Explore extraordinary Leeds Castle, the first stone castle built by a Norman baron, and one of England’s most celebrated fortresses and private residences.
After departing from the pier, you will drive inland, past the remains of ancient forests that once covered southern England and on to Leeds Castle. Perched on 500 acres of beautiful parkland on two islands, the historic castle bills itself as “The Loveliest Castle in the World.”
It’s not hyperbole. Leeds Castle is a stunning piece of architecture that has been a Saxon manor, a Norman stronghold, a royal residence to six medieval queens, a palace used by Henry VIII, and even a private residence. Now, lovingly restored, it rises above the idyllic countryside as one of England’s most visited castles.
Upon arriving, you will enjoy a delightful walk along a path that follows a meandering stream through a belt of stately trees. It makes for a wonderfully scenic prelude to walking through the castle’s 13th-century Gate Tower that guards the only access. Inside, as you stroll from room to room, you will discover that the last private owner, Lady Baillie, left her mark on Leeds Castle by refurnishing it in the 1920s and 1930s. However, many of the rooms still reflect medieval and Tudor periods and this is evidenced by a magnificent collection of medieval furnishings, paintings, tapestries and treasures. Leeds Castle is truly where visitors in the present-day can co-mingle with the lives of those from the past. You can’t help but sense the significance of this amazing castle as you walk the grounds, which include a meticulously manicured maze of spiraling yew, and underground grotto filled with macabre images and the unusual turf maze. Quite simply, Leeds is a remarkable reminder of England’s celebrated past where even the leaves breathe history.
Following a visit of approximately two hours, which includes a bit of free time to browse the gift shop or further explore on your own, you will re-board your coach and travel back to the pier.
Please note: This tour includes approximately 2-hour of of easy to moderate walking/standing. There will be some steps, inclines and uneven or cobblestone surfaces to negotiate. The tour is available to wheelchair guests who have a collapsible wheelchair, are able to make their own way on and off the coach and have an able-bodied companion to assist them. Those with mobility concerns are cautioned to carefully evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. Weather appropriate clothing; sunglasses; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended. Guests should be prepared for the possibility of rain.