This December, visit “the loveliest Castle in the world” for a festive family day out. The magnificent Castle rooms will be beautifully displayed with glittering decorations and fragrant pine trees styled around Christmas traditions, past and present.
Christmas as we celebrate it today has its origins in Victorian Britain. In 1848 the Illustrated London News published a drawing of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert with their children celebrating around a decorated Christmas tree, a tradition that was reminiscent of Prince Albert’s childhood in Germany. Visit the Queen’s Room to see the style of tree, the Royal Family would have had and find out more about the influence of Victoria and Albert on our modern festive traditions.
Move through the Castle to the Queen’s Gallery lavishly decorated using traditional festival flowers and plants including holly, ivy and poinsettias. Discover why certain plants are significant at Christmas time.
Wonder at the impressive 25ft Christmas tree in the Castle’s Inner Hall, dressed with bespoke Leeds Castle Christmas crackers, also available to buy in the Castle shops. Marvel at the giant illustrative Christmas card with a tree growing inside in Lady Baillie’s Bedroom and don’t miss the wooden Leeds Castle shaped advent calendar in the Catherine of Aragon Bedroom.
Elsewhere in the Castle, write your own personal Christmas tradition and hang it on our tree in the Seminar Room for everyone to read. Don’t miss the 1950s inspired tree in the Yellow Drawing Room, reminiscent of that of the last private owner Lady Baillie, who brought many of her own Christmas traditions to Leeds Castle. Read copies of original ledgers from 1956, which list staff children’s names, the generous gifts the lady of the house bought for them and see original receipts from Harrods and Hamleys!
Children can follow a free trail of Christmas puddings in selected rooms through the Castle, to be rewarded with a chocolate sixpence for joining in the fun.
The festivities continue as you step outside on to the Castle lawns. The annual Christmas Market will take place from 10am to 5pm on selected dates in November and December with a splendid array of seasonal gifts, toys, festive decorations, specialist food and drink and a chance to meet the reindeer and birds of prey. In the centre of the market, visitors can enjoy nostalgic fairground with rides on the Victorian carousel and the high flying ‘chair-o-planes’ or take a leisurely trip on the big wheel for a spectacular view of the Castle.
Keep warm with a hot drink and enjoy a festive programme of live musical entertainment at the Band Stand on the 25th & 26th November, 2nd, 3rd, 9th, 10th, 16th and 17th December.
The two on-site gift shops will be stocked with beautiful decorations and gift ideas, plus a series of events including wreath-making and visits from Father Christmas, will ensure that there is something for all visitors to Leeds Castle to enjoy this festive season.
A valid admission ticket to Leeds Castle is required for this event, tickets cost £24.90 for adults; £21.90 for seniors and visitors with disabilities (carer goes free); £16.90 for children (under 4’s free). Admission tickets are valid for 12 months so you can pay once and visit all year round. Pre-book online before you visit to save time and money when you arrive.
Leeds Castle is located near Maidstone in Kent just off Junction 8 of the M20 and only one hour’s drive from London. Grounds open at 10am daily and the Castle is open from 10.30am. Last admission is 3pm and gates close at 5pm (October to March).