Leeds Castle is a Muddy favourite and an amazing day-out for all the family. Set in 500 acres of beautiful parkland and formal gardens it is hard not to be wowed by the majestic castle and moat on your approach.
Daily events and year-round attractions mean that this is a must not miss venue to keep the children busy over those looong school holidays. Conveniently located near Maidstone in Kent, just off Junction 8 of the M20 and within easy reach of London, the grounds open at 10am daily and the castle is open from 10.30am.
Leeds Castle has been around for over 900 years and has certainly witnessed a fair bit of history! It has been a Norman stronghold; the private property of six of England’s medieval queens; a palace used by Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon; a Jacobean country house; a Georgian mansion and an elegant early 20th-century retreat.
Where do we start? There is so much to do here you should definitely pace yourself and plan for multiple visits (your first admission fee covers entry all year round). Muddy favourites include the Knights’ stronghold playground (a huge new adventure playground modelled on the design of the Castle), Segway tours and Go Ape.
We also love the maze, grotto and themed Leeds Castle mini golf. Animal fans will enjoy visiting the dog collar museum or watching the Falconry displays. The latest attraction at Leeds Castle is a 1930’s experience. Visitors can return to the glamorous 1930’s and discover the rescue and restoration of the Castle and its transformation styled by Lady Baillie and her collaborators. If this doesn’t keep you busy then Leeds Castle even has its own golf club!
There is a year round-programme of events at Leeds Castle (click here
for more information). Highlights include the Open Air cinema, concerts and historical tours.
With so much on offer at Leeds Castle it makes sense to extend your visit. There are some brilliant accommodation
options including historic holiday cottages situated in the estate, surrounded by woodland. Staying in the cottages entitles you to free entry to the grounds, Castle and restaurants during the day. Weir Cottage and Keeper’s House are also pet friendly. There are luxury Bed & Breakfast bedrooms in the Stable Courtyard and Maiden’s Tower (all with en-suite bathrooms and stunning views).
We love the idea of the medieval Knight’s Glamping tents – eight funky striped pavilions (with four poster beds no less!) sleeping up to four people (glamping season runs April to September). In addition, twenty luxury bedrooms, ranging from battlement bedrooms to state-rooms, can be booked as part of a private event within the 12th century Castle. The estate is also home to the newly-restored Battel Hall, the 14th-century country-house is now available to book for countryside escapes, intimate weddings and celebrations on an exclusive hire basis.
We love to picnic by the lake, but there are plenty of options if you don’t want to bring a picnic. The Castle View restaurant offers delicious meals (and afternoon tea from £20) with spectacular views across the terrace to the Castle. If you are on the move, Maze cafe offers coffee, ice cream, sandwiches, sausage rolls and pasties. For fish and chips, burgers, hot dogs and soup head to the Stable Yard Kiosks.
With so much to do it is no wonder Leeds Castle is a firm favourite with families and with the great accomodation options now on offer this is a perfect spot for a mini break.