Tag Archives: エルシー

Castles in Kent: Leeds Castle


今回の小旅行の最初の訪問地は、イングランドで最も美しい明媚なお城の一つで、「loveliest castle in the world(世界で最も美しいお城)」とも称されるLeeds Castle(リーズ城)。湖に浮かぶ2つの島にまたがるこのお城は紀元1119年に建立、多くの王室や貴族の住まいとして、また要塞、刑務所、病後療養所としても使用された。最後の私的所有者であったLady Baillieレディ・ベイリー)は、1926年にリーズ城を購入したのち、インテリアを全面的に改装し、優雅なお屋敷に生まれ変わらせた。

敷地内はお城や庭園の他、お城が一望できるレストランやカフェ、ショップ、世界中から集められた100種以上の鳥が見られる飼鳥園、洞窟のあるmaze(迷路庭園)、イギリス唯一の犬の首輪博物館、子供の遊び場、ワイン用ブドウ園、果てはゴルフコースまである。ただ、ゴルフコースがお城のすぐ横にあるのはいただけない。また湖上からお城を眺められるBlack Swan(黒鳥:このお城のシンボルでもある)フェリーボートや、入口からお城を結ぶElsie(エルシー)castle trainもあり、いようと思えば一日中いられるほど盛りだくさんなだけに入場料も高く、大人一人 £18.50なり。私たちはお城と庭園以外は興味がないけれど、手入れの行き届いたこの美しいお城は高額の入場料に値する。

Kent is a county situated in southeast of London. To reach the furthest towns such as Dover and Margate takes less than two hours from central London, and it is perfect place for a day excursion and a short trip for Londoners. There are also many European tourists coming through Channel Tunnel, and we saw many cars from Netherlands, Germany and Belgium around there. Not many from closest neighbor France – probably French would prefer lying down on the beach and getting tan to going around chilly and cloudy British isle.

The first stop for our trip this time is the Leeds Castle, setting on two islands and one of England’s most picturesque castles, often described as the ‘loveliest castle in the world.’ Dating back to 1119,  it has been home to royalty and nobles, as well as being used as a garrison, a prison, and a convalescent home. The last private owner of the castle was Lady Baillie, who purchased it in 1926 and refurbished its interior to transform the castle into an elegant country residence. She generously opened this gorgeous residence to the public in 1976.

Other than the magnificent castle and beautiful garden, the castle grounds have many other attractions, though some of which are not of our interests: a restaurant, kiosks and souvenir shops; an aviary housing over 100 species of birds from all over the world; a maze with a grotto; UK’s only museum of dog collars; kids’ playgrounds; its own vineyard; and even a golf course, though it is ugly to see it right next to the castle. There are also the Black Swan (a symbol of this castle) ferry boat and the ‘Elsie’ castle train that connects the main entrance and the castle, for alternative ways to explore the estate. All these attractions don’t come cheap – £18.50@adult. We are only interested in the castle and garden,but it is worth to pay up the high price to see this beautiful castle and its estate well taken care of.