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Christmas plans at Leeds Castle

Castle keeps battling and it's all happening outside

The shape and scope of the Christmas celebrations at Leeds Castle have, in their own words, “changed three times” in recent months and, even at this stage, it’s difficult to outline what is happening there with 100% confidence. That’s just the way things are with uncertainty surrounding all events.

But we’ll have a stab at telling you their plans, adding the caveat… subject to Government guidance.

This Christmas, Leeds Castle is inviting you to embrace the unexpected with a stunning display of alternative festive trees brought out of the castle and into the grounds! Discover enchanting wooden cabins featuring bespoke trees made from materials inspired by the castle’s glorious state rooms as you walk along the beautiful woodland pathway through the Princess Alexandra Gardens.

As well as its alternative tree installations children will be able to post their letters to Father Christmas at his special post office, and the castle’s team will make sure that he gets them in time for a special Christmas delivery.

Visit leeds-castle.com/Christmas to find out more and book.

Take the Maze Challenge!

The Maze is now open! To celebrate, we have hidden fun challenges to complete as you find your way to the middle! Leeds Castle’s Maze was created in 1988 by renowned professional designer Adrian Fisher and consists of more than 2,400 yew trees. It is set in a square, and yet, when seen from the mound or the air, the pattern is circular, this is unique compared with other mazes and adds to the difficulty in solving it. Once you’ve reached the middle you can return to civilisation through an underworld grotto, complete with macabre forms and mythical beasts created from shells, minerals and wood.

Shopping and gift experiences

With more than 2,000 items to choose from at the Leeds Castle shops, visitors can discover the perfect gift ideas for loved ones, all the while touring the castle, taking in an afternoon tea or perhaps staying for bed and breakfast in one of the stunning castle rooms. Gift ideas include Kent wines, spirits and ciders; delicious local and international confections, fine English china, sparkling jewellery, dressing-up clothes, stocking fillers and beautiful Christmas decorations. Along with the physical gifts, visitors can also get their friends and family experiential gifts such as a falconry experience, a golf coaching session or they can even adopt one of the castle’s beautiful birds.

Christmas afternoon teas

Leeds Castle is delighted to welcome you back to Afternoon Tea at the Castle. Tea is served in the elegant Castle dining room and library where guests can overlook the castle moat and the beautiful grounds.  A wide variety of tempting sandwiches will be served followed by a selection of sweet delectable delights; from chocolate macaroons to classic home-made scones with clotted cream and strawberry jam.

Guests will experience a self-guided tour of the festively decorated castle before being served afternoon tea. This experience is available on Friday, Saturday or Sunday from £45 per person and must be booked online.

Visit leeds-castle.com/AfternoonTea to find out more and book.

Christmas Murder Mysteries

12th December – The Great Pantomime

19th December – Murder Under the Mistletoe

There’s been a murder but who could have done it and why? As actors help to set the scene, immerse yourself in one of two truly spectacular evenings set in the style of either a pantocrime or at the auction of the highly valuable Thornley-Cruttockjewel collection, where you decide just how involved you want to be.  The emphasis is on having fun and solving the crime, all while enjoying delicious food and wine. Guests are invited to arrive at the castle in the afternoon to enjoy time in their bedrooms or to explore the grounds.  Once the castle has closed to the day visitors, enjoy a self-guided tour prior to being seated for your drinks reception and dinner in the Henry VIII Banqueting Hall where the evening’s entertainment will commence. With the mystery solved, retire to your luxurious bedroom! You can then recount the night’s events over a full English breakfast in the castle the following morning.

Visit leeds-castle.com/DiningEvents to find out more and book.

Stay longer, see more!

Extend your stay at Leeds Castle this Christmas with an overnight stay in the Stable Courtyard rooms. In the evening enjoy a three-course meal in Castle View Restaurant with a spectacular view across the moat. Packages available from £210 per couple including dinner and breakfast.

Visit leeds-castle.com/Accommodation to book.

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David Buckley

Dave Buckley is a career journalist. “I once went painting girders for a week and discovered I didn’t like heights,” he says. “Apart from that it has always been journalism for me in one form or another.” Past local weekly publications he has worked for include: the South-East London Mercury* covering the Borough of Greenwich as a junior reporter; Orpington-based News Shopper as a sub-editor; and the Kent Messenger when based in Larkfield, Maidstone, as deputy chief sub-editor. He has also worked for the following dailies/nationals: Daily Express, Today*, News of the World* and Hong Kong Star*. All those marked with an asterisk no longer exist (trend emerging?). He owned and edited a Thailand-based property magazine before returning to England and currently works as a production editor on a car fleet magazine. His first foray into property ownership saw him move from London to Rainham (the Gillingham, Kent, variety). He has subsequently lived in Chislehurst, Petts Wood and Orpington in the Borough of Bromley (which he still regards as being in Kent). In more recent years he owned three different properties on the Kings Hill (West Malling) development.

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