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Hever or Leeds Castle?

Melbourne, Australia
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Hever or Leeds Castle?

Hi All,

I have limited time in Kent and may only have the chance to visit either Leeds Castle or Hever Castle.

I have previously visited Hampton Court, Windsor, Warwick & a number of castles in Scotland.

Based on this - which of the two would you recommend if you had to make the decision of only visiting one?

Cheers,

Katt

England, United...
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1. Re: Hever or Leeds Castle?

They are both 'residential' castles (as opposed to fortresses) and are both very pretty with interesting histories and lovely grounds. It is therefore hard to call between the two. If pushed, I would probably plump for Hever because I particularly like the grounds and lake.

If you want something different, then Dover is very could as it includes war time tunnels (Deal and Walmer are also close by).

kent
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for Kent, Solo Travel
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2. Re: Hever or Leeds Castle?

Leeds Castle is called the lovliest castle in England, and for good reason. However, although the setting on a small moated island is stunning, as are the gardens and parkland, I don't think the interior is as good as Hever, which is smaller and not quite as ancient as Leeds.

Both venues have an events programme, although scaled back in the winter months. For details of parking/prices/opening times and events, you can visit their respective websites.

Hever, is at www.hevercastle.co.uk

Leeds is at www.leeds-castle.com

Tenterden, United...
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3. Re: Hever or Leeds Castle?

You do not say what time of year you will be here and the weather may be a factor.

Fine weather - Hever, although the house is smaller than Leeds it is pretty with some lovely gardens.

Not so good weather - Leeds as it is easier to spend more time indoors if necessary and if the weather clears whilst there then there are extensive grounds to see.

As already said both are really houses rather than the traditional castle. Dover was mentioned which is actually a castle and looks like one.

castlexplorer.co.uk/england/dover/dover.php

U.S. expats
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for Windsor, London, Dry Tortugas National Park
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4. Re: Hever or Leeds Castle?

If you are planning on going in the near future, I would say...neither.

In the winter months, Leeds opens at 10:30 and the last entry is at 3:00. I thought it was pretty, and also pretty small. The highlight was the beautiful grounds. Likewise Hever, which is a fairly small place to see, but with impressive grounds.

If it is a Castle you want to see, and not grounds, I'd say Dover is a good bet.

I was going to recommend Winston Churchill's home in Kent--Chartwell, but it is closed for winter months.

Perhaps Ightham Mote would do for you--it is only open Thursday through Sunday in the winter, and again, short hours; 11-3.

nationaltrust.org.uk/main/w-vh/w-visits/w-fi…

England, United...
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5. Re: Hever or Leeds Castle?

Dover Castle is great but it is closed during the winter except for limited opening hours at weekends.

Leeds Castle is better IMO than Hever in the winter, but it's a close call between the two as others have said.

Stanley, Falkland...
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6. Re: Hever or Leeds Castle?

What type of experience do you want? Given your numerous visits to castles, what is it that attracts you, and do either of these places have interest for you?

Out of all the castles you've visited, which did you prefer and why?

Only you know what you like....

Melbourne, Australia
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7. Re: Hever or Leeds Castle?

Hi Peterscot,

My favourite castle is the Palace of Holyrood House which I have visited several times. My primary interest is history and gaining an insight into the way people used to live in the past.

Cheers,

Katt

Kent
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328 posts
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8. Re: Hever or Leeds Castle?

I would definatley go for Dover then I think.

Sydney, Australia
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for Train Travel
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9. Re: Hever or Leeds Castle?

You perhaps need to bear in mind that neither Hever nor Leeds is authentically old: the interior of both has been reconstructed within the last century.

In that general area, I would go to Bodiam for a castle or Sissinghurst for a garden.

East Sussex, United...
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for West Sussex, East Sussex
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10. Re: Hever or Leeds Castle?

Neither ! Another vote for Bodiam, which looks and feels like a real castle, more than any other i've been to :

nationaltrust.org.uk/main/w-vh/w-visits/w-fi…

Mike