For almost 900 years Leeds Castle, set within 500 acres of beautiful Kent parkland, has attracted crusaders and kings, courtiers and queens, witches and villains, world statesmen and icons of the silver screen. Today, everyone can connect their dreams of romance, excitement and glamour to this legendary Castle with a rich variety of attractions and activities.
Leeds Castle has so much to do in 2017 from formal gardens to falconry, from discovering the world’s largest dog collar collection to exploring the Maze and hidden grotto. A packed programme of special events will appeal to all ages and interests from the Classical Concert in July to the Festival of Flowers in September and the Fireworks Spectacular in November, which this year celebrates the Best of British. Which will you choose?
1. See the Leeds Castle Gardens in miniature. See the Leeds Castle Gardens in miniature during the Chelsea Fringe from 20th May to 4th June with an alternative twist! The gardeners of Leeds Castle are turning their world ‘inside out’ and reinventing the garden shed with a miniature recreation of the Leeds Castle gardens on the inside, and the tools of their trade on the outside.
2. Step back in time and learn about the role Leeds Castle played during the Second World War through a new ‘Battle for the Skies’ dramatic surround-sound display opening in May 2017. Book a tour of the Castle and hear how the rooms were used both as a field hospital and a base for top secret testing of new weapons.
3. Laugh with the kookaburras. Visit the Bird of Prey Centre, open on a daily basis located behind the Maze, housing 30 birds of prey and 21 different species from a British Kestrel to a Striated Caracara from South America to Laughing Kookaburras from Australia. See free flying falconry displays daily at weekends and school holidays.
4. Discover the hidden garden. Discover the once hidden Mill Garden on a pre-bookable garden tour and see newly planted dwarf bulbs Tulips, Muscari and Narcissus and beautiful red Poppies making for a colourful spring display on the rockery. See Australian tree ferns under planted with hardy exotic looking evergreens such as Fascicularia, Astelia and Iris Foetidissima in the river gully area.
5. Picnic under the stars while being entertained by field cannons, fireworks and much loved classical music performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Tenor Anthony Flaum and Soprano Katie Bird at the Leeds Castle Classical Concert on Saturday 8th July.
6. Tempt your taste buds with a delicious event for ‘foodies’ at the Leeds Castle Food Festival from 8th to 10th September. See, smell and taste goods from local food and drink producers. Watch cookery demonstrations and live entertainment.
7. Explore floral design. Be inspired by the creativity of international award winning florists and floral designers at the Festival of Flowers taking place from 23rd to 28th September. Take part in pre-bookable floral workshops, specialist talks and demonstrations.
8. Celebrate the Best of British music at the Leeds Castle Fireworks Spectacular on Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th November, the South East’s biggest fireworks display. Be amazed by over 20,000 star bursts lighting up the sky above as choreographed music and projections appear on the 12th century Castle below. Enjoy a falconry display, live music and food stalls before the show and book a warming supper in the Fairfax Restaurant for afterwards.
9. Hear tales from the silver screen with a new pre-bookable specialist talk ‘Filmed at Leeds Castle’. Groups of up to 35 will be able to find out about the history of productions filmed at the timeless, picturesque setting of the Castle for the big screen and TV including the Ealing Studios classic, Kind Hearts and Coronets and popular shows like Dr Who and the BBC Hollow Crown series.
10. Visit the Christmas Market on the Cedar Lawn overlooking the Castle to discover a splendid array of seasonal gifts, toys, festive decorations, specialist food and drink. Explore the beautifully decorated Castle. The Christmas Market is open from 25th to 26th November, 2nd to 3rd December, 9th to 10th December and 16th to 17th December.
Admission tickets to Leeds Castle are valid for multiple use for 12 months, so you can pay once and visit all year round.
Leeds Castle is located near Maidstone in Kent just off Junction 8 of the M20 and only one hour’s drive from London. Grounds open at 10am daily and the Castle is open from 10.30am.
For more information on Leeds Castle contact 01622 765400 or visit the website: www.leeds-castle.com
For your chance to win two annual tickets to Leeds Castle please visit www.leeds-castle.com/saga