Leeds Castle

Leeds Castle, Maidstone: Tickets, Tours, Hours, Address, Leeds Castle Reviews: 4.5/5

Leeds Castle
4.5
Historic Sites • Points of Interest & Landmarks • Castles
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Monday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
About
Considered one of the most romantic castles in England, this historic site was originally the stately home of the Saxon royal family during the reign of Ethelbert IV in 856-860.
Suggested duration
More than 3 hours
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Tours & experiences
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4.5
4,954 reviews
Excellent
2,951
Very good
1,280
Average
368
Poor
170
Terrible
185

Alison B
Chelmsford, UK43 contributions
Not what I was expecting
Dec 2021 • Family
Not the castle staff’s fault, the coach trip I was on was sold as a trip to the Christmas market so I was disappointed that wasn’t there. What you get to see of the castle is interesting but I’ve visited others such as Hever where you see a lot more. Being December the outside activities were limited, but please, if you are letting people use the maze, have it staffed. We couldn’t find our way out and ended up feeling really panicky until another visitor helped us.
Written December 1, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank you for the review. We are sorry to hear that the independent coach company told you there was a Christmas market when we have not advertised one for 2021. We do have a Maze & Grotto steward who monitors the area and also some wooden hints inside the maze to help visitors find their way to the middle. We hope your forward journey was a pleasant one.
Written December 2, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Raintrek
Northampton, UK179 contributions
Very poor at the courtyard, Castle staff, great
Nov 2021
I want to give it a higher score as most of the staff deserve it.

I'm a scooter user, mobility scooter that is. I had booked online and got my carer free ticket. I had read that mobility scooters are not allowed so intended on getting the bus, not sure if it is free or not, sorry. However, I spoke to the nice lady at the entrance and she said it is totally find to at least ride to the castle so the scooter was fetched. She also said that a day ticket can be upgraded to an annual ticket free of charge. I'll be unlikely to use it as I live way over 100 miles away but, it's not impossible.

There was an equally nice lady in the shop who printed out the annual ticket for me.

It was near lunch time so we headed to the restaurant where we could get hot food. the trip was very easy with various route options on the way and on the two occasions we used the road, the road train passed us no problems but then, we were right to the side of the road so no where near where it needed to go and acknowledged we knew it was there.

The toilets at the outside of the courtyard, I am supposing the last ones many would use prior to going into the castle, are not disabled friendly and down some stairs.

We initially tried the café but there were just expensive drinks and cakes on offer plus it was very tiny and cold. There were places to get food nearby but all needed customers to sit outside and, it was not sitting outside weather.

The sit down restaurant was our settled on choice (see pictures). Service was oh so slow. A few empty tables and we were eventually sat. We ordered a tea each first whilst we browsed the very small and incredibly expensive lunchtime menu (meals around £12 each. Fish & Chips or burger options and probably a vegan too).

Waiter returned and placed two pots of tea on the table plus two cups. He asked if we would like milk and sugar and we said yes adding that a saucer each and spoons too might be useful. He never returned. Our meal order was taken. I had chicken burger, my husband steak sandwich. As I said, around £12 each.

I got up and asked another member of staff for the remaining drink items but our meal arrived before she came back with them so the tea was a tad cold before we got to drink it.

Eating my chicken burger I was aware that it felt a little slimy. I tried to put it down to the sauce or onions maybe but eventually, it dawned on me that slimy chicken could indicate uncooked chicken. I checked it and took a picture for you to look at as well. I am convinced it is uncooked. The meat is smooth with zero texture. Slightly pink might be OK for near the bone meat but, when it is smooth like this too without any form of grain, I'd say near raw.

I approached a member of staff to tell them, the meal was removed very quickly. No asking if I wanted anything else, it was just whisked away. We waited some time to pay but it was apparent that was never going to happen so we had to go up to the counter. On my insistence the cost of my meal and the teas were removed from the bill. By now, the serving waiter who may or may not have been the manager was insisting that the chicken was fully cooked and that they temperature check every piece of meat which leaves the kitchen. I suggested that, if they were in any way wrong, wouldn't it be prudent to check what other customers were eating? I made it clear, I did not want compensation, totally not interested, just make sure no one gets sick was my only request but, they refused to notify any other guests.

I parked my scooter at the front door to the castle and we were greeted very pleasantly. Every attention was given to ensure I would be able to fully enjoy my visit considering my mobility issues.

The first lady we met even greeted my husband to a Filipino welcome, well done her. She was lovely. We got chatting a lot about aspects of the history as the castle also has links with my own home town. She asked if we had seen anything else that day and we got talking about the meal experience. I am not going to quote what she said, it wouldn't be fair. She gave an honest opinion on the pictures I showed her and reported the matter in person right away and then chased back to catch up with us a short while later.

The only less that OK member of staff was a very agitated possible French lady. As far as I can gather some other customers were trying to rush through to get their coach, she may have been helping but she was barking orders quite strongly and we got caught in the crossfire as I took a little time to move out the way. She might have been helping but, she really needed to calm down a little and observe her surroundings. I am sure it probably wasn't typical of her.

I did get the feeling that management was trying to cover up the food situation. Eventually, I did not get overly sick, just some mild discomfort and loose movements. Does that make the food OK? I really do not think so, I know how it felt and how it looked. They are, I believe, considering changing the recipe.

I spoke to (I believe) the catering manager over the phone late in the day. For some reason he kept referring to the waiting staff as boys and girls. Asking if we were served by the young boy or the young girl (dark skinned added). I said that really I wasn't served by children at all, they were all adults and I had no interest on their skin colour.

As the excuse for the poor service was that they were very busy I suggested that it is always a weak excuse for lowering standards as the issue is never that they are busy, it is either that they are understaffed or, they allowed in more customers than their training could cope with. No customer should ever have to accept partial blame for the restaurants failings.

All in though, were it not for the terrible service and questionable quality of the food, this would have been a 4 star rating. Not 5 because, to be totally honest, it is incredibly over priced.

The place with the exception of one coach party, was near deserted, as we expected it would be in November. I have been in summer and, it's not so enjoyable with the constant pressure to move on and not soak up the atmosphere and read the history.
Written November 27, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

pwc51
Dorking, UK5 contributions
A great visit let down by the food
Nov 2021
We had a great day at the castle - the place was quiet and weather lovely, if somewhat cool. The castle itself seemed warm by comparison. Staff were friendly and most informative. The visit was let down by the food - most disappointing. It was a special day for me and we thought the food in the yard would be somewhat more exciting - as it was it was disappointingly bland and expensive, leaving us somewhat deflated! We will know for the future!
Written November 26, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Worlds Our Oyster (Georgia & David)
Kent, UK23 contributions
Highly recommend for couples and/or families!
Nov 2021 • Couples
Fantastic place for couples and/or family’s LOADS to do maze, crazy golf, land train, ducks, oriental gardens, birds of prey etc. Absolutely beautiful, especially in the autumn.

Highly recommend, only reason I didn’t give a 5* is because the food is rubbish & lack of choice!
Written November 22, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

mrdan95
Kent, UK6 contributions
a good day out but take your own food
Nov 2021
a lovely day out, very beautiful and picturesque, the Falconry display was very interesting and informative.
My advice would be to leave your wallet at home. Once in everything is a Overpriced. the food is expensive and not very good. Take a picnic, and maybe just buy a Tea or a coffee. And steer clear of the Gift Shops!
Written November 15, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

bell j
Venice, Italy4 contributions
Dogs are not allowed on vast grounds of the castle, dated and discriminating rules
Oct 2021 • Solo
Dogs are not allowed on the vast grounds of Leeds Castle. Because of this poor management practice, dogs and dogs owners are discriminated against. I was refused an entry because of my three dogs. Any civilised tourist attraction including Canterbury Cathedral, National Trust places like Chartwell or Petworth House are dogs friendly and pets are allowed on the grounds, coffee/tea room and the shop. I didn’t intend to take my dogs inside the castle itself (common sense!), but to walk about on castle’s grounds and around the lake on a sunny Monday morning would of been positive, fulfilling and happy experience. I was deprived and discriminated because of dogs. Ignorant Leeds Castle and its management.
Written November 14, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank you for your comments with regards to dogs at Leeds Castle. Across our estate we have an abundance of wildlife, a Bird of Prey Centre and sheep. All of these animals have a natural fear of dogs which means it would be cruel to allow them to encounter them. Birds of Prey in particular see dogs as a threat which could lead to them sustaining injuries within their aviaries or cause to them to fly away during one of our displays. Members of the public are welcome to walk their dogs on a lead in the Parklands using the pubic footpath however for the safety and wellbeing of our animals we do not allow general admission for visitors with dogs (with the exception of assistance dogs).
Written November 23, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Emily N
1 contribution
Not worth the money
Nov 2021 • Family
Its not worth the money at all, nothing special, very expensive for what we paid £68 for two adults and 1 child with the standard 30mins fireworks.
10 mins in London New Year firework is 10 times much better than this.
We would not come back! Its the shame, very lovely castle.
Written November 10, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank you for taking the time to write this review. I am sorry to read that your experience of the fireworks event was not as you expected. From the photo you have included it appears that you are near the car park so you wouldn't have had a great view from that point. We have ample space on the main event site for spectators to enjoy the fireworks and would encourage ticketholders to enjoy the show from that area. As an independent charity Leeds Castle aims to put on one of the biggest firework displays in the South East so we do hope you may reconsider attending our fireworks spectacular in the future and are able to enjoy the full experience next time. If you would like to discuss further please email enquiries@leeds-castle.co.uk
Written November 15, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Carol P
1 contribution
Very Disappointing !
Nov 2021
1. Today we renewed our Leeds Castle tickets only to find out afterwards that the Christmas market is not actually happening this year. Can't really understand why as it's held outside.
2. The price has also gone up.
3. We decided to have a coffee in the Coffee shop which used to be Costa Coffee. That was a very disappointing experience. We will not be doing that again. The latte paper cup was very small (the only option available) and cost £3 ! There was no more than 1/2 a cup of coffee and the rest was foam ! Asked for a spoon to eat the foam and was given a wooden stick. ... and the lady serving told me when we arrived, that the coffee shop was more upmarket than Costa ! No comparison I am afraid!
Written November 8, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Kitty R
1 contribution
Disappointed
Oct 2021 • Family
Too expensive for what is available. For people who live local and will visit 3or 4 times a year then fine. For those that live far away and will only visit once then it is not value for money. I am not sure what the estate is trying to be? A venue? A visitor attraction? Other private estates run for the public, Chatsworth, Warwick Castle are so much better. More to look at, engage with.
Written October 29, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Jane P
5 contributions
Screaming children and ill mannered visitors.
Oct 2021
I expected years and years of history but I found loads of noisy children and a total lack of organisation. It was mayhel from the queue fro pre-booked tickets to the lack of seating around and in cafes. VIrtually no information available on the tour and generally a cold and frustrating visit.
Written October 28, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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  • Sun - Sat 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
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