Leeds Castle in Kent has 1000 years of history, quite a lot to cover and I’m sure you’ll appreciate that it will take quite some time to discover everything so on our first visit, which happens to be just before Christmas we had an overall tour. A taste of everything to come, as Leeds Castle sells annual tickets which allow you to return again and again and discover this beautiful castle in all seasons and at all events throughout the year.
Christmas is a truly wonderful time at Leeds Castle, the rooms are dressed with beautiful trees and this year each tree was decked with lots of gingerbread decorations in celebration of the Biscuiteers who have created the most wonderful display of gingerbread figures including Leeds Castle in miniature, seen here
There are two trails, one in the grounds with 8 clues to work out the perfect gingerbread recipe and one in the castle where children must discover the hidden gingerbread men in four of the rooms.
I loved the fact that the Gingerbread men to look for were called Jolly Henrys in honour of King Henry VIII who spent so much time here with his first wife Catherine of Aragon.
Walking through the castle you get a fabulous idea of how it was to live in it. The fabrics are sumptuous, the ornaments are luxurious and I felt it was a real privilege to be able to take a peek inside. The Gingerbread trail made the twins want to rush ahead a bit to discover the next room and I could frequently hear ‘Come on mummy. You’re so slow!’
Finished the castle we continued on our Gingerbread Quest in the grounds and this took us up to the maze – great fun especially the exit via the grotto all decorated in shells, and on to the play area where the girls had a good run around. Although the music was a bit dramatic and frightened the girls :)
There are a few eating places to choose from and many had bought snacks or picnics with them so you could make a great day of it.
Leeds Castle Christmas Market
Our journey back to the car park took us past the Christmas market and the fun fair. We bought 12 tokens for £10 and each ride was 2 tokens. The rides were long and the girls throughly enjoyed themselves. The market has lots of stalls selling all sorts of produce including wine, gin, cheese, slippers and jewellery. There are also food stalls and drink stalls with mulled wine and mulled cider.
All annual tickets grant repeat visits for a whole year from the date of issue, with the exception of special ticketed events, you can use your ticket to visit as many times as you like. Small additional charges may apply to activities at all events. Prices are valid until 31st March 2015.
|Senior Citizens/Students & Visitors with Disabilities||£21.00|
|Infants (under 4yrs)||FREE|
Day Tickets are only available to purchase until 4th January 2015.
Day Tickets can be upgraded to Annual Tickets at the full price of an annual ticket on the day of your visit at the Ticket Office. We do not provide a postal service for ticket upgrades & tickets cannot be upgraded online.
|Senior Citizens/Students & Visitors with Disabilities||£16.00|
|Infants (under 4yrs)||FREE|
If you missed out on the Gingerbread trail which finishes on the 23rd December, don’t worry you can follow the Winter Trail until 4th January. Keep an eye on the website for future fun family events.
Disclosure: We were given Annual passes for the purpose of this post and many more to follow throughout the year. For the extra few pounds I would advise investing in an annual ticket and returning throughout the year. I will be.