For over 900 years Leeds Castle has attracted crusaders and kings, courtiers and queens, witches and villains, world statesmen and icons of the silver screen. This summer, make your own history at this legendary Castle with visits full of excitement, glamour and fun!
With a summertime bursting with things to do and activities to keep the kids entertained, the ‘top 12 things to do at Leeds Castle’ list will help you plan fantastic family days out to remember. Whether you’re head over heels about history or wild about wildlife there is something for everyone to enjoy at “the loveliest Castle in the world”.
Admission tickets to Leeds Castle offer excellent value for money, as they grant free repeat visits for a whole year from the date of your first visit and include a programme of fun-filled events and activities.
1. Castle Kids Obstacle Course from 24th July to 31st August. Get ready to climb and crawl through rope tunnels, under nets and swing across monkey bars at the brand-new Leeds Castle Obstacle Course. Located near the Maze and aimed at children aged 8 to 12 years, this fun new daily attraction is the ideal activity for kids full of energy during the summer holidays. Each section of the course will have instructions to follow, but only the most adventurous will be able to conquer all obstacles to become King or Queen of the Castle! Scan the QR code as you begin the course to start your virtual stopwatch and again at the end to find out your time – take up the challenge with your friends and see who is the fastest!
2. The Big Book of Leeds Castle-y Challenges from 24th July to 31st August. Join in the adventure this summer and spend the school holidays on a mission to try and complete 55 Leeds Castle challenges! Explore the great outdoors on the Castle’s estate come rain or shine, armed with your challenge booklet to see how many of the fantastically fun summer activities you can tick off the list. Enjoy lots of different family friendly experiences from taking a picture holding the Castle in your hand, getting lost in the Maze, playing pooh sticks in the stream at the Pavilion Lawn and taking a selfie with the birds of prey.
3. Meet Leeds Castle’s Elmer the Elephants! Now until 22nd August, join ‘Elmer’s Big Heart of Kent Parade’ in support of Heart of Kent Hospice, based on the beloved books by David McKee. Download Elmer’s Big Heart of Kent Parade app from the App Store or Google Play for FREE and follow trails to find Elmer elephants all over Maidstone! Visit the Leeds Castle Elmer outside the Kent History and Library Centre in Maidstone, joined by a ‘learning herd’ decorated by children from local schools which can be found within the library. A second Elmer can be found at the Castle’s main entrance with a design featuring the famous spiralling Yew maze. Scan the Leeds Castle Elmer elephants and you could enjoy discounts on delicious locally made ice-cream and the chance to win tickets to Leeds Castle, valid for a whole year!
4. Experience outdoor cinema against the stunning backdrop of
A Star is Born – 29th July
Be taken on an epic romantic journey with evening cinema under the stars, as
seasoned musician Jackson Maine (Bradley Cooper) discovers and falls in love
with struggling artist Ally (Gaga).
Bohemian Rhapsody – 30th July
Watch the foot-stomping celebration
of Queen and their extraordinary lead singer Freddie Mercury in an open air cinema
screening set against the backdrop of the majestic Leeds Castle.
Dirty Dancing – 31st July
The perfect night out at the open-air
flicks with your friends. Tonight, nobody puts ‘Baby’ in the corner! Bring a
picnic, swoon at Swayze and enjoy an evening of Dirty Dancing at “the loveliest
Castle in the world”.
Star Wars: A New Hope – 1st August
From a galaxy far, far
away, one of the most iconic films of all time comes to Leeds Castle for a truly
unforgettable night of open-air cinema. Dress up, soak in the atmosphere and
sit back to enjoy the original 1977 space epic film written and directed by George
5. Children’s Theatre: ‘The Jungle Book’ on 13th and 14th August. This larger-than-life fun musical adaptation will have the whole family howling with laughter, interacting with the characters and dancing along to the show. Join Mowgli and his friends Baloo the bear and Bagheera the panther on this jungle adventure!
6. Leeds Castle Concert on 4th September. The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra will once again take to the stage for the Leeds Castle Concert. Renowned conductor John Rigby will host this fantastic open-air classical concert which will this year include modern performances of classic tunes from the ‘Down for the Count Swing Orchestra’ as well as a programme of world-class music, an emotive Spitfire flypast and an impressive fireworks finale.
7. Brand new Leeds Castle deckchairs will be available on the Pavilion Lawn all summer, so stop a while and take in the spectacular view of the historic Castle whilst enjoying the tranquillity and sound of the River Len flowing gently past.
8. The Field of Cloth of Gold: A Meeting of Kings from now until 30th September. A fantastic indoor display, perfect for a rainy day! Visit the Castle and discover the story of this great tournament which took place in France 500 years ago in 1520. Find out more about when King Henry VIII stayed at Leeds Castle overnight on his way to Dover, before crossing the channel and meet French King Francis I for this extravagant event.
9. Breath-taking free flying falconry displays take place daily at 1.30pm and 3pm during the summer holidays, in the Falconry Arena in its new location behind the Maze. The shows feature a range of birds including Hawks, Falcons and Owls. Come and say hello to some new feathered friends!
10. Daily fun in the sun with a whole host of attractions to enjoy on your day out. Enjoy taking a relaxing cruise across the Great Water on the Black Swan Ferry, getting lost in the Maze and exploring the fantastic children’s playgrounds. Don’t miss the chance to challenge yourself to a game of Adventure Golf!
11. Sleep at a Castle! Enjoy a summer staycation in one of Leeds Castle’s highly rated accommodation options. Choose from staying in a brightly coloured medieval styled glamping pavilion, B&B room in the 1930s Stable Courtyard, self-catering holiday cottage or for a truly memorable experience, sleep in Tudor opulence in one of the five bedrooms set within the 16th-century Maiden’s Tower adjacent to the Castle.
12. Summer is the ideal time to explore the beautifully landscaped gardens and take in vibrant colours and exotic blooms in the Culpeper Garden, Princess Alexandra Gardens and the Lady Baillie Mediterranean Garden Terraces, with its south facing aspect and superb views across the Great Water.