For almost 900 years Leeds Castle, set within 500 acres of beautiful Kent parkland, has attracted crusaders and kings, courtiers and queens, witches and villains, world statesmen and icons of the silver screen. Today, everyone can connect their dreams of romance, excitement and glamour to this legendary castle with a rich variety of attractions and activities on offer.
Open every day of the year except Christmas Day, Leeds Castle has so much for visitors and guests to do in 2017 from formal gardens to falconry, from dog collars to dancing, from wellie walks to weddings. Leeds Castle has created a list of ‘Top 10 Things to Do at Leeds Castle in 2017’ with something to appeal to all ages and interests. Which will you choose?
1. Get married in the relaxed, informal style of a Garden Party Wedding in the beautiful setting of the 16th Century Maiden’s Tower. Enjoy the ambience of the private walled garden as your guests delight in a delicious sizzling BBQ and dance where society guests of the 1930s once did.
2. Discover the hidden garden. Discover the once hidden Mill Garden where newly planted dwarf bulbs Tulips, Muscari and Narcissus and beautiful red Poppies make for a colourful spring display on the rockery. See Australian tree ferns under planted with hardy exotic looking evergreens such as Fascicularia, Astelia and Iris Foetidissima in the river gully area.
3. Solve a murder. Immerse yourself in a truly interactive evening of dinner theatre and stay overnight in the Castle as part of a Fine, Dine & Stay murder mystery evening. Choose from Murder on the Home Front on Saturday 29th April or Murder Under the Mistletoe on Saturday 9th December.
4. Learn to fly a range of birds of prey across the estate for a unique and unforgettable experience as you become a falconer for a day. Learn the techniques of handling and flying an Owl, Hawk or Eagle and take a behind the scenes tour of the Falconry Centre with over 20 species from around the world.
5. Step back in time and learn about the role Leeds Castle and the surrounding countryside played during the Second World War through a new Battle for the Skies attraction opening in Spring 2017.
6. Swim in the moat as Henry VIII might once have done. Without question taking part in the Leeds Castle Triathlon as you swim, bike and run around “The Loveliest Castle in the World” is the most exhilarating way to experience this once Royal palace. In association with Triathlon England compete in the Sprint Tri (750m/26k/5k) and Junior Aquathlon on Saturday 24th June or Standard Tri (1500m/40k/10k) on Sunday 25th June.
7. Picnic under the stars with candelabra and champagne while being entertained by field cannons, fireworks and much loved classical music performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at the 39th Leeds Castle Classical Concert on 8th July 2017.
8. Take part in a Bat Walk for an enlightening evening of bats and other nocturnal creatures with the Leeds Castle wildlife team on selected evenings in July and August. Discover five species of bats that live at Leeds Castle including Pipistrelles, Noctules and Daubenton’s and enjoy the Castle and grounds at night.
9. Explore floral design. Be inspired by the creativity of international award winning florists and floral designers at the Festival of Flowers taking place from 23rd to 28th September. Take part in floral workshops, talks and demonstrations throughout the event.
10. Commemorate the greatest battle in naval history with an evening of music toasting and fine food in a traditional Trafalgar Night in the Henry VIII Banqueting Hall. Stay overnight in one of the Castle State or Battlement bedrooms as part of this special Fine, Dine & Stay event on Saturday 21st October.