember - 1930s Murder Mystery House Party6th 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 1: 1066-1278: The Normans at 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 3: 1321: The Great Siege of Leeds Castle
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Available on Itunes

Leeds Castle News

  • 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.

     

  • Harris Hawks Keye and Texas: Retiring from Duty!

    This month marks the end of an era for two much-loved birds at our Falconry Centre. Texas and Keye, two of our popular Harris Hawks, have now officially “retired” from their normal day-to-day duties of demonstrations and experiences days at the Castle. 

    Over the years, both Texas and Keye have played a special part in both the set-up and overall running of the Falconry Centre, and have regularly taken part in our visitor falconry displays and private falconry experience days. 

    Keye, who is now 17 years old, has been cared for by one of our Falconry Team members since he was only 3 months old. Texas, who is currently 7 years old, was adopted by the Falconry Team four years ago when she was found as a lost bird. Our Falconry Team nourished her back to good health and looked after her before re-training her so she could become part of our regular falconry displays. 

    Now retired, both Keye and Texas can enjoy their new home in one of the Falconry Centre’s five new aviaries that opened this September. They will be the first birds to start our Bird of Prey Breeding program, which will hopefully grow over the coming years with other species being introduced. 

    Our Falconry Team are also delighted to have also welcomed the arrival of some new birds this year… Why not pop along and see them for yourselves? 

    Tash

    Our new female Red Legged Seriema is a natural snake killer in the wild. The team will be demonstrating how she catches and kills snakes in the wild in our shows with the use of a toy snake! 

    Stella 

    Stella is a female Siberian Eagle Owl and is now the largest Owl we have living at the Centre. She can be seen in some demonstrations but mainly she is being flown on our experience days. 

    Chester 

    Chester is a male Common Buzzard, which are a native species to the UK. We are very lucky to have these breeding wild on the Estate and can been seen regularly soaring above the Great Water. Our Falconry Team would eventually like to fly him in our demonstrations and on experiences so visitors can see what they look like up close! 

    Jensen 

    Our newest addition to the Falconry Centre is Jensen, a Barbary Falcon. Jensen is currently still in training but you’ll hopefully be seeing him flying around very soon. 

  • Story Writing Tips for the Big 900 Story Challenge with Clare Balding

    To celebrate the Castle’s 900th anniversary in 2019, we're inviting children from all over to Britain to enter an exciting story writing competition: the ‘Big 900 Story Writing Challenge’.

    Judged by renowned broadcaster and children’s author Clare Balding, the competition encourages children from two age groups (5-9 years and 10-13 years) to write a fictional story of up to 900 words based loosely around the themes of ‘castles’ and/or ‘time travel’. 

    But if you haven’t entered yet or if you just need a little help bringing your story to life, fear not. Luckily our judge Clare Balding, who will be helping us choose the two winners next March, has shared her very own top tips to help YOU channel your inner author… 

    1. Aim for a brilliant first line. Make sure the first sentence hints at what the story is all about, and make it compelling from the very first word! 

    2. Be as adventurous as you can with your storyline. The general themes for Leeds Castle’s Big 900 Story Challenge are time travel and castles. Try to be as original as you can with your story - allow your imagination to run free! 

    3. Remember you’re limited to 900 words - so make every sentence count. Try not to over-describe every single thing in the story; part of the reader’s enjoyment is building their own picture from the clever clues you provide. 

    4. Don’t be afraid to rewrite. The first draft is just that - a first draft. Be honest with yourself about where you can improve the story. Think of the rewrite as an opportunity to polish and polish until the words gleam on the page. 

    5. Most of all: enjoy it! Writing a story is just as fun (if not more so) as reading one. You get to completely control the plot, invent your characters, and decide the ending. Good luck and I look forward to reading your entries!

    So what are you waiting for? Submit your stories here: https://www.leeds-castle.com/Education/Big+900+Story+Writing+Challenge

     There are so many fun prizes to be won, including a stay at our Knight’s Glamping and tickets to the Fireworks Spectacular. Budding young writers have until 12pm on 5th March 2019 to submit their stories.   

  • The New 900 Year Old Face of Kent Crisps

    What’s the best way to champion Kent and its wide tourism and gourmet offering? Why, with a heritage attraction and crisp company collaboration of course!

    Leeds Castle is delighted to have teamed up with local brand Kent Crisps to promote the county of Kent in an exciting new partnership. 

    From December 2018, Leeds Castle will be the official new face on Kent Crisps’ Sea Salt and Vinegar with Biddenden Cider flavour. 

    We hope this partnership just how much Kent has to offer: from its tasteful food and quality beverages, to its incredible heritage spots. Made using cider from Biddenden Vineyards, Sea Salt & Vinegar with Biddenden Cider is one of Kent Crisps’ most popular flavours. 

    This partnership is just one of many activities planned by Leeds Castle to launch its 900th anniversary celebrations. Other events include the Big 900 Story Writing Challenge (hyperlink) with Clare Balding, a Time Capsule burial event with HRH Princess Alexandra, and the Carnival of History (hyperlink) planned for July 2019. 

    Sir David Steel, Chief Executive of the Castle, says: “We are so pleased that Kent Crisps will be displaying Leeds Castle on its Sea Salt & Vinegar with Biddenden Cider crisp packets from now, throughout our 900th anniversary year and beyond. Our aim, throughout 2019, is also ensuring that as many people as possible can participate in the Castle’s birthday and thereby recognise the important part it has played in English history and, especially, in the history of Kent.”

     Visitors to the Castle during December will also be able take up an exclusive 3For2 ‘introductory offer’ on all 150g packs of Kent Crisps’ Sea Salt & Vinegar with Biddenden Cider flavour in both the Castle Gift Shop and Main Entrance shop.

Read more news stories from Leeds Castle

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