Leeds Castle Summary
- Address: Maidstone, ME17 1PL (Map)
- Tel: +44 (0)1622 765400
- Fax: +44 (0)1622 735616
- Owner: Leeds Castle Foundation
- Administrator: Marketing Department
- E-mail: Click here to contact
- Website: Go to the Leeds Castle website
Leeds Castle Description
Shrouded in mist, mystery and legend, Leeds Castle rises from its own lake amidst one of England's most picturesque counties; the survivor of 1000 years emerges into the 21st century pre-eminent among the great buildings of the British Isles.
Originally a Saxon royal manor built in AD. 857, Leeds became the stone Castle of the Norman Crevecoeur family. From 1278 Leeds was a royal palace where Edward I built the unique fortified mill and barbican. Falling to Edward II's troops in 1321 because his Queen was refused admission, the Castle was never again besieged as its reputation for being a ladies Castle grew ever stronger. In its illustrious history, Leeds Castle has been the home of six medieval Queens of England and will no doubt be graced by many distinguished ladies in the centuries ahead.
Henry VIII enjoyed the Castle immensely and the many Tudor windows bear witness to his architectural improvements. It was from Leeds that Henry started for his momentous meeting at the Fields of the Cloth of Gold with Francis I of France in 1520, embarking at Dover - an event recalled by the magnificent paintings in the Banqueting Hall.
In 1926, Olive, later Lady Baillie, bought Leeds Castle from the Wykeham Martins, the previous owners, and totally transformed it internally. Employing two international interior designers, Armand-Albert Rateau and Stéphane Boudin, Leeds Castle is probably the world's most complete memorial to these men.
Lady Baillie filled her house with fine furniture, ceramics, tapestries and paintings, all of the highest quality - her collection of 18th Century Chinese porcelain is remarkable, with many pieces recalling her fondness for exotic birds.
Lady Baillie's achievements culminated in the most radical development at Leeds Castle in its long history; by her will, the Leeds Castle Foundation was created to maintain the Castle, garden and park for the enjoyment of visitors in perpetuity. For more information on visiting Leeds Castle, just view their very Website.
Wining and Dining
Leeds Castle is the ideal venue to celebrate any occasion, whether it's a special birthday, an anniversary or retirement dinner or even just a meal with friends and family.
With venues to accommodate between 10 - 200 people, they are never lost for suggestions to make an evening truly memorable.
As well as formal occasions, their experienced staff can organise private lunches for up to 50 people in summer or up to 90 during the winter - Christmas as you can imagine is something very special indeed at Leeds Castle.
Meetings & Conferences
Set on a moated island, Leeds Castle provides one of the most unique venues for residential & day conferences, meetings, corporate hospitality and banqueting in Kent. Day delegate & 24-hour packages are available within the Castle Dining Room, Boardroom or Maiden’s Tower.
Set in 500 acres of beautiful Kent parkland, Leeds Castle accommodation offers comfort and luxury, under an hour from London. The Estate boasts five holiday cottages, 17 luxury bed and breakfast bedrooms and five bedrooms in the Maiden’s Tower as well as eight Medieval Glamping tents. In addition 20 luxury bedrooms, ranging from battlement bedrooms to state rooms, can be booked as part of a private event within the 900-year old Castle.
Stable Courtyard Bed and Breakfast accommodation provides 4 star standard to guests all year round located in the Fairfax Courtyard. The Maiden’s Tower, reconstructed by Henry VIII, provides 5 star luxury and breath taking views in a 16th century tower located next to the Castle.
Knight’s Glamping offers families and couples the chance to escape to the countryside for a glamorous camping holiday with a difference. Available from late March to September, guests stay in a traditionally coloured medieval style striped tents.
- 1st April - 30th September: daily, 10 am - 6 pm, last ticket sold 4.30 pm
- 1st October - 31st March: daily, 10 am - 5 pm, last ticket sold 3 pm
- 1st April - 30th September: daily, 10 am - 5.30 pm
- 1st October - 31st March: daily, 10 am - 4 pm
Special private tours for pre-booked groups by appointment
Events for Leeds Castle
- Easter Trail - 02 April 2015 to 19 April 2015
Keep the children amused during the Easter school holidays with the Leeds Castle Easter Trail. Look for clues around the estate to earn a chocolate prize. Easter Trail is £1 per child.
- Easter Family Fun - 03 April 2015 to 06 April 2015
Celebrate Easter with plenty of activities for the whole family from circus skills to juggling jester shows, have a go archery and mad-cap fun with courtly jesters. Explore the adventure playgrounds and beautiful gardens, get lost in the Maze and see the daily Falconry demonstration.
- Spring Photo Walk - 15 May 2015
Improve your photography skills and capture the castle grounds and spring flowers with your own equipment under the professional guidance of Robert Canis. The workshop is suitable for all ages and abilities. Price £40 per person (includes a one-day ticket to Leeds Castle and refreshments). More details and pre-booking at www.leeds-castle.com
- Supercar Siege - 17 May 2015
On Sunday 17th May 2015 the incredible Supercar Siege returns to Leeds Castle raising money for Services charities. Around 600 high performance and classic cars will be on display on the Cedar Lawn overlooking the Castle.
- Knights Challenge and Battle Tactics - 26 May 2015 to 31 May 2015
Knights Challenge, Princess Training and Battle Tactics provide entertaining children’s activities for May Half Term. Budding knights will have the chance to practise battle tactics while wannabee princesses can learn courtly dancing and meet a real princess. Small additional charges apply.
- Triathlon Training Day - 06 June 2015
Whether you are entering your first triathlon or aiming for a personal best, the Triathlon Training Day will help get the best out of your performance with specialist training from Ocean Lake Tri.
- Leeds Castle Triathlon - 27 June 2015 to 28 June 2015
Complete an open water swim in the moat, road cycle and cross country run around the estate in association with Ocean Lake Triathlon and Triathlon England. Take part in Sprint Tri (750m/26k/5k) and Junior Aquathlon on 27th June or the Standard Tri (1500m/40k/10k) on 28th June.
- Open Air Classical Concert - 11 July 2015
The Leeds Castle Open Air Classical Concert returns with the world famous Royal Philharmonic Orchestra for an evening of patriotic flag waving, music and entertainment to remember. The concert this year opens with the Definitive Rat Pack. Choose from Picnic Style £32 or Seated £42.
- Robin Hood Open Air Children’s Theatre - 02 August 2015
Come and have a joyful, fun-filled family picnic, while you watch this hilarious musical show aimed at children aged 3 to 12. Boys and girls are invited to dress in their best Sherwood fashion on the day.
- The Leeds Castle Food Festival - 11 September 2015 to 13 September 2015
Discover fantastic food and drink at this food festival designed for passionate foodies. Experience food and drink from quality local producers, enjoy tastings, food and drink theatre and workshops.
- Festival of Flowers - 22 September 2015 to 27 September 2015
Leeds Castle will once again be transformed for a Festival of Flowers by award winning floral designers and budding florists under the guidance of the Castle Florist Louise Roots. Take part in floral workshops, talks and demonstrations throughout the event, pre-bookable via the website.
- Halloween Spell School at October Half Term - 24 October 2015 to 31 October 2015
Children will be spellbound at the Witches and Wizard Academy at Halloween Half Term. A children’s trail will take place throughout the grounds with a chocolate prize at the end. A fancy dress competition takes place daily, while spellbinding stories will entertain younger children.
- Fireworks Spectacular - 07 November 2015 to 08 November 2015
For two consecutive nights, the most incredible display of pyrotechnics will light up the sky over Leeds Castle, synchronised with moving images and glorious music. Enjoy afternoon entertainment, hot food and drinks stalls. Tickets must be pre-booked via the Box Office.
- Christmas at Leeds Castle - 05 December 2015 to 23 December 2015
Visitors will be captivated by the beautiful Christmas trees and decorations throughout the Castle, supported by an exhibition on the theme. Father Christmas visits will be available for pre-booking from 1st October for selected dates in December.
- Leeds Castle Winter Trail - 26 December 2015 to 03 January 2016
Wander through the woodland walk, grounds and gardens as you answer questions about wildlife and nature in this post-Christmas activity. The Winter Trail is £1 per person.
Your Reviews of Leeds Castle
Tom Moore (09 July 2006)
Breathtaking! What makes this place wonderful is the grounds! The well kept grounds are a delight to any visitor, take a picnic and enjoy the gorgeous day.
Additional Info for Leeds Castle
- Open All Year
- Disabled Access
- Meals Available
- Live Entertainment
- Car Parking
Credit Cards Accepted
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