Monday, January 21, 2008

Leeds Castle

Having a hard time trying to think of a catchy title for this post. Gave up after awhile. We spent the better half of Saturday's afternoon there with Des and HP. I totally agree with Des when he exclaimed that the landscape surrounding the area fits our impression of an English genteel countryside; having a castle smacked in the middle completes the picture.

The reason why Leeds Castle is still standing today and not burnt to the ground in English Civil War is because its owners, the Culpeper family sided with the Parliamentarians. Thank god they did, for we wouldn't know what we would have missed out otherwise.

Leeds Castle is surrounding by a small lake. I wouldn't call it a moat as its far too wide and beautiful, not something that you'll picture with man eating crocodiles, rotting bodies and overgrown mangrove, if you know what I mean. Geese dotted the waters and the bank. The black geese with their red tip beaks provides the contrast when waddling next to the more regal looking white swans.

Frankly speaking, the interior of the castle is nothing to shout about. The attraction is obviously the surround 'town', which once housed thousands of people. Presently, there's a vineyard, a handful of museums, cafe and restaurant, some kids' maze and playground. The only thing missing, which I kept going on about in our tiny band was a rowing boat.

Saw this shed for baby prams. Thought that it looked like a stable for horses. Couldn't shake off that image and couldn't resist snapping a picture.

Now for the huge anticlimax. The transport link from London to Leeds Castle is truely lacking. There's only one bus daily to and fro the Castle. You can forget about going to the Castle or look forward to spending the night with the geese if you miss the bus (depending on which one). With 9am (to) and 3pm (return) buses, one can only spend 4.5hrs in the castle grounds. Believe me, you'll find yourself hardpressed for time.

There must be some bad karma between us and National Express. Like our previous trip to Bath, we encountered an accident (not us) along the highway. When the bus finally trottled into Leeds Castle, it was already 12pm. Needless to say, we didn't managed to cover the grounds.

I must return the see the vineyard and hopefully there's a rowboat by then.

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