Thursday, 25 July 2013

Leeds Castle, Maidstone Kent

Never before have I been to such a beautiful place as Leeds Castle. When we first arrived and parked the van, the castle was nowhere to be seen through the thick forested park land. It was until we'd walked in and out a few dozen lakes and streams filled with swans, geese and duck that we came upon the postcard view that can be seen in the pictures below. The castle isn't the largest in the United Kingdom by far however, it was named the "loveliest castle in the world" by a very fancy man called Lord Conway. 

We started our tour of the castle at the gate and noted a "punt the moat" sign underneath a magnificent stone bridge alongside the old mill. After taking a quick look in the gift shop we entered the castle from the wine cellar (basement) and proceeded our way through first, the medieval and older parts of the castle and then up through Lady Baille's 1920's Art Deco renovations. A tour guide described the castle as a real life Gatsby Palace, having been one of the great country houses of England and a centre of lavish hospitality for leading statesmen, European royalty and film stars during the time period. Having just seen The Great Gatsby in the cinema a few months ago, all I could picture was champagne fountains, walking sticks, red lipstick and feathers. 

One of my favorite rooms was the library (below). There was a green chair sitting under the window, velvet and grand yet so comfortable looking. It was so magnificent the way it looked in the light. One day I hope to have a library filled with ancient books from all corners of the world. It seems like it'd be so much better than having a Kindle. 

We ended our magical day by taking a punt around the mote. It was so romantic. We stepped into the boat, put our feet up and let the day replay in our minds. Our guide (punter) was entertaining and knowledgable. Afterwards we spoke of how cool it was to be told the behind the scenes story of the castle and it's past. After floating around the gigantic structure for more than half and hour we made our way to the dock and preceded slowly to the parking lot through beautiful gardens. I made Andrew (who always walks a bit faster than me) stop and turn around a few times for a picture. He looked so cute the whole day, I am such a lucky girl. 

No comments :