As we move along further in our Eurotrip, next on the plate is the majestic Leeds castle. A stronghold of English Monarchy, the castle has seen many a kings and dynasties go. The foreboding castle whose history traces back as early as the 9th century as changed hands multiple times during the tumultuous medieval ages of the Great Britain. The final remodelling of the castle in Tudor Style was finished in the early 19th century. The palace has since then hosted various heads of state and remains richly seeped in history.
The Leeds Castle provides entertainment or everyone. History buffs can start with The Gatehouse Exhibition which takes you through the Norman and Tudor dynasties along with other smaller ones through artefacts and facts. The audio tours will provide you with a continuous source of information about the major influences on the castle. One of their most fascinating exhibits is the Dog Collar Museum. Hosting five centuries of collars, the museum is one of it’s kind. A 15th century iron one which used to protect against wildlife to the fancy ones of silver along with beads and plastic.
There is something for action buffs too. The Battle of Agincourt was one of the major fights during the 100 year war between the British and the French. Henry V won an unlikely victory against a massive French army, thanks to his expert Longbowmen. It is said that the skies of Agincourt grew dark as his archers rained down arrow upon arrow on the French army. That battle is re-enacted every day.
Kids will especially enjoy the grounds with a plethora of options. The Knight’s Realm Playground is a full scale model of the Leeds castle. It offers you a one in a lifetime opportunity to dress up as a knight and charge into a castle, jump over ramparts and navigate obstacles. Although this is for children aged 7 years and more, the younger ones can enjoy the Squires Court Playground. The maze and the grotto are one of their kinds in the world providing a perfect adventure for the whole family to figure.
Nature and Animal Lovers
The castle also hosts massive gardens for nature lovers. The Culpeper Garden named after the family which owned the castle in the 17th century is built on the kitchen garden of the original. The Wood Garden along the river Len just at the approach is a riot of colours through the year. The Lady Baille Mediterranean Garden Terrace at the site of the original aviary offers the guests a Mediterranean feel. A plethora of birds and wildlife also adorn the 500 acre grounds. Displays and walks with Owls, Hawks and other birds of prey are something that wildlife lovers will truly rejoice. Like boating or fishing, opportunities of those are also available.
Where to stay
The Leeds Castle provides accommodation on grounds with the Keeper’s House, Guard’s House and Wier Cottage turning the older out houses of the castle into modern resplendent properties. The Stable Courtyard and the Maiden’s Tower have been converted into B&B’s. But it’s the Knight’s Glamping that will give you the authentic medieval feel. Eight tents set out in a village like setting with modern amenities. The Glamping takes you back to the days of war when the Knights used to sleep in such tents. Leed’s Castle is one of the most complete entertainment packages in itself. A must visit if you’re visiting England.
Image Credits: Purak Misra
Read our fellow blogger Durham’s Love, Life and Travel as they tell you about 18 must see attractions in York, England.