You can never really rely on the weather in the UK, which is how we found ourselves visiting Leeds Castle on a snowy day at the end of February. The white carpet had dissolved by the time we arrived after lunch last Sunday but the drama was still plentiful.
Leeds Castle, nestled in the heart of Kent, rather than Yorkshire, is imposing but not in a scary way. It’s a castle of fairy tales, surrounded by water and looking out across green swathes of the Garden of England. It has a beautifully landscaped twisting walk up to the castle itself, which winds through trees and by lakes bringing you out at the Pavilion- the building I would most like to own in all the world. I can picture generations of castle inhabitants playing croquet on the lawn in front of it, people sitting on the veranda throughout the year, painting the vista in watercolour, children running and playing with hoops, pond dipping and fishing and squealing with delight.
And there was plenty of squealing on the lawn over half-term, as children who signed up at the front desk for the Fairytale Hunt searched high and low for picture clues, and spotted dragons in the trees, adding them carefully to our tally. It was the ideal tool to keep children continuing along the walk up to the castle and the cafes beyond, which make a great pitstop on the way through the kitchen gardens to the vast play area beyond.
We didn’t time our visit to take in one of the many Birds of Prey demonstrations but there were plenty of other things for us to do. We took in a spot of archery- LBG has excellent bow action, it turns out- before we went in search of big slides and The Girls tried out all of them, in both Knight’s and Squire’s playgrounds. It was a bit too cold to go finding the centre of the maze which Pigeon Pair and Me had managed earlier in the week, so we grabbed hot chocolates before wending our way back to the Land Train (a bargain at 50p per head) and a lift back to the front desk, and our rewards for finishing the Fairytale Hunt with a page of correct answers.
All that action and we didn’t even get to check out the castle. We’ll have to save that for next time.
If you are looking for a fabulous family day out in Kent, Leeds Castle comes highly recommended by LBG and Dimples. Check out Leeds-Castle.com for upcoming events and family fun days.
*Disclosure: we were given an Annual Family Ticket to Leeds Castle for the purposes of writing this post. All opinions and images are our own.