Easily accessible from London, Leeds Castle is a popular and convenient day-trip destination that’s ideal for history buffs, birdwatchers, and families. Explore the castle’s medieval tapestries, furnishings, and art as part of a full-day group or private tour from London, many of which stop at nearby attractions such as the White Cliffs of Dover and Canterbury. And don’t miss the outdoor maze, Bird of Prey Centre, golf course, underground grotto, and formal gardens either.
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Things to Know Before You Go
All tickets grant entry for one year from the time of purchase, allowing for multiple visits.
Families with kids can visit the onsite Squires’ Court Playground (ages 6 and under) and Knights’ Realm Playground (ages 7 and up) for royal fun.
Rain is not unusual in England, so bring waterproof gear if you plan to be outdoors.
Complimentary transport service within the grounds is available for those with limited mobility. The castle interior cannot accommodate strollers.
Fee-based castle audio tours are available in six languages.
Birdwatchers should look out for black swans, great spotted woodpeckers, and kingfishers, which are often seen around the castle.
How to Get There
Leeds Castle is situated in Kent, England, one hour from central London and 7 miles (11 kilometers) southeast of Maidstone. It’s a 30-minute drive from the Channel Tunnel and Channel Ports with signs directing drivers to the castle on all routes. To get around the grounds, visitors can traverse the moat on a punt boat ride, cross the Great Water from the castle to the maze on the Black Swan Ferry, or ride Elsie the Castle Train from the entrance to the castle (all require additional fees).
When to Get There
The castle is open daily from the mid-morning until the late afternoon from October until March. From April to September, the castle stays open a little later, but last entry is always 30 minutes before closing. The grounds and gardens have slightly longer hours. Weekend afternoons are the castle’s busiest time; weekday visits are much quieter.
Day Trips to Southwestern England
In addition to Leeds Castle, some of England’s finest sights can be found in South West England, from Canterbury Cathedral to the famous Cliffs of Dover. Most tours cover the top sights and also stop at the outer London borough of Greenwich, known for its maritime history, the Royal Naval College, and the historic British clipper ship, the Cutty Sark.