Spent one night at the Stable Courtyard B&B in Leeds Castle. Very easy to find the back entrance where you enter and park right next to Reception. I arrived about 10:30am and even though I couldn't check into my room until 2pm, I could leave my car there and go explore the castle and grounds. Likewise the next morning after I checked out I was welcome to leave my car there and continue to enjoy the area until they closed if I so desired. Really makes you feel special. And everyone that I dealt with was very nice and helpful. Room was a short distance from the parking lot and is an average hotel room, but it had a fabulous view of the Great Water. I believe it was #11, upstairs on the end. I had made the reservation at the last minute and couldn't believe how lucky I was to get this room.
The only problem was it was the first nice weather day of the half term so the place was full of screaming kids and strollers. It was more like Disneyland. Unbelievably mobbed. They have a big play area there called the Knight's Realm and a Maze and Grotto nearby, so if you have children it must be a wonderful place to visit. What really surprised me though, was that many children brought their scooters or bikes or skateboards and were zooming around. I'm surprised the castle allows this. Seems a little dangerous. Where my room was it was necessary to go through a narrow walkway in the middle of the stable building. Unfortunately this was also the path to the Knight's Realm play area, so by 2pm I had to get in a line and wait in order to go through. Like I said, shades of Disneyland. Amazingly however, I couldn't hear the screaming in my room, so they are evidently well-insulated, or I am more deaf than I realize.
The castle itself is very interesting to go through. The grounds are beautiful and the moat and lake full of ducks, geese and swans. The black swan is the symbol of Leeds Castle. I also recommend punting on the moat as it is so quiet and calm out there. But then I was the only one interested, so had the punt all to myself, with the exception of the punter, that is. Might be a different experience with a full punt.
By the time the last customers left it was almost dark, so didn't do much exploring that evening. But I was up early to enjoy the place before the next onslaught. Surprisingly I was the only one out there. Probably because it had turned very cold the night before and there was frost on everything. But it was so pretty. I imagine the best time to do this would be May or September when you have more light at either end of the day to enjoy the specialness of having it all to yourself, and the other few guests, of course.
The price was very reasonable: £90. I paid a little more than that for a bare bones Holiday Express room that was definitely not surrounded by a castle and lovely grounds. So I highly recommend staying at Leeds Castle. And there are other accommodations there besides the stable rooms. Something to look into.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Set in the grounds of the spectacular Leeds Castle in Kent, Guests receive a free entry to the Castle and Grounds as part of their stay, and have access around the estate in the evening. Guests at the Stable Courtyard have 900 years of history and 500 acres of beautiful parkland on their doorstep. Bright, traditional bedrooms each have Freeview TV, free Wi-Fi, and a full private bathroom.Tea making facilites are also offered . All rooms have views of either the lake, the gardens or parkland estate.Some rooms overlook the Stable Courtyard area. Guests can enjoy a full English breakfast in the oak-beamed 17th Century Fairfax Hall Restaurant, which serves a menu using fresh local produce. Picturesque gardens with peacocks wandering through the grounds, rare bird displays and relaxing country walks are all available to Stable Courtyard’s guests. The M20 motorway is just a 5-minute drive away, while central London can be reached after a further hour by car. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Leeds Castle Stable Courtyard Bed & Breakfast Maidstone, Kent