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The Southeast Sights

Leeds Castle

  • A20 Map It
  • Maidstone
  • Castle/Palace/Chateau
  • Fodor's Choice

Fodor's Review

One of England's finest castles, this storybook medieval stronghold commands two small islands on a peaceful lake. Dating to the 9th century and rebuilt by the Normans in 1119, Leeds (not to be confused with the city in the north of England) became a favorite home of many medieval English queens. Henry VIII liked it so much he had it converted from a fortress into a grand palace. The interior doesn't match the glories of the much-photographed exterior, although there are fine paintings and furniture, including many pieces from the 20th-century refurbishment by the castle's last private owner, Lady Baillie. The outside attractions are more impressive and include a maze, a grotto, two adventure playgrounds, an aviary of native and exotic birds, and woodland gardens. The castle is 5 miles east of Maidstone. All tickets are valid for a year and there's a 10% discount if you buy them online.

Sight Information


A20, Maidstone, ME17 1PL, England

Map It



Sight Details:

  • £25
  • Apr.–Sept., daily 10:30–6 (last admission to grounds 4:30; last admission to castle 4); Oct.–Mar., daily 10:30–5 (last admission to grounds 3; last admission to castle 2:30). Grounds open 30 min before castle


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