Summertime at Leeds Castle!
25 May 2018, 15:58 | Updated: 18 October 2018, 09:40
This summertime, experience more with an extravaganza of music, drama and adventure taking place within the beautiful 500 acre grounds and gardens of Leeds Castle in Kent.
Set against the stunning backdrop of the historic Castle, an evening ticketed events programme begins on Saturday 4th July when The Lord Chamberlain's Men return with their own special brand of all male Shakespeare in the open air. Dressed in full Elizabethan costume with traditional music and dance this is a real summer treat of a play that has mesmerised and moved audiences for over 400 years.
Get ready to party at the 40th anniversary Classical Concert on Saturday 14th July. Come along to one of the most magnificent and memorable summer evenings in the Kent events calendar. Bring a picnic and be entertained by field cannons, fireworks and much loved classical music. People in their thousands have attended the stunning setting of Leeds Castle across the last forty years to be entertained by this amazing open-air musical delight. This year’s special guests include West End performers Louise Dearman and Canadian Tim Howar from Mike and the Mechanics.
Pop-up Opera returns to the Castle’s magnificent Banqueting Hall on the 18th July with ‘Der Schauspieldirektor & Bastien und Bastienne’. This year enjoy a Mozart double bill! These two one act comedies see a pair of lovers tease and test their feelings for each other and a pair of actresses battle it out to be the prima donna. This popular events usually sells out so get your tickets early.
Think happy thoughts and fly high with an open-air performance of Peter Pan on the 17th and 18th August. The mischievous Peter will embark on an awfully big adventure brought to you by Immersion Theatre. Soar away to Neverland with catchy music, audience interaction, a laugh-a-minute script and the opportunity to meet the characters after the show. This hilarious and exciting musical is the perfect family summer’s evening out.
Movie fans get their share of fun too with Luna Cinema returning to the Castle with three fantastic cult films to watch open air with your friends. Watch one of the most British films ever made on 2nd August, with the music played live by a full orchestra! ‘The Italian Job’ starring Michael Caine, tells the story of a plan to steal a gold shipment from the streets of Turin by creating a traffic jam.
A spell-binding night out for all muggles awaits on the 3rd August! Get ready to wave your wands for a magic evening watching the Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone set against the dramatic backdrop of Leeds Castle. Wingardium Leviosa!
On the 4th August, nobody puts Baby in the corner as we invite you to bring a picnic, swoon at Swayze and enjoy an evening of Dirty Dancing under the stars.
Daily attractions which are all part of the entrance ticket, include the adventure playgrounds Knights’ Realm and Squires’ Courtyard and the wonderfully complicated yew Maze and Grotto. See the daily free flying falconry displays featuring owls, hawks, falcons and a vulture and visit the Exhibition Centre to view the largest collection of dog collars in the world.
The 500 acre Castle estate is flourishing with a new project underway to develop the gardens, starting with the Woodland Walk area. Over 500 recently planted Azaleas now give a wonderful splash of colour to the start of the walk when visitors arrive. Acers have been planted either side of the Cascade Fountain to add a wonderful contrast to the willow trees that surround the lower lake and new borders planted adjacent to the Pavilion Lawn now enhance the beauty of this area.
'Battle for the Skies' is Leeds Castle’s immersive tented visitor experience. Step back in time and learn about the role the Castle and the surrounding countryside played during the Battle of Britain and the Second World War. Through clever animation and carefully designed audio, the scene is set, the Nazi air force is on its way with the mission to wipe out the RAF. Feel as though you are taking part in the dramatic air battles and dogfights. Continue the story with an exhibition in the Castle which tells of its transformation into a WWII hospital and of secret weapons trials conducted in the grounds.
There’s always time for nine on the Castle golf course and golfers can now sample delicious hot home cooked food at the new and improved Pro Shop and Café.
In fact, one day just isn’t long enough to really enjoy Leeds Castle, so why not consider staying over in one of the many bed and breakfast rooms, holiday cottages or Medieval Glampsite on the estate.
Admission tickets cost £25.50 for adults; £22.50 for seniors and visitors with disabilities (carer goes free); £17.50 for children (age 4-15 years), under 4s free. Admission tickets are valid for 12 months so you can pay once and visit all year round. Book online in advance for discounted tickets, visit www.leeds-castle.com.
For all evening ticketed events book online at www.leeds-castle.com/events or call the Bookings Office on 01622 767865 (open weekdays 9am – 5.30pm).
Leeds Castle is located near Maidstone in Kent just off Junction 8 of the M20 within easy reach of London. Grounds open at 10am daily and the Castle is open from 10.30am. Last admission is 4.30pm and gates close at 6pm from April to September.