Go here: Leeds Castle!
It's Leeds Castle's spectacular two-day Carnival of History celebration this July - the highlight of it's 900 year anniversary celebrations. Not to be missed!
We’re so lucky to have some of the UK’s most incredible landmarks right on our doorstep here in Kent. Including the very gorgeous Leeds Castle – that is celebrating a phenomenal 900 years since the castle was first constructed all those centuries ago.
That’s a mind-blowing amount of Kings and Queens carrying on, battles, celebrations, changing landscapes, changing lifestyles – and all that time this building has stood strong soaking it all up and saturated in history (yes, alliteration).
And out of the Castle’s year-long celebrations to mark 900 years one of the highlights is this spectacular two day Carnival of History on the 27 & 28 July.
What and Where?
The Castle is located fairly centrally in Kent (you’ll find it near Maidstone in Kent just off Junction 8 of the M20 and only one-hour’s drive from London), has lots of parking and plenty of ways to travel around once you’re in (like Elsie the Castle Train or the Black Swan Ferry).
For the Carnival of History event, visitors will be treated to a whole weekend of family friendly activities including authentic re-enactment shows, pop-up music performances, large-scale costumes and a dazzling riot of colour and celebration.
Historical arena shows will re-create significant moments from the last nine centuries of Leeds Castle’s history while carnival performers and costumed characters will roam the grounds interacting with visitors. Living History encampments promise to conjure up the sights, sounds and smells of the past.
On Sat 27 July, bows will be shot, swords will clash and cannons will be fired! Lookout for the soldiers of the 4th Crusade going into battle on horseback with the colourful Byzantine opponents and see King Henry VIII inspect his splendid troops before departing to France for Field of the Cloth of Gold.
Cheer your favourite knight on as King Henry V’s knights in armour compete for honour and glory as they fight with swords and axes. During the afternoon, the dashing mounted Cavaliers of doomed King Charles will take on the might of General Fairfax’s new model army in a civil war skirmish from the Battle of Maidstone in 1648.
Watch as an historical parade goes past in the afternoon with re-enactors and performers from the early years of the Castle’s history through to the 20thcentury.
The carnival feel continues on Sun 28 July with even more to see and do. Relive all the excitement of Saturday before the festivities conclude at 3pm with a magnificent grand finale procession which will see around 1000 performers, re-enactors, community groups and schools take part. With a roll of drums and a fanfare, the carnival groups representing each century of history will wind their way around the estate before processing into the arena on the Cedar Lawn.
We know our county has some stunning castles – and we love them all – including Leeds Castle that’s often described as the jewel in Kent’s crown and ‘the loveliest Castle in the world’. Don’t miss this chance to celebrate 900 years, the Carnival of History weekend of fun and a spectacular procession involving the local community.
The Leeds Castle Foundation is an independent charity. They receive no government or crowd funding and depend entirely on public support. All profits raised go towards their mission to preserve Leeds Castle and the wider estate for future generations. By supporting this family-friendly event we’re keeping the Castle around for the next 900 years!
This event is included in the price of admission. Tickets are valid for 12 months from the date of purchase. For more information and prices please visit the website; leeds-castle.com. Grounds open at 10am daily and the Castle is open from 10.30am.