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Best Day Trips From London: Fascinating Leeds Castle in Kent

Leeds Castle in Kent, England.

Nestled amidst the picturesque landscapes of Kent, England, Leeds Castle makes for one of the best day trips from London. Renowned for its rich history, this enchanting castle features beautifully landscaped walking paths, sweeping hills, panoramic water views and plenty of activities to keep you entertained.

Leeds Castle History

Originally built in the 12th century as a Norman stronghold, Leeds Castle has played a significant role in English history. The castle served as a royal residence for six medieval queens, including Catherine of Aragon, and acted as a fortress during wartime. With its strategic location in the River Len, Leeds Castle was a formidable fortress that witnessed centuries of power struggles and transformations.

Leeds Castle is one of the best day trips from London.

Leeds Castle Architecture – Best Day Trip from London

The castle’s exterior boasts a blend of medieval and Tudor architecture, adorned with towers, turrets and a moat that exudes a fairytale-like charm. The castle’s well-preserved rooms have intricate details, opulent furnishings and artwork that demonstrates the castle’s rich heritage.

Leeds Castle has beautiful, historical interiors.

Leeds Castle Tickets

Leeds Castle tickets start at £30. However, once you consider that your ticket acts as a pass to the castle, extensive gardens, a hedge maze, birds of prey display, children’s play area and special events—the value is apparent.

We were so pleasantly surprised by how thoughtfully designed and immaculately maintained the gardens at Leeds Castle Kent were. The property as a whole was almost akin to Disney World or Six Flags—with endless activities and things to see revealing themselves as you venture further inside. The grounds of Leeds Castle span over 500 acres, offering a sanctuary of natural beauty and making the property one of the best family day trips from London.

Swans at Leeds Castle.

Leeds Castle Special Events

Leeds Castle hosts various events and exhibitions throughout the year, like outdoor concerts, classic car shows, and festive Christmas markets, ensuring there’s always something exciting happening. In fact, Leeds Castle Christmas Lights festival is scheduled for 24 November to 31 December 2023. Adult ticket prices for Christmas Lights at Leeds Castle start at £18. Be sure to book ahead to avoid disappointment.

For an exhilarating afternoon, consider booking in at Go Ape Leeds Castle. This adventure course features three high ropes challenges: the Treetop Challenge, the Treetop Adventure and the Treetop Adventure Plus. Book according to the ages and ability levels of those in your group. The 250 meter zip wire is not to be missed! Ticket prices to Go Ape Leeds Castle start at £21.

Celebrate Christmas at Leeds Castle.

For a more leisurely experience, indulge in a traditional English afternoon tea in the castle’s quaint tea rooms or treat yourself to a delightful boat ride on the serene River Len. Leeds Castle is truly the best day trip from London.

Don’t have a car or just don’t feel like driving? Book a guided day trip to Leeds Castle, Canterbury Cathedral and the White Cliffs of Dover.

The grounds of Leed Castle make for the best day trip from London by car.

Overall, Leeds Castle stands as a testament to the rich heritage and timeless elegance that defines English history. With its captivating architecture, stunning grounds and an array of activities, it promises a truly magical experience for every visitor.

Where is Leeds Castle?

Leeds Castle is located in Broomfield, England, about a 1.5 hour drive outside of London. This makes it one of the best day trips from London by car.

Is Leeds Castle a National Trust property?

The National Trust does not manage Leeds Castle. It is maintained by the Leeds Castle Foundation and has been open to the public since 1976.

Is Leeds Castle an English Heritage property?

Leeds Castle is not an English Heritage property. It is privately managed by the Leeds Castle Foundation charity.

Is Leeds Castle dog-friendly?

Unfortunately, Leeds Castle is not pet-friendly. Only certified assistance dogs are allowed within Leeds Castle.

When is Leeds Castle Christmas Lights?

Leeds Castle’s Christmas lights display will be open for visitors from 24 November to 31 December 2023. Advance tickets start at £18 and are required for entry.

Can you tour Leeds Castle by Segway?

Segway tours of Leeds Castle Kent are available for those who prefer to feel the wind in their hair. Leeds Castle Segway tour tickets start at £23 per person and last anywhere from 35 minutes up to 1 hour 30 minutes.  

When is Leeds Castle fireworks?

Leeds Castle’s fireworks display will occur on the 4th and 5th November 2023. Tickets to Leeds Castle Fireworks Spectacular are available to pre-book online and start at £26 per adult.