During May, Leeds Castle in Kent has a rich variety of daily events and attractions with activities to suit visitors of all ages. There are plenty of tours and trails to discover, many of which are included with your entrance ticket. Annual tickets are valid for 12 months, so you can pay once and visit all year round or upgrade a day ticket before departing.
'Outrageous Fortune: Growing Up at Leeds Castle' Book Signing: Step back in time on Saturday 10 May with The Honourable Anthony Russell, Grandson of Lady Baillie, the last private owner of Leeds Castle, for a book signing of his memoir ‘Outrageous Fortune: Growing Up at Leeds Castle'. Join in free talks at 11am or 3pm in the Maiden’s Tower Garden.
Museums at Night: Leeds Castle will be joining other heritage properties for the Museums at Night festival on Friday 16 May with an exclusive evening at The Gatehouse showcasing the new exhibition of the history of the Castle. The event takes place from 6.30pm to 8.30pm and includes a private talk with the Head Gardener in the beautiful Culpeper Garden. Tickets are £7 bookable in advance on the Leeds Castle website.
Supercar Seige: Get up close to hundreds of iconic supercars on the Castle lawns on Sunday 18 May. The event, run in aid of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Children’s Fund, will include a military marching band and ‘British Motorsport’ section. A Merlin helicopter will be on static display with a chance to explore inside the cockpit (subject to aircraft availability). For a donation to charity, visitors can take a ‘dream ride’ in one of the supercars, driven by the owners.
The Chelsea Fringe: On Thursday 22 May Leeds Castle will celebrate The Chelsea Fringe. See a ‘flower bedecked punt’ drifting gracefully on the moat featuring a colourful arrangement of seasonal flowers from the Castle grounds created by the gifted Castle Florist Louise Roots. Local school Invicta Grammar will be singing and reciting poetry in The Culpeper Garden where there will also be a special flower trail set up for children. For garden enthusiasts, the Head Gardener will be giving specialist talks.
May Bank Holiday Fun – Saturday 24 to Monday 26 May
Circus Skills Workshops will be running on the Pavillion Lawn from Saturday 24 to Monday 26 May for children and adults of all ages. Test your balance and co-ordination with stilts and spinning plates, juggling, hula-hoops, diabolos and have-a-go on the juggling machines. On Sunday 25 May and Monday 26 May children can re-enact the legends of ‘Heroes, Heroines and Hoods’ in Hilarious History, a fun and interactive outdoor theatre event. The stories of Robin Hood and the Silver Arrow, What-ho Henry and Horatio’s Last Hurrah will keep children entertained as they take the lead roles in these hilarious short plays.
Jousting with The Knights of Royal England - 27 May 2014 to 1 June 2014
The Knights of Royal England will return on horseback ready to entertain children and adults during half term week with action packed medieval activities and entertainment. Watch displays of spectacular daredevil stunts, medieval weaponry, falls, fights and galloping horses. Meanwhile, the Knights school includes hobby horse jousting, mini battles and try‑on‑armour for younger children. There will also be a mini medieval market to explore.
Flowers, Food and Family Fun
The spring sunshine provides the ideal opportunity to enjoy a gentle stroll through the beautiful English cottage-style Culpeper Garden full of colour and variety at this time of year. Meanwhile, newly-planted pine trees and cactus plants add variety to the exotic Lady Baillie Mediterranean Garden overlooking the Great Lake.
Float gently through the ancient arches in an elegant wooden punt for a leisurely 20 minute glide on the moat of the Castle. Suitable for all ages, available weekends and school holidays, punting at Leeds Castle is excellent value for money at £5 for adults and £3 for children. A discounted family ticket is available and there is no need to pre-book.
The whole family can enjoy the falconry demonstration, taking place daily at 2pm in the Falconry Arena, while the new-look toddlers’ playground ‘Squires’ Courtyard’ provides entertainment for children aged two to six. For older children the Knight’s Realm adventure playground, maze and grotto are perfect for burning up some energy in Half Term.
Walk, Talk, Run and Discover
Throughout May a series of walks, talks and activities will be running including Meet the Falconer, Wildlife, Woodland and Parkland Walks, Garden Tours and the new Leeds Castle Run Club meeting every Wednesday evening at 7pm.
Behind the scenes tours give an opportunity to glimpse life at the Castle through the ages from life below stairs as a servant in the 1930s back to the colourful tales of life during the Middle Ages. Learn about the Royal and private owners of the Castle through the stories behind the paintings and tales told through the architecture of the buildings. For full details of the activities in May and to book visit www.leeds-castle.com/events
Annual tickets cost £24 for adults; £21 for seniors and visitors with disabilities (carer goes free); £16 for children (under 4’s free). Annual tickets are valid for 12 months so you can pay once and visit all year round. Day tickets are also available to purchase on the day of your visit or in advance online. Adults cost £19, concessions £16 and children £11.
Leeds Castle is located near Maidstone in Kent just off Junction 8 of the M20 within easy reach of London. Grounds open at 10am daily and the Castle is open from 10.30am. Last admission is 4.30pm and gates close at 6pm.