Leeds Castle

Maidstone, Kent ME17 1PL

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Opening Times

See official website for opening times.

Admission Prices

See official website for admission prices.


The Royal Manor was built in AD 857 with the royal ownership began in 1278 with its most famous owner, Henry VIII taking residence in 1520 transforming Leeds Castle into a magnificent castle. Lady Baillee then totally transformed the Castle in 1924 and finally bequeathed Leeds Castle and surrounding grounds to the Leeds Castle Foundation in 1974. Leeds Castle is set amidst 500 acres of grounds surrounding the castle and its moat.

The official website no longer mentions the presence of an aviary, so we can only assume that it has closed. There are, however, daily wildlife feeds and falconry displays, but it is also unclear whether there is any access to the birds at any time other than during the display.

Official Website


(Opens in separate window)


Car Park


Special Needs

Most of the castle and its grounds are accessible to all visitors, disabled toilets, guide-dogs and hearing dogs are allowed, wheelchairs available, fully accessible land train and minibus.


No dogs except assistance dogs and no pushchairs are allowed inside the castle.


Animal Collections


Note: The animal pictures on this page are merely representative of this type of attraction; they do not mean that the animals can be found at this specific attraction.

Special Attractions

Falconry displays, wildlife feeds.

How To Get There:

By Car

Leeds Castle is situated 7 miles east of Maidstone, just off the M20 at junction 8. It is just 1 hour from London, 30 minutes from the Dartford River Crossing, and 30 minutes from the Channel Tunnel and Channel Ports.

Clearly signposted from all routes; follow the brown and white tourist signs.

Note to satnav users: follow the tourist signs once you reach the A20, otherwise you may be directed to a private entrance.

From London:

Follow the M20 east past Maidstone and towards Ashford and Folkestone. Leave the motorway at junction 8 and continue onto the A20 towards Ashford. Then follow the tourist signs to the Leeds Castle entrance.

From Folkestone (and the Channel Tunnel and Ports):

Follow the M20 north west past Ashford and on towards Maidstone and London. Leave the motorway at junction 8 and `double back' onto the A20 towards Ashford. Then follow the tourist signs to the Leeds Castle entrance.

From Margate (and Canterbury):

Follow the A28 south west through Canterbury and on towards Ashford. Either continue on the A28 to join the M20 at Ashford, and continue as described above (from Folkestone), or turn right onto the A252 at Chilham. Continue on the A252 through Challock, then turn right onto the A20 towards Maidstone and London at Charing. After passing through the villages of Lenham and Harrietsham, the A20 will cross under the M20 and Leeds Castle will then be on your left; follow the tourist signs to the entrance.

From Hastings:

Take the A21 north east towards Royal Tunbridge Wells, then turn right onto the A229 towards Maidstone. Shortly after passing through the small village of Linton, turn right onto the B2163 and continue through Boughton Monchelsea, across the A274 at Five Wents, and on through Langley Heath and Leeds village. After passing through Leeds, look out for the tourist signs to the entrance to Leeds Castle, which will be on your right, possibly after joining the A20 (towards Ashford).

By Coach:

National Express operates a special direct service from London Victoria Coach Station, with combined travel and admission tickets, on all days Leeds Castle is open. Departs 9:00am with several pick-up points in South London, arriving at 10:25am. Returns at 3:05pm to arrive back at Victoria at 4:50pm. Special services also operate to certain special events at the castle.

Leeds Castle is also on the itinerary of several sightseeing coach tours from London and other areas of the South East.

By Public Transport

By Train:

The nearest station is Bearsted, on the London Victoria to Ashford line, an hour from London. A connecting coach service then runs to Leeds Castle. All-in-one train fare, coach service, and admission tickets available; see official website for details.

Data on this page last updated: Apr 1 2013

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