Leeds Castle is located in East Kent,
approximately six kilometres (four miles) to the south-east of Maidstone.
It can be reached via Junction 8 of the M20 motorway, or by train to
Bearsted station and then a spring/summer shuttle bus to the castle
grounds. The castle began as a Norman stronghold before becoming the
private property of six of England's medieval queens and a palace that
was used by Henry VIII and his first wife, Catherine of Aragon. In the
Jacobean period it became a country residence which, in the twentieth
century, was a retreat for the nation's rich and famous. Today it is
managed by the Leeds Castle Foundation, a private charity with the aim
of preserving the castle and its grounds in perpetuity for the benefit
of the public.