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Exploring Lullingstone Castle & The World Garden

Lullingstone Castle

Lullingstone Castle & The World Garden

Well I can’t actually believe I hadn’t heard about Lullingstone Castle & The World Gardens before. I have always visited old houses and castles since I were just a little girl. My love of them has continued to grow into my adult life. That is why I couldn’t understand why I had missed this little gem. It’s based in Kent so not too far to travel to from Essex. I will warn you now though it is slightly off the beaten track and not the easiest to find. Overlooking that, it is a wonderful place to visit.

Lullingstone Castle is one of the oldest family estates in England and has been home to the same family since the 15th Century. It is open Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holiday Mondays between 1st April and end of September and Sundays only in October. Please visit their website for exact opening times and dates prior to your visit. Entry is: Adults are £8, children £4 and under 5’s are free. There is also the option of a free guided tour of the house.

Lullingstone Castle Front Castle

Special Events

We visited Lullingstone Castle on a special event day, The Fire Engine Rally. It was a fantastic showcase of fire fighting history with engines and carts dating from the Victorian and Edwardian periods to the present day. We were also lucky enough to see some of them in action. We watched a demonstration of the fire engines responding to a fire incident overlooking the lake. It was really exciting, the children and adults all seemed to really enjoy it. The Castle is host to various events throughout the year. Including the last day of the season where they hold their Halloween Magic special event.

Lullingstone Castle Gatehouse view

Lullingstone Castle house with fire engine

Lullingstone Castle fire engine rally

 

Our Visit

Lullingstone Castle is an enchanting place to visit with plenty to see and explore. Set within 120 acres of Kent countyside. You enter via the Gatehouse to a beautiful view of the house and St Boltolph’s Parish Church to one side. The house is stunning both inside and out and overlooks a picturesque view across the lake. Henry VIII and Queen Anne were once regular visitors at Lullingstone Castle and ‘Queen Anne’s Bathhouse’ and an 18th century ice house can be found within the grounds.

We started our day with refreshments in the Castle Marquee. They serve sandwiches, homemade soup, sausage rolls, cakes, drinks and ice creams. They had a basket of picnic blankets for you to help yourself so you can enjoy your food outside in the impressive grounds of the castle. It was such a nice and relaxing spot to sit down and eat lunch among the lovely flowers, taking in the view. The food and cake were all really yummy and on that particular day they also offered BBQ sausages in a bun so Eden was very happy!

Lullingstone Castle flower bed overlooking castle

Lullingstone Castle Marquee

Lullingstone Castle picnic blankets

The Castle

After looking around the fire engines and watching the demonstrations we ventured inside the house. As the house is still inhabited not all the rooms are open to the public. The rooms that are open are really beautiful, fully dressed with antique furniture, paintings and artifacts. You enter into the impressive Great Hall and upstairs are the state rooms where you even get to see Queen Anne’s bed.

Lullingstone Castle The great hall

The World Gardens

Tom Hart Dyke the current heir to the estate started his plans for the World Gardens in the year 2000 and they have grown since then. The Gardens take you on an adventure around the world with some interesting and unusual plants to see. Eden absolutely loved exploring the Garden. In particular we liked the Hot ‘n’ Spikey house with over 1000 varieties of Cacti, the beautiful Moroccon Blue Room and The Cloud Room. Whilst exploring the gardens look out for some wacky sculptures.

Lullingstone Castle the world garden

Lullingstone Castle eden exploring the gardens

Lullingstone Castle Cactii room

Lullingstone Castle Blue Moroccan room

Orchid Meadow and Woodland Walk

After the gardens we crossed the small wooden bridge into the Orchid Meadow and woodland walk. After a short walk we found a wonderful spot for a game of poo sticks on the river. It was such a picturesque spot too.

Lullingstone Castle woodland walk

Lullingstone Castle river

St Boltolphs Parish Church

Within the grounds of the estate is St Boltolph’s Parish Church which contains some of the oldest stained glass windows in England. I am always so fascinated by churches and although small, it was really interesting with the beautifully carved tomb of Sir John Peché d 1521. The church still holds regular congregations to this day.

Lullingstone Castle inside st boltolphs

We had such a lovely family day at Lullingstone Castle and World Gardens I thoroughly recommend it. I love all things history and culture. My dad used to take myself and my sister from a young age to all these wonderful places. I can remember how exciting and how much fun it was. They always felt so magical and enchanting. Sometimes its not all about the usual zoos, farms or soft play centres but getting your kids to try experiencing something new…. Read about one of our favourite castles to visit here!

Lullingstone Castle us outside the house

Lullingstone Castle eden by the flowerbed

Thank you for reading ‘Exploring Lullingstone Castle & The World Garden’.

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Castles/Houses, Memories, Unusual

My Sunday Photo – Lullingstone Castle

For My Sunday Photo this week I have a photo of Lullingstone Castle. 

We visited Lullingstone Castle in Kent on their Fire engines event day. They had fire engines from all eras, showcase of fire-fighting history with over 20 fire engines and carts. They even had demonstrations of the engines in action. We had a lovely family day for my dad’s birthday. 

The Castle has the gorgeous World Gardens to walk around, with flowers and plants from across the world. The Moroccon blue room was my particular favourite. 


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Castles/Houses, Days Out, Outdoors

Leeds Castle – The Loveliest Castle in the World

Leeds Castle Eden looking at Castle

Leeds Castle

Considered ‘The Loveliest Castle in the World’, Leeds Castle is simply stunning. One of my most favourite places to go.  I would never get tired of this stunning landscape.

Leeds Castle view across moat
There are so many reasons to love Leeds Castle in Kent. The Castle is set within 500 acres of the most beautiful and picturesque grounds. At the centre a picture perfect castle surrounded by a moat. It’s the perfect place to take children, there is so much there to inspire them and ignite their imaginations.

A nice added bonus is that you only pay to enter once, you can then return as many times as you like within the year. Basically an annual pass for the price of 1 days entry. There aren’t many places that offer that so it’s great value.

The Woodland Walk

Your journey starts with a woodland walk along paths that run alongside babbling brooks and waterfalls. There is an abundance of wildlife to spot along the route. Plenty of wildfowl, woodland birds and insects. We saw so many cute baby swans on our visit! Leeds Castle is famous for its black Swans.

Leeds Castle WaterfallLeeds Castle Eden sitting on a bridge
Leeds Castle Eden looking at Geese and their young
The Castle

I think one of the most interesting facts about the Castle is that it was once the palace used by Henry VIII and his first wife Catherine of Aragon. I love the story of Henry VIII and his wives.

The Castle is steeped in history and as you walk around the grand rooms you can see how it has changed over the years with rooms from different eras. There are gorgeous antiques to view and paintings adorning the walls. The Castle is as pretty inside as it is outside!

Leeds Castle front of castleLeeds Castle side viewLeeds Castle inside dining tableLeeds Castle library
There is plenty of information within the Castle with the option of an audio guide. They also have activity sheets for the kids, so Eden was kept busy looking for things as we walked round.

Leeds Castle eden with activity sheets
Facilities

The facilities are really good, plenty of places to stop for food and drinks, snacks and ice cream. Toilets are clean and tidy. If you bring your own food there are plenty of gorgeous spots for a picnic.

The Maze & Grotto

There is a large maze to solve and if you are lucky enough to find the centre, it leads to an enchanting grotto underground. The air is cool down there, with mythical creatures made from shells and a water feature. It is very atmospheric, a fascinating place. It is quite dark and noisy down there so could be a little frightening for younger members!

Leeds Castle maze
Boat & Train Rides

Should you wish you can take in the view by boat, there is punting available on the moat, or a ferry ride across the lake for a small extra charge.

You can also ride Elsie their train to and from the car park if you wanted for a small extra fee. We often choose to walk through the gardens into the Castle but return on the train. Eden loves it.

Leeds Castle view of the moatLeeds Castle Black swan Ferry
Play Areas

There are two wooden play areas at Leeds Castle to keep the little people happy. Squire’s Court for younger kids up to the age of 6 and Knight’s Realm for slighter older kids 7-14 years. Both of them are well put together with exciting tunnels, turrets, slides and zip lines. Plenty to keep the kids busy. There is seating available in and around the play areas for the adults.

Leeds Castle Play area towerLeeds Castle play area
Falconary

There are free flying bird of prey presentations  running daily, with Hawks, Vulture, Falcons and Owls. You can also see them in their aviaries.

Dark skies exhibition

There is a temporary exhibition running until 31st October 2017, the Battle of the Skies. A surround sound display depicting The Battle of Britain that took part in the skies above Kent. There are two planes there as part of the exhibition.

Leeds Castle planeLeeds Castle plane
The Grounds

There is so much to explore at Leeds Castle, the gardens are beautiful. Culpeper garden has the most pretty flowers and box hedges, a typical quaint English country garden.

Leeds Castle Culpeper GardenLeeds Castle GardensLeeds Castle Eden with Lavender
Every time we visit Leeds Castle we find something new. I would absolutely recommend it and would have to say it’s in my top 5! Eden loves it as much as I do!

Leeds Castle Eden looking at the castle
Thank you for reading ‘Leeds Castle – The Loveliest Castle in the World’.

Eden is wearing Top – Tu Clothing at Sainsburys, Jean shorts from F&F Tesco and Converse trainers.

Em.

Leeds Castle Kids Day out
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