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Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Exploring Leeds Castle - The Loveliest Castle in the World

Leeds Castle is located in Kent and is lovingly known as "The Loveliest Castle in the World". I've been lucky enough to see a decent number of castles in all my travels, and I think that Leeds Castle deserves its nickname. It is a truly beautiful castle, surrounded by a moat and 500 acres of gorgeous grounds and gardens. We took my mum & dad there when they came to visit and it was their first castle they saw in the UK and to say they were blown away was an understatement!



Leeds Castle is over 900 years old and has a very exciting, varied history! It has been a Norman stronghold; the private property of six of England’s medieval queens; a palace used by Henry VIII and his first wife Catherine of Aragon; a Jacobean country house; a Georgian mansion; an elegant early 20th century retreat for the influential and famous; and in the 21st century, it has become one of the most visited historic buildings in Britain.



After purchasing our tickets (adults are £24 each and parking is included), we strolled through the gardens and ponds leading up to the castle. There were lots of very happy birds nesting and swimming on the ponds, including lots of babies! They were surprisingly very friendly and happily ate out of our hands (you can purchase animal food for £1)!

Leeds Castle Kent England Gardens


Leeds Castle Kent England


Leeds Castle Kent England

We then explored some of the beautiful gardens. Mum and I loved all the gorgeous flowers, and Spring is definitely a great time to visit!

Leeds Castle Kent England
Leeds Castle Kent England
Leeds Castle Kent England
Leeds Castle Kent England

We finally spotted the castle which is surrounded by a beautiful moat and we were all in awe! It is such a beautiful historical building and we couldn't wait to explore more.


Leeds Castle Kent England


Leeds Castle Kent England
Leeds Castle Kent England

Leeds Castle Kent England
Leeds Castle Kent England
Leeds Castle Kent England

Leeds Castle Kent England

Leeds Castle Kent England
Leeds Castle Kent England
Leeds Castle Kent England

Whilst we were strolling the grounds we saw a bridal party walking into one of the buildings! I couldn't believe what a perfect location Leeds Castle would be for a wedding, and if we were planning on getting married in the UK (and not Australia) then I would be begging Dan for a wedding held here!

The inside of the castle is just as beautiful. Having explored a number of castles the past year or so, including Hampton Court Palace, I loved that Leeds Castle wasn't as extravagant and over the top inside. It was lovely, traditional and seemed like a large, fancy family home.

Leeds Castle Kent England
Leeds Castle Kent England
Leeds Castle Kent England
Leeds Castle Kent England

Leeds Castle Kent England
Leeds Castle Kent England
Leeds Castle Kent England

There was even a piano player setting the mood...

Leeds Castle Kent England

The library was an incredible and I would happily sit there reading books all day long, with sunshine pouring through the large windows.

Leeds Castle Kent England
Leeds Castle Kent England

We loved the exposed wooden beams, wooden floorboards and fireplaces in each room!

Leeds Castle Kent England
Leeds Castle Kent England
Leeds Castle Kent England

Dan was happy when we found the cellar, and set about checking all the barrels...

Leeds Castle Kent England

In addition to the castle, beautiful gardens and grounds there is also a giant maze to explore and get lost in and daily falconry shows! We unfortunately didn't have time for the maze but it looked fantastic, and we were very impressed by the falconry show! The birds were so well trained & incredibly entertaining.

Leeds Castle Kent England
Leeds Castle Kent England
Leeds Castle Kent England

You can even take a Segway tour of the grounds which looked so fun and we are hoping to do on a future trip to the castle.

Leeds Castle Kent England

The castle grounds are home to exciting special events all year long including a fireworks night, Christmas Markets and when we visited they were setting up for a car show the next day! Mum and I had to drag Dan and Dad away from the cars and helicopter!

Leeds Castle Kent England
Leeds Castle Kent England
Leeds Castle Kent England

We loved our day exploring Leeds Castle & its beautiful grounds. I loved learning more about British history and Leeds Castle is without doubt one of my favourite castles to date! I think it is worthy of its name as the loveliest castle in the world. Dan and I loved showing Mum & Dad around and seeing how excited they were by the history of this beautiful castle, especially as we have nothing even remotely like this in Australia!

Leeds Castle is well worth a day out, and I can't wait to go back soon! A big bonus of visiting Leeds Castle is when you purchase your ticket, it is valid for an entire year (to be used as many times as you want)! We are planning to go back and have a summer picnic soon!

Leeds Castle
Maidstone
Kent ME17 1PL
www.leeds-castle.com



What is your favourite castle in the world? Please let us know in the comments!

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