Leeds Castle

I’ve been bad and haven’t done a whole lot of bloggy updating. It’s been busy and I’m fighting a cold. So let’s take a step back to last weekend when I took a little trip into the countryside and visited Leeds Castle.

It’s about an hour train ride to the nearest station and then a quick bus to the castle. I went with some coworkers, their roommates, nieces and wives. Here would be that group (forgive the uneven picture):


The castle has been around for about 700 years and it’s passed through many hands. Obviously most of these people were wealthy, or kings. It’s situated in the middle of some beautiful grounds, which is full of various birds. Among them are many peacocks. One of them (a white one!) was kind enough to do a little posing for some of the passer-bys:


Anyway, after a really nice stroll, you come upon the castle. It’s situated in a really cool spot in the middle of a lake/moat:


Now, it’s been a few years since anyone in England had a whole lot of use for a functioning castle, so the last occupants (who, when they died, set it up as a trust for people to visit and also for conferences of some sort) were not sitting around holed up from invaders. This was their home and they were clearly filthy rich. They’ve taken parts of the interior and tried to recreate what it might have looked like when various royalty lived there, but the interior parts that were most interesting were what the last occupants did with the place. There’s a gigantic library, 25 bedrooms and this very nice banquet hall:


Around the grounds, there are some other older buildings and, more recently, someone designed and set up a hedge maze. It was deceptively difficult. From the entrance to it, it seemed small and we figured we’ll pull it off in no time at all. Well, 15 minutes of wandering later and we eventually made it to the center where we could see that it might not look big but you can make a pretty complex path to get to the center with that much space:


Once you get to the center, you can take steps to an underground grotto which shoots you back under the maze to the beginning. A nice touch.

After a number of hours wandering around and taking in all the natural beauty, we headed back to the train station. Now, I’d been in the city for a while and I was curious what a smaller town (this one being a town called Bearstead) was like. In particular, I wanted to check out a smaller, non-London pub. The town had 2 or 3 pubs, but the town itself seemed to be more of an upscale commuter town for London, so the pubs were not as thrilling as I expected. We got a good cheap deal in one of them which had a funky modern vibe to it, so I wasn’t totally disappointed 🙂

After a couple of pints, we made our way on the train back to lovely London. Here’s a final shot of the front of the castle for you to enjoy:


One Response to “Leeds Castle”

  1. Mom Says:

    Leeds will be on our list of sights to see when we come visit. Love that peacock!

    How’s your cold?