The Chelsea Fringe Floral Frame at Leeds CastleIt's taken over a decade for me to visit Leeds Castle after last wandering through the Kent-based historic site as a child. One thing is for certain, it's been worth the wait!  I have most probably spent more time out in nature surrounded by flowers than in any other environment, and so when I say that the grounds and gardens of Leeds Castle are spectacular, I really mean it.  Pinafore dress buttoned up, sun lotion slathered on and sunglasses forgotten (oops), it was time to explore 1000 years of history...
Places to visit in Kent during the summer

Leeds Castle in Kent
Standing outside Leeds Castle in Kent
The journey from the car park to the castle itself takes approximately 10-15 minutes to complete, and it's one packed full with plants and wildlife - including adorable Black Swan cygnets!  I found myself continuously struggling to balance living in the moment and capturing the mass of beauty surrounding me.  Perfectly placed benches, numerous scenes of still waters and a surprising absence of creepy-crawlies beneath the trees, all made the the gentle stroll to the castle rather idyllic.
Travel blogger explores English Castle
Artwork at Leeds Castle 2016
Vintage Louis Vuitton Trunk found at Leeds Castle
Courtyard architecture at leeds castle
Hooray for historic buildings that permit photography within!  Needless to say, I've shared only my favourite snippets from the visit, such as the personalised vintage Louis Vuitton trunk shown above and the impressive yet tranquil courtyard found at the heart of Leeds Castle.  I'll admit, some spaces were less appealing and perhaps a little too modern after so many refurbishments and inclusions over the years, however that changed entirely once the bedrooms were revealed.  Colourful walls and intricate ceilings adorned most rooms - so tempting to curl up in one of the four-poster beds and refuse to leave!
Extensive book collection at Leeds Castle
Walking through the gardens of Leeds Castle at summer
Swan Cygnets pecking the ground
Gardens and Wildlife at Leeds Castle summertime
If visitors ever manage to tear themselves away from the castle, a courtyard of cafés is just around the corner ready to serve refreshments.  As much as I loved the idea of sitting outdoors and no matter how gorgeous the blazing sun was, the on-site indoors Costa was calling my name.  It provided the perfect opportunity to sit and chat while watching the floods of visitors pour in and out of the cafés - don't let my snapshots fool you, it was very busy as you got nearer to the castle! One enormous brownie later and it was time to check out the scheduled 2pm falconry show as suggested by the ticket office. Let's go!
Dreamy English grounds during the summertime
Blogger walking through the gardens of Leeds Castle
Aerial view of maze at leeds castle
A-maze-ing!
The 30-minute show attracted a huge crowd and I'm not at all surprised why - the birds were incredible in flight, and even more incredible when they disobeyed instructions!  Afterwards, you could admire them up close at the Birds of Prey Centre behind the maze, including a Russian Steppe Eagle (largest of the bunch) and other Hawks, Falcon and Owls. Up close, you could really see the striking colours of their eyes, though sadly I couldn't get close enough to capture this - note to self, invest in better camera lenses...        
Birds of Prey in flight in falconry show
Picturesque British garden scene at Leeds Castle
Oasis Brooklyn Dungaree Dress Denim BloggerI was super relieved to have worn short-sleeves to the castle, as the temperature was the highest it's been in weeks!  This Dungaree Dress by Oasis has actually been hanging in my wardobe for a couple of weeks now, however its status has changed from 'unworn' to 'worn and loved' after finally finding the perfect white body to wear underneath!  There's nothing worse than a t-shirt rolling up underneath a dress, and so in that respect this Miss Selfridge basic has been a total life dress-saver.




Shoes - Kurt Geiger Carvela Shadow Sandals

Bag - Chloé Medium Elsie

Chelsea Fringe frames at Leeds Castle 2016
Fashion and lifestyle blogger at English castle
Photo of golf course overlooking Leeds CastleAs you'll have guessed by now, I had a really lovely time at Leeds Castle.  It's the perfect place to spend a warm summer's day - ice-cream in hand, good company by your side and a ton of nature and history within arm's reach!

Leeds Castle
Maidstone
Kent
ME17 1PL

With love,

Gabrielle x