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Leed's Castle
"The Loveliest Castle in the World"

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Leed's Castle is the very first castle I saw on my trip. It is quite lovely, but I don't know if I agree with it's slogan. It's fully a medieval manor. It has the lake, but no proper moat, no battlements, anything like that. So basically, it's just a giant house. I can't remember it's exact history, but it began as a manor for the Saxons way back when, then moved up through some Tudors, other rich owners, and ended with a Lady Baillie, who renovated it again in the 1800s, made it what you can see today, and then donated it because her descendents didn't have enough money to keep it.

The castle tour itself is okay, but you don't see very many rooms and you can't take any pictures. Turns out businesses and politicians can stay there and run meetings and conferences, so many rooms are private. The grounds are extensive. There are a few flower gardens, a hedge maze, a duck pond, a rare and wild bird exhibit/collection, nice yards, a mini-village and a pavillion where you can have lunch, a small, working white wine vineyard, and a cute man-made underground grotto. There are peacocks roaming all these parts, including an albino one, which you can see below.