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Leeds Castle

What To expect when visiting Leeds Castle

Leeds Castle

Leeds Castle


Leeds Castle Official Web Site


Leeds Castle Overview

Leeds Castle is about 40 miles south east of Central London, conveniently situated by a junction of the London to Dover motorway.

Leeds Castle itself is comparatively small and for many people touring inside Leeds Castle will only form a minor part of the visit overall.


Much of the attraction of Leeds Castle is its setting and grounds.

Often described as the “loveliest castle in the world.” Leeds Castle is set on two islands and has been home to royalty, lords, and ladies for over 1000 years.


Unlike many castles like Windsor with its emphasis on a 'serious' tour of history and royalty, Leeds Castle is more informal and more set up for a longer visit with much emphasis on keeping the kids happy.


The extensive grounds has many walks, there is a large aviary, falconry displays, a maze, vineyard, golf course and much else. An ideal place to bring a picnic.


The maze was planted in 1988 with 2,400 yew trees. When viewed from the centre, part of its plan mirrors a queen’s crown

Buzzards, eagles, falcons, hawks, vultures and owls delight visitors with displays by castle falconers Leigh and Jo Holmes. Audience participation is high, particularly for youngsters.

Visiting Leeds Castle

London Tour Bus At Leeds Castle

The admission gates are some distance from the castle itself, you cannot see Leeds Castle until you are well within the grounds.


For current prices and opening times link to the official Leeds Castle web site at the top of the page.

Tickets to Leeds Castle grant admission to the castle and grounds for one year from the date of purchase with the exception of evening ticketed events.

Unlike a lot of castles and attractions nowadays, an audio guide comes as a supplement, not with admission.


If you find walking a mile a problem or you are short on time then small carts will ferry you to the castle. But its well worth making the walk if you can, descending down to the lake. Leeds Castle slowly appears ahead of you.

Visiting Leeds Castle On A Short Private Visit

The ticket prices and varied visitor attractions go far beyond the Leeds Castle. For most visitors to Leeds Castle the visit to Leeds Castle itself is a relatively minor part of the visit.

If your main reason to visit Leeds Castle is to see the castle itself then you might want to consider the tour below, that has a short private visit to Leeds Castle before the gates are open to the public.


Leeds Castle, Dover and Canterbury  Day Tour From London Ticketing

Leeds Castle History

Leeds Castle has an interesting and fascinating history. It dates back to 1119, though a manor house stood on the same site from the 9th century.


Leeds Castle passed into royal hands in 1278 and became part of the Queen of England’s dower - the settlement widowed queens received upon the death of their husbands. Over the course of 150 years it was held by six mediaeval queens: Eleanor of Castile; Margaret of France; Isabella of France, Joan of Navarre; Anne of Bohemia and Catherine de Valois.


Leeds Castle

In Tudor times Henry VIII visited frequently, notably with his Queen, Catherine of Aragon, and their entire court on the way to the tournament of the Field of the Cloth of Gold, which took place in France in 1520. Henry’s son, King Edward VI, granted the castle to one of Henry’s courtiers for his services.

Since then it has been in private ownership


It was in 1926 that Olive Wilson Filmer, later to become Lady Baillie, followed in the footsteps of six of England's medieval queens and fell under the magic spell of Leeds Castle.

Once the sale was finalised, Olive set about her goal of restoring the moated castle and grounds. Her dream was to create a largely medieval castle and turn the castle's Gloriette into a French Gothic fantasy.


Lady Baillie spent her latter years with her family and continued to beautify the Castle. On her death, in 1974, she bequeathed Leeds Castle to the nation in perpetuity under the charitable trust of the Leeds Castle Foundation.


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With Adult Fares Stated & Links To Tour Detail Pages

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Windsor, Bath & Stonehenge (No Lunch, inc adm Roman Baths) - £87

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In-depth Cotswolds Only Tour + Lunch (Small Group) - £99

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