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Leeds Castle, Maidstone, Kent
Over the course of the last 900 years, Leeds Castle - dubbed the "loveliest castle in the world" - has housed six of of England's medieval queens, served as a Tudor palace for Henry VIII and featured as a filming location in shows like Doctor Who. So what better way to mop up the rich history of this national treasure than to sleep here? Overnight choices include B&B rooms in the 1930s Stable Courtyard, self-catered cottages and even medieval glamping pavilions. For the full experience, step across the drawbridge to sleep in Tudor opulence in one of five bedrooms set in the 16th-century Maiden's Tower.
The castle and accommodation is surrounded by an historic moat and 500 acres of beautiful parkland.
Leeds Castle is ideally located an hour from London, beside the Kent Downs AONB.
By car: 1 hour 20 minutes from London, (42 miles ), 1 hour 40 minutes from Brighton, (70 miles). Free private parking is available on-site.
By train: Direct trains from London Victoria to Bearsted take just over an hour. A shuttle to the hotel and castle or a taxi will take 5 mins.
Style & Character
This is a hotel for everyone: honeymooners, families, history buffs, horticulturalists, tourists from across the globe. The sophisticated interiors and welcoming staff prevent any sense of stuffiness or pretention.
Service & Facilities
Although you can't access your bedroom until 2pm, you're welcome to put your complimentary castle access to good use from 10am on arrival day.
- Free parking
- Free Wi-Fi
- Family rooms
- Restaurant on request
- Free falconry or punting
The Catherine de Valois room in the Tower has cushioned window seats overlooking the castle and fantastically thick studded timber shutters. We love returning to the bedroom after dinner, crossing the drawbridge and bidding goodnight to the watchman at the entrance tower.
Holiday Cottages, Stable Courtyard B&B Rooms, Maiden's Tower B&B Rooms, Knights Glamping Tents
Facilities include: ensuite bathroom with toiletries, free Wi-Fi, breakfast served in the 17th Century oak-beamed Castle View Restaurant (not for self-catered Holiday Cottage guests)
Food & Drink
We love sitting on the candlelit terrace overlooking the castle on its little island. The Tudor glazed gammon knuckle swimming in Spitfire gravy is large enough for two if you're leaving space for plum tarte tatin.
Castle View Restaurant: Available for lunch and dinner, must be booked. From 6.30pm the menu changes and the restaurant takes on a more intimate tone. Mains range from £15.95 to £26.95.