Round The World and other travels

A frequent flyer's collection of trip diaries

June 2011: Leeds Castle

The second main objective of my Kent weekend was a visit to Leeds Castle, which is situated around 5 miles from Maidstone and which has no connection with the Yorkshire city of the same name. Self-styled 'the loveliest castle in the world', it is indeed a major tourist attraction with a beautiful island setting in the middle of a lake. The castle dates from the early 12th century, although an earlier fort is known to have occupied the same site. Having served as a royal palace and private residence at various times in its long life, the castle was left to a charitable foundation in 1974 and has been preserved for the public ever since. It has occasionally been called to serve as a location for high-profile and/or sensitive political meetings.

In addition to the castle itself, the extensive grounds contain attractions such as gardens, shops and restaurants, children's playgrounds, an aviary and a maze. The weather was excellent during my visit and I had to take care not to get sunburnt!

Interior views

Linked report from same trip: Canterbury

Base: Hilton Maidstone