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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

Heritage Tree Walk25th July

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Leeds Castle Summertime App27th July to 31st August

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Carnival of History27th & 28th July

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Afternoon Tea in The Castle Dining Room Afternoon Tea

DATES ADDED
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Children's Adventure Golf Parties1st to 31st August

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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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Leeds Castle News

  • Behind the Teams: Leeds Castle Falconry and Wildlife Manager

    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.


    1. How long have you been at Leeds Castle? 

    I started at Leeds Castle on the 6th February 2012, so just over 7 years. 

    2. What does a typical day at work look like to you? 

    When dealing with animals there is no such thing as a typical day, that’s what makes the job so entertaining and different. But usually - and most importantly - it starts with a cup of tea! In the morning, we check on all of our birds; give them fresh water and a clean; put the birds out on weathering ground for visitors to see; clean out the Mews (overnight quarters) and prepare their food for the day. I also have a team who will be out doing a daily Swan count, feed and checking on the wildlife and nesting birds. Throughout the year, we even run pre-booked falconry experiences and do a daily visitor demonstration at 2pm. 

    3. How many of you are in the falconry team? 

    My team currently consists of four staff members and 14 wonderful volunteers.

    4. 4. What’s your favourite thing about your job? And have you always wanted to become a falconer?

    I’ve always wanted to be a Falconer. From the very first day I saw two Barn Owls flown at a demonstration when I was 3, it’s been a dream of mine to do this for a living. But it’s hard to pick one favourite part of the job as its generally just amazing being able to work with such beautiful creatures and have an amazing team of staff. The joy we get from seeing our visitors’ faces light up as the birds fly past them on experience days and at the demonstrations makes all of our work worthwhile. 

    5. You work with a lot of different breeds – do you have a personal favourite?

     It’s difficult to pick a favourite Bird of Prey out of the 28 we currently have. They all have their own characteristics and each day can be different depending on their mood. But as for the 26 Swans we have, I have 2 favourites - Pickles, our 28 year old male Whooper Swan and Tibias, our male Trumpeter Swan. Both of these birds have great personalities and can often be spotted wandering across the Estate. 

    6. Best spot on the estate for visitors to spot some great wildlife? 

     We’re very lucky at Leeds Castle to have such a mix of Wildlife on the estate, waterways and lakes. As you walk up through the Wooldland Walk you can often spot Kingfishers flying along the stream, as well as swans, ducks, moorhens and coots on the small ponds. If you’re very lucky you might even spot Buzzards and Kestrels. If you look closely at the Boat House you’ll see two arches, in the left side one you’ll see a metal rod that we placed there for Kingfishers to perch on and use for fishing. Of course, on the Moat and Great Water you’ll always see our Swans, Ducks, Geese, Guls and more. 

    7.  Anything visitors should look out for in 2019? 

     2019 is already an extremely busy year for us in the Falconry & Wildlife department - we currently have 3 black swan nests (with a total of 18 eggs!), and many of our ducks and geese are already nesting across the Estate. We built five new aviaries at the end of last year at our Bird of Prey Centre, two of which we’ve converted into breeding aviaries. I’m pleased to say that we now have our pair of Harris Hawks currently sitting and incubating three eggs, so fingers crossed they’re fertile and all hatch! The plan will be to keep and fly all three together in our demonstrations. We’re also on the lookout for a new female Burrowing Owl to go with Jack, our five year old male, so we can hopefully breed them as well.

     

  • Building American Connections

    On Monday 27th May, Leeds Castle was delighted to receive a delegation from Fairfax County, Virginia. Leeds Castle has a 370 year shared history with Virginia. 

    In 1649, a tract of land in Virginia was granted to the Culpeper family who had owned Leeds Castle since 1632. In 1677 Thomas, 2nd Lord Culpeper was appointed as Governor of Virginia, and spent six years travelling back and forth between the two countries. After his death in 1689, his daughter Catherine inherited both Leeds Castle and the Virginia lands in 1710. 

    During the day, a friendship agreement was signed between Leeds Castle and the City and County of Fairfax. We look forward to a fruitful future relationship. 

    The US delegation was made up of: 

    Mr Barry Biggar, President/CEO Visit Fairfax

    The Hon Sharon Bulova, Chairman of the Board of Supervisors County of Fairfax

    The Hon Justin E Fairfax, Lieutenant Governor, Commonwealth of Virginia

    Ms Christina Fullmer, Office of the Chairman County of Fairfax

    Mr Bryan Hill, County Executive County of Fairfax

    The Hon John Mason, Former Mayor City of Fairfax

    The Hon David L Meyer, Mayor City of Fairfax

    Ms Linda S Sullivan, President/CEO ArtsFairfax

    Dr S David Wu, Provost /Executive Vice President George Mason University

    Mrs Sheau-Ping Wu, wife of Dr Wu


    *Alternate Text*



  • Dementia Action Week 2019

    This week is Dementia Action Week 2019; a week dedicated to furthering awareness of the disease, and to encourage the community to help improve the lives of people living with dementia. As a part of Leeds Castle’s commitment to furthering understanding of the condition, Leeds Castle has been organising for staff to have the opportunity to attend Dementia Friends Information Sessions. 

    110 members of our staff and volunteers have attended an information session over the last 2 years. It is a continued mission of Leeds Castle to ensure commitment to providing the best service for all our visitors, and with that in mind make Leeds Castle as Dementia Friendly as possible. 

    Being a Dementia Friend is to remind people of the five key messages:

    1. Dementia is not a natural part of ageing 

    2. Dementia is caused by diseases of the brain 

    3. Dementia is not about losing your memory – it can affect thinking, communicating and doing everyday tasks

    4. It’s possible to live well with dementia

    5. There’s more to a person than the dementia

    As a Dementia Friend, our staff pledges to change the way people think, act and talk about dementia.

  • Behind the Teams: Head Gardener

    In the heart of the ‘Garden of England’, the grounds of Leeds Castle offer so many glorious walks and gardens to explore – from the beautifully planted Culpeper Garden and Mediterranean Terrace, to the winding woodland walk. But have you ever wondered who helps keep these gardens so well-maintained and in tip-top condition throughout the seasons?

    We go behind the scenes with Head Gardener Andrew McCoryn to discover the year-round joys involved in caring for the Leeds Castle gardens and what to expect from the estate in 2019.

    How long have you been at Leeds Castle?

    I’ve been here six years now.

    How many of you are in the gardening team?

    We have four full time gardeners, one who is part time and a number of volunteers.

    What does a typical day at work look like to you?

    Apart from the management elements of my job, my work pattern is essentially governed by the weather and the seasons. The winter months are more about working together as a team, achieving projects, undergoing tree work and pruning. We spend the summer months working individually in different areas of the gardens, achieving high standards through weeding, dead heading and working on the little details that our visitors expect and love to see.

    What’s the best thing about working at Leeds Castle?

    I love the freedom and support we have to be creative here, and the expectancy to keep enhancing the gardens for the pleasure of our visitors.

    You work on such a large estate – do you have a favourite garden or spot you most enjoy spending time in?

    Definitely in the river amongst the tree ferns of the Mill Garden, where I often see Kingfishers flying past me. However the joy I gain from our gardens has to be the collussus scale and variety of areas we have here in general, as well as the many interesting plant types; from unusual cacti and tree ferns to the hundreds of roses.

    What should visitors look out for in 2019?

    The unveiling of the new woodland gardens project. But there will also be thousands of little improvements across the whole estate, since all the gardens will have new plants and be given a little extra love for this big 900 anniversary year.

    Your favourite season at Leeds Castle and why?

    Well, summer is lovely of course, with it often being warm (I love spending time on the beach especially in Cornwall, where I am from!) but as a Leeds Castle gardener - it has to be Autumn. It is such a colourful season when all of the leaves turn, the beds and borders are still full of flowers, and our exotic plants are at their happiest. Traditionally, autumn is the start of the ‘Gardeners New Year’, when new ideas and thoughts are planned for the next year.

Read more news stories from Leeds Castle

LEEDS CASTLE VIDEOS

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Carnival of History - Preview 2019

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Weddings at Leeds Castle

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Visit Leeds Castle

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Simon Calder's Travel Review of Leeds Castle

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