Leeds Castle is not in Leeds

in Haveyoubeenhere2 months ago

This is a flashback visit from quite a few years ago, when I spent a weekend castle hopping in Kent. England still has a lot of castles, some are in derelict, and some are grander than others. This particular one I went to was quite well kept, preserving its rich history. Some even call it the “loveliest castle in the world”, but then beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, I'll let you make up your own mind as you read along.
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Contrary to what many people think, Leeds Castle, is not in Leeds. For those outside of UK, Leeds is in central England, near Manchester, and Leeds Castle is in Kent in the south of England. The two locations are over 400 km apart.

The manor was first built as early as 879 in the Saxon times, and over the years " has been a Norman stronghold; the private property of six of England’s medieval queens; a palace used by Henry VIII and his first wife Catherine of Aragon; a Jacobean country house; a Georgian mansion; an elegant early 20th century retreat for the influential and famous; and in the 21st century, it has become one of the most visited historic buildings in Britain." (Source : https://www.leeds-castle.com/) See!!! I told you Leeds Castle has a rich history!
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If I was to live in a castle this would be my ideal castle. It's built on an island on a lake, and that acts as a natural moat for protection. This would have been very important in the old times when all the barons seem to be fighting with each other!!! Access to the castle was via a stone bridge with two lovely arches under the bridge, This is quite different from other castles with a moat that I've seen before. They normally have a draw bridge that closes to prevent access from across other side of the moat. At Leeds Castle, they had a fixed structure, this beautiful stone bridge. The stone castle was built in 1119 here, I'm not sure if the bridge was part of the original structure, it looked quite original, so I'm guessing maybe yes.
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The reason I like Leeds Castle is because it's not massive and you wouldn't feel lost inside. Granted I probably didn't see the entire inside as they never open the full property to visitors, I could tell from the exterior it was more like the size of a grand English mansion. Save any eerie dungeons, I wouldn't mind living here!! Afterall, if it's good enough for nobles and royalty, it's good enough for me!!!

I love going to English castles and grand houses because it's like stepping back in time which I'd never be able to do in real life. A lot of work goes into restoring and preserving these properties so visitors can see what life used to be like for the other half, and learn about the history of the family and property. These are just two of the rooms, the dining room and the library which left an impression on me.
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One thing I found very unusual at Leeds Castle is a dog collar museum. Bet you didn't see that one coming!!! This is the largest collection of dog collars in the world and includes items from over five centuries. For those who read my last post about dogs you'll know that I'm not a big fan of pets. But if you're a dog lover, I imagine you'd be very interested in this museum.
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And finally, there's about 500 acres of outdoor space. There's plenty of things to do including children's play area, walks, a maze, beautifully kept gardens and you can even punt along the lake. Despite not being an animal lover, I was quite interested in the falconry and was fascinated by how clever and well trained the birds are.

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My photos doesn't do Leeds Castle justice at all, because there really is a reason why it's called the “loveliest castle in the world”, Perhaps if you ever have a chance, go and check it out for yourself. It's worth going!!
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Wow! That’s housed more people than bernardos! I guessing those dog collars may not just have been for dogs, you know how kinky the aristocracy can be 🤐. Looks a beautiful place to visit. Thanks for sharing the experience.

That's a good point, maybe they call it dog collars to cover their fetishism 🤭

Thanks for dropping by!

Wow! It really look fantastically and luxuriously. I've never been to a place like this before. Thanks to your post I have such a dream!

You're welcome.

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What a beauty! I only see such beauties in the movies. Maybe one day I'm going to visit a few. Till then, thank you for sharing your travel stories :)
Love it!

You're welcome, we have quite a lot of these castles and grand houses around England. I figure you guys have quite a few as well?

Yes, that's true but different style. Transylvania has a lot of medieval castles.

Leeds is near Manchester?!!!! Behave!

Course it is, I'm a southerner, or more specifically a south westerner. Anywhere north of Gloucester is up north near Manchester for us 😂

No wonder many call it the loveliest castle in the world, it's stunning on the outside and so gracious inside!
then the raptors, I'm fascinated with falconry, find it quite amazing what these people do with the birds and just how clever the raptors are!
There's a wonderful raptor centre high up in the Drakensberg mountain range, and we visit it each time we visit that area, I just love it!
Wonderful photography @livinguktaiwan!

Thank you Lizzie. So glad you enjoyed it, I just wished I had more photos of the lake but I wasn't into taking that many photos back in those days. Hopefully I managed to do Leeds Castle a bit of justice

You certainly did it justice! The dog collar museum is such a quaint touch, I'm sure the royal pooches must have lived quite a life throughout the ages;)

So glad you was able to travel there and get the shots you did. What an awesome castle.

It was a while ago, wish I had more photos on the inside

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I am obsessed with castles. It's interesting to know Leeds Castle is not in Leeds and they have preserved the art of falconry too. It looks like a perfect setting for a movie or a series.

According to their website, there have been some movies filmed there, but I'm not familiar with them. A lot of the castles and grand houses in UK would have been in films before as they make a great natural settings especially for period dramas

This Castle is amazingly beautiful

It is in deed!!

I love how there are already a ton of northerners calling out southerners for their lack of geography knowledge when it comes to the rest of the country LOL. Good job OP for making the point, I'll be honest, I hadn't heard of Leeds castle before but given my own knowledge of Leeds itself it wouldn't really surprise me there wouldn't be much in the way of a large countryside and castles there because it's something of a sprawling metropolis at least by northern standards.

Many years ago, I used to tell my husband everywhere is near Birmingham as I didn't venture up north much. He still makes fun of me today for that 😀

You're from UK as well, right? We have a Brits channel on Discord feel free to hop on https://discord.gg/R99M5X3kRg.

Plus this, I don't think I see you on it (again assuming you're a Brit)
https://peakd.com/@steevc/the-brit-list-febrary-2021

Oh I'm fairly new to HIVE thanks, I came here after finding out about VIMM and yes I am British and a northerner that's probably why you've just not seen me before. I plan on posting a fair bit here though and I post up my replays like other streamers too where I do some heavy game development and then a bit of gaming after for a break.

Welcome, look forward to seeing you around!

"Ooooooh Weeeeeeeee!"

Saw this and I don't know what else to say.

LoL

Best comment ever

It really is such a lovely place, everything about it spells classy, right down to the dog collars. It is a castle, but, like you say, it has the manners of a manor house, big enough to be important on the grand scale and small enough to be cozy.

I love the way you showed it off and yes, please! I would live there! ;))

Thanks Denise for dropping by.

Maybe we should do a Hive or even LOH meet up there sometime, that would be so much fun!!

Doesn't that sound fabulous?? I love it!!

Wow! I've always wanted to see a castle. You are so fortunate. This castle looks so much like the castle that was used in the movie Jack and the Beanstalk starring Nicholas Hoult and Ewan McGregor. I wouldn't be surprised if this is really the one.

I sure would like to visit this and plan to once 2 things happen at the same time: One - The pandemic is over and international travel is open to everyone again; and, Two - Hive flies to the moon that way I'll have the funds to travel with. Lol. Wishful thinking but still the prospects don't quite seem impossible. It really could happen!

Great post and thanks for taking me on this tour. Really love it.

The good thing is there are signs of the second point, and I'm sure the first one will happen some time, just don't know when. So don't give up hope yet, you never know what will happen!!!

So glad you enjoyed the virtual trip in the meanwhile

Would be lovely to visit in Summer! I am impressed by how well it is kept considering its age, just wow! And the dog collars, you are right, unusual indeed.

I prefer small cosy castles/manors to big palaces too! It reminds me of Warwick castle, built in the same style and time.

You know many years ago we were at Warwick and wanted to visit Warwick castle as you would do when you're in Warwick. So we arrived at a castle. It was pretty small and a bit run down, our visit only lasted about half an hour, wasn't too impressed to say the least. Then we found out later, that wasn't Warwick Castle at all!! Still don't know where we went 😅

Too funny!!! 🤣

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