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Celebrate Food, Florals, Fashion & Fine Art at Leeds Castle’s Festival of Craft & Design

Leeds Castle, a leading heritage and visitor attraction in England, is staging a sensational celebration of the world of craft and design throughout September.

The event promises an enchanting display of creativity, food, art and florals, with new events and experiences for 2023.

Created to appeal to visitors of all ages and interests, the Festival of Craft & Design features everything from an outdoor animal-themed sculpture trail through the over 500-acre estate and a new giant floral jungle exhibition in the Castle’s Tudor Courtyard, to behind-the-scenes tours, fabulous fashion and costume displays, sustainable art workshops and celebrity design guest experts.

A selection of Kent and wider UK’s artisan woodcrafters to textile artists and homeware designers to food and drink producers are also being showcased as part of the new Artisan & Food Fair (8th – 10th September) on the Castle’s Cedar Lawn.

Over the weekend, visitors will have the opportunity to sample delightful treats and shop from 80 artisan makers, street food sellers, all whilst enjoying a range of workshops lead by practising artists as they tap their toes to live music.

The festival will feature interactive and family-friendly workshops and demonstrations from local and celebrity design experts, where visitors can learn new skills and techniques, ensuring that everyone leaves with a greater appreciation for the process behind these incredible creations.

Contemporary design experts taking part in the event include celebrity florist Simon Lycett, textile conservator Zenzie Tinker, who helped restore Lady Baillie’s glamorous 1930s interiors, set designer Simon Costin, who has worked with Alexander McQueen, Yves Saint Laurent, and Givenchy, and jewellery and garden designer Lucy Hutchings among others.

The Festival of Craft & Design is inspired by Leeds Castle’s fascinating last owner Lady Olive Baillie, who purchased the Castle in 1926, rescuing it from ruin and transforming it into one of the most desirable country houses of the 20th century.

As an Anglo-American heiress who was educated in Paris, Lady Baillie developed a sophisticated design aesthetic and commissioned two of the greatest figures in art deco design Armand-Albert Rateau and Stéphane Boudin, who went on to decorate the White House for Jackie Kennedy, to entirely re-design the Castle’s interior.

Whether you’re a history buff, an art enthusiast, or simply looking for a great day out with family and friends, the Festival of Craft & Design at Leeds Castle is not to be missed. With many exciting activities, experiences and events to look forward to, there’s something for everyone to enjoy and explore at this truly unique destination.

Leeds Castle is designed to entertain and amaze, and offers visitors many thrilling attractions, to enjoy including the glamorous 1930s Castle, cinematic Queens with Means experience, challenging Maze and underground mythical Grotto, magnificent Birds of Prey Centre, the new Beach, three playgrounds and much more.

To enhance their experience further, visitors can also explore the glorious grounds and gardens known for their breath-taking design, florals and landscapes – the perfect backdrop for a day of exploration and inspiration.

  • The Festival of Craft & Design runs throughout September. The Artisan & Food Fair is on 8th-10th September. Both events are included as part of the admission ticket. For more information and to book go to www.leeds-castle.com. Online prices, which include unlimited visits for a year, from £30 for adults and £22.50 for children.
  • Leeds Castle is located near Maidstone in Kent just off Junction 8 of the M20, and only a one hour drive from London. Grounds open at 10am daily and the castle is open from 10:30am. Last admission is 4:30pm and gates close at 6pm (April to September).

About Leeds Castle, Kent

 Leeds Castle is considered a national treasure, providing a window into more than nine hundred years of British history. It is a haven of tranquillity and offers a wealth of discovery and enjoyment for all ages.

Situated five miles southeast of Maidstone in Kent, Leeds Castle’s rich and riveting history, including serving six of England’s medieval queens to its elaborate transformation into a glamorous 1930s country house retreat for the influential and famous by Anglo-American heiress, Lady Olive Baillie, secures its place as one of the most visited historic attractions in Britain.

The Castle and its estate are preserved and maintained by the Leeds Castle Foundation, a not-for-profit charity.

For more visitor information, please visit www.leeds-castle.com

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