Leeds Castle

I finally went here yesterday with my parents for my 30th birthday as I have been wanting to go there for ages and since its not very easy by public transport they had to take me in a car plus its not the cheapest of things to do although you can get a year ticket to mitigate the cost of that initial investment.

First of all my dad was surprised at how small the actual castle is as although its set in 500 acres of ground, Leeds castle itself is not that big. It has changed dramatically over the years so that most of the building that stands today dates back from 1822 even though they are pieces from earlier renovations. Each generation has added or taken away from the buildings; most have done both. What you are left with amounts to an educational museum as lots of the pieces there were added later like the Lady Bailie Garden in 1999. Its not really an aristocratic house anymore or a place of historical interest. Its also extremely repetitive and is a mish-mash as it jumps from one period of habitation to another when you are touring the venue. It is essentially a money making venture now. The loveliest castle in the world I think not.

I did like the falconry display and you can see all the birds outside in their enclosures. There is also loads for children to do in the shape of a maze and grotto, a fort, brass rubbings distributed throughout the gardens, an exhibition about how chain mail is made and a dog collar musuem, cafes and a videos about the history of Leeds castle if they don’t like all the reading. For the adults there is a golf course, various festivals like flower arranging and food or special occasions like the Christmas, New Years Eve or 1930’s ball. These extra events are additional but if all you need is somewhere for your kids to run around and learn about nature you will be hard pressed to find somewhere better.

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