Ruby had wanted to visit Leeds Castle for several years and we finally got around to it. The weather has been good across the UK all week, so it made sense to go when we did.
The first thing that struck me on arriving was just how many people had many the trip here for the day – a huge car park was packed, making the area look a little like a busy campsite. Fortunately the overall area that surrounds the castle was big enough to cope with all these adults, kids and cars. It was quite easy to find a quiet area around the complex, with the children’s playareas taking care of most of the visiting families.
The castle itself was stunning. The main areas had been altered several times over the past 900 years, with the most recent stone facade being put together in 1822. The surrounding areas were beautifully landscaped, meaning there was plenty to do besides just visiting the castle itself and the gatekeep.
There were several stunning gardens featuring a variety of foreign plants, such as palms and bamboos. Ruby also found a plant that she remembers from Nan Ao Village in China, where she was born. Besides these gardens was a large lake which also offered free boat trips from tip to toe. Although £24 seemed expensive for a single adult ticket, there was quite a lot to do across the day. Archery and Falconery shows were also on offer.
Ruby remains a big fan of European castles, fortified houses and stately homes. Anything linked to her interest in antiques as well as building types not seen in China continues to draw her in, even though she has now seen quite a number across the UK.