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The beautiful English castle that’s 240 miles from where its name suggests | UK | News UK News

It’s a lesson learned the hard way – before you make any presumptions about where you’re heading: check, check and check again.

But with this particular example, for the people who do end up in the wrong place, it’s a very easy mistake that can be forgiven.

Leeds Castle is a magnificent landmark that attracts more than half a million visitors each and every year.

Some of those would-be tourists have been in for a rather surprising shock when they turn up in the northern city of Leeds – rather than the village of Leeds, near Maidstone in Kent.

So frequent are the mix ups that the glorious historic venue decided to prank the UK on April Fool’s Day 2021 to say that it was having a rebrand to be called Kent Castle.

Its website said: “The joke ‘rebrand’ was a move to end confusion over its location being in Kent and not Leeds in Yorkshire.

“Although the change of name was a hoax, it is true that our staff regularly encounter misunderstandings with people wishing to visit, believing it to be some 240 miles away in the north of England.

“Visitors really have phoned Leeds Castle from Yorkshire asking for directions, wedding guests have missed the big day by going to the wrong venue and holiday-makers have booked overnight accommodation in the city of Leeds hoping to visit the castle the next day!”

The grand landmark is built on islands in a lake formed by the River Len to the east of the village of Leeds and it is a Grade I listed estate.

In the 13th century it came into the hands of King Edward I – for who it became a favourite residence – and in the 16th century Henry VIII used it as a dwelling for his first wife Catherine of Aragon.

The present castle dates mostly from the early 19th century.

Its last private owner left the castle in trust to open it to the public and it has been open since 1976.

The naming of the castle is believed to be due to its humble beginnings. From 857 the site was owned by a Saxon chief called Led or Leed who built a wooden structure on two islands in the middle of the River Len.

And visitors who don’t get mixed up about its location do tend to enjoy themselves, with the attraction being rated highly on Tripadvisor.

One user said: “Something for everyone. Feed the ducks, walk around wonderful varied grounds, understand the history of this beautiful castle.

“Go on a train ride, see falcons, find your way out of a maze, play golf with the children and oh such more.

“And if that was not enough come back again and again with your annual ticket. What more could you ask for?”

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This notice was published: 2023-11-06 09:01:00

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