A great believer in exploring the off beat, non-touristy things hidden inside every city.
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Published January 2nd 2016
Leeds castle- full marks for charm and magnificence
I've been meaning to write about this for sometime now, but was swept away with Christmas which suddenly crept upon me. Yes, this was one of those quick getaways for a day which the husband and I have now resorted to doing intentionally in order to get some time to ourselves where we can think our thoughts and not be caught up in who needs a wee, who is hungry or just playing referee to the back seat squabbles (also known as days out with our kids !).
So, after having made arrangements with friends for the kids to be picked up from school, we did this quick little foray into the countryside to spend a day at what the website describes as 'the loveliest castle in the world'. After a blissful day there, I can quite see why.
The castle itself dates back to 1278 and is a magnificant edifice, complete with moat and all. As most English castles go, it has seen its share of both pomp and glory as well as things dark and gory, involving some of the most famous kings and queens of England, not to mention an American heiress thrown in somewhere in the middle! Most of the interiors are still preserved like in the days of yore. As I wander through the ornate bedrooms and take in the four poster beds etc. one thing really I realise. Whilst this makes for a wonderful day out, I wouldn't really want to live in a castle as my usual place of residence.... imagine living in a home with a hundred rooms, creepy underground passages, that feeling of isolation- no- definitely not my cup of tea !
More closer home, in 1978, this castle was also the scene of the historic Camp David accords regarding fostering peace in the Middle East. Ok- that I didn't know, but was supplied it by the hubby who is somewhat of a history buff. Combine that with his fondness for photography- which room am I asked to pose in for a snap, is a no-brainer!
Making history for ourselves too- we can look back and reminsce on this day as a couple...
The surroundings of the castle do make for pleasant walking or punting if you like, on the river. Birds like peacocks are roaming around with abandon, giving one the feeling that here life seems more a gentle canter rather than the frenetic one that is happening outside. Like most castle sites nowadays, they do offer their venue for weddings, birtdays and corporate events. Entry tickets are not cheap as they go (we got ours as a gift from a friend !). But if you're looking for a a quick getaway, not far from London, this is authentic, unspoilt countryside for you!