All was quiet as we pulled out of Brighton and made our way north toward Kent County - destination, Leeds Castle.
We made a quick stop along the way at the delightful town of Turnbridge Wells, a Georgian village where many of the shops began as residences in the 1600s!
Time for a quick latte and off to the magnificent Leeds Castle! Known as "the loveliest castle in the world," there is 1000 years of history here!
Leeds Castle was originally the site of a mannor of the Royal Saxon Family around the 9th century. It was used during the Medieval and Tudor periods by a variety of Royalty; in 1519 King Henry VIII transformed the castle with much new building for his first wife Catherine of Aragon.
In 1552 Leeds Castle was granted to Sir Anthony St Leger, of Ulcombe near Leeds, for a yearly rental of £10, for his services to Henry VIII during the uprising in Ireland. It remained in private ownership for over 400 years.
Since 1974 the Castle has been owned by the Leeds Castle Foundation, a private charitable trust. It is a working castle, kept as a living house, with bedrooms that regularly accommodate guests at weddings, conferences and banquets. It even hosted the G8 Environment Ministers' Meeting in 1998. With 500 acres of formal gardens and beautiful parkland, Leeds Castle is open to the public; in the last thirty years over 10 million people have visited the castle.
Make that over 10-million and ONE!
The guided portion of our fabulous adventure ended on a high note as we left Leeds Castle, and made our way back to London. We bid farewell to our delightful guide Nici - but Sara and I now have several days on our OWN to explore all facets of London!
From the Beatles to Buckingham and everything in between, the journey continues!