Leeds Castle, like in a fairytale…|GianFranco Belloli|KnowLedge World Network|Activities|KNOWLEDGE CAPITAL

  • 2018.07.27
  • Leeds Castle, like in a fairytale…
Certainly there are plenty of castles to visit around London, in England and in nearby Scotland but, I do not know if it is true, people say that the Castle of Leeds is the most beautiful castle in the world.
It is certain that this beautiful building resting on two islets in a small lake is the most romantic one to visit.
It's also the closest to visit in London after the Windsor Castle.
Perhaps for all these reasons combined Leeds is one of the most visited castles in Britain.
Leeds Castle was built in 1119 by the Normans and it used to be a royal residence, as well as a prison and a fortress.


Leeds Castle

In over 1000 years of history it has been the residence of the most important medieval queens, including the first wife of Henry VIII, Lady Catherine of Aragon.
The small lake where the castle is located is surrounded by gardens, green meadows and a largely wooded estate. This perfect location has always suggested the Castle of Leeds as a natural setting for the sumptuous and exclusive parties of the monarchy and also of its last owner, the American heiress Lady Baillie, had chosen it as a noble residence and as a place for top-notch parties.
After being owned for centuries by royal and noble families, Leeds Castle is now open to the public and is definitely worth a visit.
It has the appearance of the classic royal palace complete with a drawbridge and defensive walls.
Once inside, one can admire the rooms decorated in medieval style overlooking the pond, but also pottery, Murano glass objects from the eighteenth century, carpets of rare value, paintings by important renaissance artists, such as Tiepolo and many others.
In addition to visiting the castle you can stroll through the gardens, visit the large aviary area, or get lost in the hedge maze dominated by a grassy embankment from which to encourage friends or give them wrong directions!
The bastions, the towers, the bridge, the pond, the arches, the buttresses, the swans, the cherry trees in bloom, the flag that flies on the highest flagpole, the steep stairs, the small windows and the fairy-tale landscape. Leeds has everything you have dreamed of, everything a castle should have (minus prince charming perhaps).
The gardens surrounding it are a must-visit, especially during the spring when nature shows its best.
The pond, formed by the barrier of the river Len, is where some performances in medieval style are seasonally held.
An amazing show for children and adults alike.



Medieval times at the castle

The castle can also be visited inside: the cream-colored dressing room with the showcase of shoes, the living rooms from the marble chimneys, the green dining room, the collections of ornithological prints (and ceramics), a bedroom with a four-poster bed and blue walls were left here by the former owner, Lady Baillie, who founded an association to save the place and open it to the public.


Hall for receptions

Almost too good to be livable, the castle "feeds" its wings, including the Gloriette (residential tower of 1200) with receptions, concerts, banquets and weddings.
It is possible to get married here too: there is a small chapel (of Protestant rite) and a regal banquet hall overlooking an unforgettable garden.
You can see the black swans (the symbol of Leeds Castle) swimming peacefully, rent the romantic B&B located in the park and invite about seventy people to the wedding party (because there is a limited capacity in the hall).

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  • GianFranco Belloli
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I moved to London over 2 years ago but only last year I started writing for a local newsletter for Expats in London telling about my experience in this big city and giving advice to newcomers. London is a very dynamic city and has a lot for everyone but it’s important to have a local point of view to navigate it without getting lost. Let me be your guide to hidden London!

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