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EXPERIENCE MORE AT LEEDS CASTLE

Discover almost 900 years of history and explore 500 acres of beautiful parkland and gardens at "the loveliest Castle in the world".

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

What’s On

Bird of Prey Centre Behind the Scenes Tour30th July to 5th August

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Open Air Cinema with Full Orchestra: The Italian Job2nd August

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Open Air Cinema: Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone3rd August

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Open Air Cinema: Dirty Dancing4th August

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Glorious Gardens Tour22nd August, 19th September

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FOOD AND DRINK

Delicious dining options throughout the grounds

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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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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Restoration & Conservation

On-going maintenance and restoration work at the 12th Century Leeds Castle, requires care, expertise and money. As a charitable foundation, all profits go toward this endeavour and we are grateful to every visitor who contributes to this effort by purchasing a ticket or staying here in one of the many cottages or bed and breakfast rooms. Over the past five years money raised through our visitors has helped re-point the oldest parts of the Castle; improve accessibility for all and provide educational visits for over 50,000 children a year.

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LATEST VIDEOS

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Festival of Flowers - Preview 2018

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Leeds Castle Gardens

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Meet the Owls of Leeds Castle

Leeds Castle News

  • Leeds Castle Lead Community Project to Remove Weeds on Local Church Bell Tower

    Leeds Castle recently led a community project to help conserve the Bell Tower of St Nicholas Church in nearby Leeds Village. 

    The parish church had contacted the Castle maintenance team to help eradicate an unwanted ‘valerian’ plant after it spread out of control over the Bell Tower’s exterior. The weeds had grown up over time and although some might say looked quite pretty at the top of the tower, were in fact eating away at the stonework and potentially causing significant damage. 

    Leeds Castle’s Head Gardener Andrew McCoryn worked with Taskmasters, an abseiling maintenance company hired by the Castle and they collaborated on this mission to keep the local village church’s ancient crevices free of these unwanted weeds. With full protective harnesses and working from ropes to descend the walls, the abseilers employed a special weed killer mix which is safe to other environment and wildlife, specially crafted by Andrew McCoryn to remove the valerian. 

    Valerian isn’t unsightly, but it’s very destructive. It has a strong root system that can strip away lime mortar, which consequently damages the building’s entire exterior,” says Andrew. 

    The team used rope and weights to abseil down the tower, working gradually to ensure the weeds were cut right back to the masonry. I had created a strong weed killer mix of Glyphosate, wallpaper paste and water, which was then carried in an eight-litre knapsack and applied to the weed’s freshly-cut roots with a paintbrush to ensure a direct and safe application."

    This extreme weeding task took the abseilers almost two days to complete, and we’re delighted to announce that the exterior’s condition has now much improved.

    St Nicholas’s parish church in Leeds, Kent, is at the heart of the village community and is a Grade I Listed Building. The tower contains bells dating from the 1700s which are housed in an ancient oak frame; one of the earliest surviving bell frames in the UK. Its churchyard also contains a number of memorials and monuments; including one for the first ever Leeds Castle Chairman, Geoffrey Lloyd.  

  • The Leeds Castle Classical Concert Prepares for Ruby Anniversary

    Leeds Castle is busy getting ready to present its ruby edition of one of the biggest summer evenings in the Kent events calendar – the Leeds Castle Classical Concert! 

    Taking almost a week to build and set-up, preparation for what is one of the largest open air classical concerts in the country is now well underway. Just days away from the big event, staff at Leeds Castle are working hard behind the scenes in anticipation for the arrival of thousands of concert-goers in their fancy dress and full finery; from tuxedos and ball gowns to patriotic themed outfits. 

    Officially marking 40 years since the first open air concert in 1978, this year’s Classical Concert will be held on Saturday 14th July and will celebrate the anniversary with a finale of music featuring 1970’s hits. The much-loved event attracts thousands each summer, and this year there will even be a prize for the best dressed in ‘Seventies Style’ attire!

    Those attending can enjoy a performance by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, four world-class soloists and a spitfire fly-over by the Headcorn-based Aero Legends against the backdrop of the Castle. John Rigby will be hosting and conducting the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and says the concert is guaranteed to have the audience “singing and dancing into the summer night”. 

    This is more than a concert,” said John Rigby, “it is a spectacular signature event unique to Leeds Castle, with its diverse classical orchestral programme, interwoven with specially selected choral and solo pieces with the visual spectacle or field guns, superb fireworks and iconic aircraft displays.” 

    Four sensational soloists will also be taking to the stage to mark the occasion; West End performer Louise Dearman, Lead Singer of Mike and the Mechanics Tim Howar, Soprano Katie Bird and Tenor Alexander James Edwards. 

    Head on over to www.leedscastleconcert.co.uk for your tickets. 

    The Leeds Castle Classical Concert is organised by Heritage Events.

  • Falconry & Wildlife Manager Named Swan Master of Maidstone

    Leeds Castle is proud to announce that Mark Brattle, Falconry and Wildlife Manager at the Castle, has officially been named as the Mayor’s Swan Master by Maidstone Borough Council. 

    Mark, who has managed the Castle’s Falconry Department since 2012, says he is delighted to have been given the title by the Mayor of Maidstone, Cllr David Naghi. 

    As Falconry and Wildlife Manager at one of Kent’s oldest royal Castles, I help manage the wildlife and beautiful swans on our Estate on a daily basis. To now also be named as the official Swan Master of Maidstone by the Mayor is an incredible honour, and I look forward to helping oversee the welfare of the birds on the river this year,” says Mark. 

    The role of the Swan Master is an honorary position, and involves catching and ringing the cygnets on Maidstone’s waterways during the Court of Survey Cruise; also referred to as ‘Swan Upping’. The cruise is an ancient tradition originating from a Charter of Queen Elizabeth I, who in 1559 granted the borough of Maidstone with the privilege of owning the swans on its own waterways, extending from East Farleigh to Hawkwood in Burham. Maidstone is the only borough in the country where the swans belong to the Mayor - all other swans in the country belong to the Queen. 

    Mark attended a Swan Upping procession in Maidstone on Saturday 9th June, whereby Mark and the Mayor of Maidstone continued this tradition of counting the swans within the borough. It plays a huge part in the conservation of the swans, and allows the Swan Master to collect data and assess their general health. Mark reported that during Saturday’s Swan Upping procession, they counted a total of 40 swans and four cygnets along the waterway. 

    Mark manages the Falconry and Wildlife department at Leeds Castle, and has established a hardworking team of falconers who help care for the birds of prey for the enjoyment of visitors to the Leeds Castle estate. The team cares for a variety of birds, including Kookaburras, Owls, and Hawks, and there are free flying demonstrations in the Falconry Arena throughout the year. Mark and his team also help manage wildlife around the grounds of Leeds Castle; from Black Swans and Whooper Swans, to Mallards and Moorhens. 

    Find out more about our Falconry department here: Leeds Castle Falconry     

  • The Role of a Leeds Castle Estate Ranger

    Conservation is essential to the ethos of Leeds Castle, as our Estate Rangers Ben Byfield and Rob Dixon have recently well-demonstrated. Over the last few months, the Rangers have been carrying out tree safety work, liaising with local conservation groups to enhance greater bio-diversity, and developing nature habitats to make the estate a beautiful place for wildlife to thrive. 

    Our work is reactionary to the needs of the estate, but we also have a number of ideas on how best we can really influence the biodiversity of the grounds,” says Rob, Assistant Estate Ranger. “From felling and dead wooding of dangerous trees, to conserving and repairing the near 500-year-old Yew Tree on the Castle Island, we have an ongoing commitment to the conservation of the entire estate.” 

    Over the last two months we have started biological recording on the grounds. This involves going out a few times each week at sunrise to record how many breeding birds we have on our parkland. A Red Kite [rare bird of prey] passed by on a survey a couple of weeks ago – which is exciting news for us as Red Kites are quite rare in Kent. And on my most recent survey, I found that we have a pair of nightingales on our golf course. Our breeding bird survey will be strongly influencing our conservation work in the upcoming future.” 

    The moat, woodland and lakes provide the perfect habitat for all kinds of wildlife and common woodland birds; Leeds Castle is even lucky enough to be home to some wonderful Kingfishers. But for Ben and Rob, there is a lot of ground work that has to be done in order to conserve and maintain the good health of the grounds. The Rangers have also revealed that something they would like to introduce soon is a new visitor walking route through the parkland.

    There are so many hidden treasures at Leeds Castle,” says Ben, Head Estate Ranger. “From our coppice woodlands full of bluebells and our groves of ancient trees, to the quiet reed beds of the Bay Pond and the wild grasslands along the river – it’s all very special. We have big plans to make them even better for our wildlife, and we’re also planning to open up some new walking routes through the woodland so that others can enjoy these hidden treasures too.” 

    And now the Rangers have exclusively announced that they are searching for volunteers who can assist them with their role at Leeds Castle. 

    If you are looking for a practical volunteering role in nature conservation and wish to gain skills in this area of work, then volunteering alongside our ranger team would be a great opportunity to help and enjoy nature. No specialist skills are required, although a good level of fitness and a desire to work outside is essential. This is a great way to get outside, meet new people and get active!” 

    Training is provided prior to starting the role, and volunteers can help out as much or as little as they feel they are able to with other commitments. If you’re interested in this volunteering opportunity then please email jennycreasey@leeds-castle.co.uk.

Read more news stories from Leeds Castle

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