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Everyone's Invited To This 900th Anniversary Party In A Medieval Castle

Everyone's Invited To This 900th Anniversary Party In A Medieval Castle
Fireworks at the majestic Leeds Castle,
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And it's a year-long celebration. Hint, hint: It is in Kent, UK

Uttara Gangopadhyay
March 04 , 2019
03 Min Read

Enjoy a night's stay in a historic property or go glamping in a ‘medieval village’, join a carnival to re-enact nine centuries' worth of history or extricate yourself from a maze of yew trees through an underground grotto with macabre forms and mythical beasts. We aren't making anything of this up! These are some of the activities that you will get to enjoy as part of Leeds Castle’s 900th birthday celebration.

One of Britain’s most visited historical buildings, the Leeds Castle in Kent, began its journey in 1119 when the first stone castle was built by a Norman baron during the reign of William the Conqueror’s son Henry I, on an island in the River Len. Surrounded by 500 acres of parkland and formal gardens, this Norman stronghold subsequently passed through several hands being the private property of six of England’s medieval queens and a palace used by Henry VIII and his first wife Catherine of Aragon, a Jacobean country house and a Georgian mansion.

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Prepare to be a-maze-d hereManaged by the Leeds Castle Foundation, the castle is open to the public round the year (except on Christmas Day) and offers a lot of activities. A good place to start the visit is the Gatehouse Exhibition where the castle’s history has been recreated through original artefacts, expert historical detail, illustration and film. Children (and adults) can take Elsie The Castle Train to reach the castle from the main entrance. The Black Swan Ferry, which operates between April and October, takes visitors across the Great Water from the castle drive to the maze and play areas.

Accommodation in cottages within the castle entitles guests to enter the grounds, the Castle and restaurants during the day. They are also free to explore the grounds in the evenings once the castle gates have been closed to day visitors. If you love the outdoors or want to play ‘pretend’ with the kids, avail the glamping opportunity in tents arranged like a medieval village.  The tents have a luxurious four-poster bed, warming wood burning stove, crisp cotton bedding and snug furry throws. Get your own provisions and eat as Medieval knights would have done before battle, cooking on the cast iron griddle over an open fire pit.

Some of the activities that make Leeds Castle an exciting placeIn 2019, the Foundation has organised several special programmes, including talks, walks, concerts and participatory events to celebrate the landmark 900 years of the castle. Key highlights include Carnival of History with a procession full of dazzling colour and costumes with re-enactors taking you through the castle’s nine centuries of history, a Festival of Flowers with opportunities to hold floral parties, punting in the moat, Bonfire Night, Christmas Market, etc. Do not miss out some of the regular attractions too, such as the various gardens, the Dog Collar Museum, the Yew Tree Maze, the Falconry display, etc. The woodland, parkland and large lakes, fed by the River Len, lying within the Leeds Castle, is home to a large number of wildfowl and common woodland birds all year round.

Some of the events are included with the general entry tickets while for some there are special entry tickets. Sounds exciting? For list of regular and special events, online booking of tickets, charges of various facilities and accommodation, please see https://www.leeds-castle.com/.


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