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History Highlights Podcasts05 July 2021

Leeds Castle ‘superfan’ has stayed in every Castle bedroom!

Brian Hudson from Dartford has made history at Leeds Castle, by sleeping in every bedroom in the historic Castle, the adjacent Maiden’s Tower and the on-site Stable Courtyard Bed and Breakfast. A feat not even King Henry VIII achieved during his ownership!

In 2015, ‘superfan’ Brian booked to attend four of Leeds Castle’s exclusive ‘Dine and Sleep’ events, which afford guests the rare privilege of staying overnight in one of the Castle’s 20 bedrooms. During the last private owner Lady Baillie’s ownership, these grand rooms were used as guest accommodation for Hollywood film stars, politicians and royalty attending her glamorous weekend house parties. Today, guests attending these special dining evenings can experience for themselves what it would have been like to step into the 1930s high society world of Lady Baillie and be a guest at one of her lavish country house parties.

After staying in four bedrooms, including one of the eight State bedrooms; the principal rooms situated on the first floor of the Castle, Brian decided to set himself a personal challenge to try and sleep in every bedroom at Leeds Castle and booked another event and a different bedroom for his next stay!

The Castle also has twelve Battlement bedrooms, each named and styled around members of the Castle’s 1930s household staff, five bedrooms in the beautifully restored Maiden’s Tower and 17 Bed and Breakfast rooms.

In order to achieve his personal challenge to sleep in all 42 bedrooms at the Castle, Brian has in total attended six Murder Mystery evenings, five VIP Fireworks events, four VIP Classical Concerts, Opera in the Castle, Festival of Flowers Preview Evenings, Valentine’s night and he’s even seen in three New Year’s at the Castle!

Over the years Brian has become a familiar face with the staff at the Castle and is always recognised when he visits the estate. On one occasion, while Brian was staying in the Maiden’s Tower adjacent to the Castle, the staff even invited him to join them downstairs at a private Breast Cancer fundraising party.

Brian said:

“Staying at Leeds Castle just puts a smile on my face. I used to regularly bring my mum to visit the Castle and even through her dementia she would point up at the bedroom window above the Castle’s front door and remember that was a room I had slept in. She would always say to me ‘can’t we just buy it?’

Leeds Castle is my calming place, it’s truly magical. Every room is so different. I loved staying in the rooms at the front of the Castle and being able to see everything in a different light but I also love the Walnut and Yellow State bedrooms. The position of the Yellow bedroom is great as you can walk past it as a visitor and say ‘I’ve stayed in there’. I’ve had so much fun and the staff are always so friendly and lovely to me. My next challenge is going to be to stay in all the glamping tents at the Castle!”

Brian, who works in the building industry, has also stayed in the luxurious 5 star medieval Battel Hall Manor House and Weir holiday cottage and he continues to visit the Castle regularly as a member of the golf course. When he’s not visiting, he can be found in his ‘Leeds Castle’ dining room at home trying to complete the Leeds Castle jigsaw he purchased during lockdown to remind himself of his favourite attraction while it was temporarily closed to the public. In recognition of Brian completing overnight stays in all 42 on-site bedrooms, staff at Leeds Castle recently awarded Brian with a special ‘Certificate of Achievement’ which he says will take pride of place in his dining room.