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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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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

Sunday Afternoon Tea in The Castle Dining Room Every Sunday from 7th October until 24th February

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Leeds Castle Presents 'Once Upon a Time at Christmas'24th November 2018 to 1st January 2019

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Christmas Afternoon Tea in The Castle Dining RoomEvery Sunday from 2nd December until 30th December

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Christmas Party in the Fairfax Hall 20187th, 8th, 13th, 14th, 15th, 21st and 22nd December 2018

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Murder Under The Mistletoe House Party15th December

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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

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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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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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's Big 900 Story Writing Challenge

Children all over the UK are invited to join in celebrating Leeds Castle's 900th birthday by writing a short story about Castles and Time Travel. The two winning stories picked by our judges, including renowned broadcaster and children’s author Clare Balding, will go into a time capsule to be buried by the winning children and HRH Princess Alexandra and only opened again in 100 years’ time.

Clare Balding Entries will be sought in two age brackets: 5 to 9 years and 10 to 13 years. The winning children, with their family, will be invited to a very special Awards Day here at Leeds Castle in 2019 to meet Clare Balding and will win a basket of prizes. They will also be invited to take part in the ‘time capsule’ ceremony with Royalty later in the summer.

Deadline for entry: 5th March 2019 at 12pm

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  • Competition Rules
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  • LEEDS CASTLE VIDEOS

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    Leeds Castle Christmas Market 2018

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    Weddings at Leeds Castle

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    Visit Leeds Castle

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    The famous Leeds Castle Black Swans and their Cygnets

    Leeds Castle News

    • 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.   

    • Stonework Restoration on Leeds Castle

      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. This current and most vital project is due to cost the Foundation over £300,000 and is supervised by Conservation Architect Ian Angus of Carden & Godfrey. 

      The order of works includes the replacement of stones using only Kentish Ragstone, lime shelter coating and the repointing of the walls with lime mortar by hand. The team will be cutting out existing mortar joints and replacing them with a lime mix to ensure no moisture is trapped behind any previous cement repairs. In addition, they will be replacing the lead roofs in the main turrets, roof parapet gutters, and making repairs to any timberwork. 

      Finally, there will be a redecoration process on the metalwork and window glazing, and ‘Richemont Bleu’ stone will be used for the restoration of detailed window masonry.

      Find out more about Restoration Projects at Leeds Castle.

    • On This Day at Leeds Castle: 31st October 1321

      Every Castle has a spooky story to tell, and Leeds Castle in Kent is no exception. 

       If you visit Leeds Castle this Halloween, be sure to visit Barbican - you’ll be standing on the very same spot in which a grisly execution took place on 31st October 1321; exactly 698 years ago this very Halloween. This spooky story begins in 1318, when King Edward II granted Leeds Castle to Sir Batholemew de Badlesmere, an influential nobleman and steward of the Royal Household. 

      A few years later in October 1321, Edward’s Queen Isabella of France (who has also been named the ‘She-wolf of France’ for her “ruthlessness” by modern historians) approached Leeds Castle with a small army to demand entrance and overnight accommodation. 

      Shockingly, Badlesmere refused the Queen entry, announcing she must seek accommodation elsewhere. Isabella then proceeded to force entry into the Castle with her army, before the garrison at Leeds Castle opened fire, the arrows killing six of her army. This was treason! 

      When King Edward II heard of this betrayal, he summoned a large army and swarmed the Castle with such a powerful force that Badlesmere was forced to surrender on the 31st October. 

      Edward then exacted a savage vengeance, ignoring any pleas for mercy before 13 members of the garrison were hung at the Castle entrance. 

      One of the 13 men executed was Walter Culpepper – whose family line later became owners of Leeds Castle.   

    • 40th Anniversary Classical Concert Up for Two Prestigious Awards

      Leeds Castle is pleased to announce that this year’s 40th Anniversary Classical Concert has officially been shortlisted in two categories for the National Outdoor Events Association Awards 2018. 

      Each award category aims to recognise different sectors of the outdoor events industry, and this year the Leeds Castle 40th Anniversary Classical Concert has been shortlisted for both the Event of the Year Award and Large Festival of the Year Award. 

      Also referred to as the NOEA Awards, it was first established in 1979 and has promoted best practice, consistency and robust business throughout the outdoor events industry for almost 40 years. 

      The ‘Event of the Year’ category recognises events that have achieved a high level of excellence and the Classical Concert will be up against Vicar’s Picnic, Party at the Palace and Tom Kerridges Pub in the Park. Leeds Castle will also be up against eat:Festivals, Bournemouth 7s Festival and Cowal Highland Gathering for the number one spot in ‘Large Festival of the Year’; a category which focuses on events that attract over 5,000 attendees. 

      The Leeds Castle Classical Concert is always a highlight of the summer season for thousands of concert-goers, and in 2018 the audience was treated to a special Ruby celebratory event with a real birthday party atmosphere throughout the afternoon and evening. 

      Officially marking 40 years since the first open air concert in 1978, 2018’s Classical Concert was held on Saturday 14th July and was celebrated with a finale of music featuring 1970’s hits. There was a prize for the best dressed in ‘Seventies Style’ attire, and those attending enjoyed performances 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. 

      Winners of the NEOA Awards will be announced at the 15th annual NOEA Convention and Awards Dinner on November 21st.

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