Baby Friendly Days Out – Leeds Castle

Welcome to my new little project – baby friendly days out.

I figured I like days out, and my days out now need to be baby friendly, so let’s blog about them!

I’m proud to say that my first baby friendly day out review is of one of my absolute favourite places in Kent – Leeds Castle.

I’ve been to Leeds Castle numerous times but last week was the first time with Noah in tow.

It was a gorgeous day so we jumped in the car, grabbed some picnic food from M&S and headed towards Leeds village in Maidstone!


Where? Leeds Castle is just off the M20, 5 miles south east of Maidstone

What can I do there? The name kind of gives it away – there is a STUNNING castle to look round and soak up some history. But last week we didn’t actually set foot in the castle as the grounds were enough of a day out for us with a baby.

Because there is 500 acres of parkland it’s impossible to feel crowded there.

Since becoming a mum and having a pram I literally HATE feeling squished in anywhere, it makes me feel a bit panicky.  Which is why Leeds Castle is so lovely. You can walk around for hours without feeling like you and your wheels are getting in anyone else’s way!

We went on a weekday morning and there were loads of mums and dads with prams and pushchairs, so we were in very good company!

We set up a picnic spot under a tree with the castle in view just in front of us.  What a view.

Noah loved just taking it all in – gazing at the trees and ducks and geese!

After that we had a wander to the café area to get an ice cream and then walked down through the gardens and towards the maze.

For older children there are regular events like falconry displays.  There are also segway tours or you can visit the Go Ape Tree Top Adventure.


Are there baby changing facilities? Yes there are.  But I actually changed Noah’s bum al fresco!

How about baby feeding? Again, because it was such a lovely day I fed Noah outside while we had a picnic.  But there is a very comfy restaurant area that would be suitable.  You can also grab a coffee in the courtyard and there are various kiosks to get food for older children so it’s all very family friendly.

Easy to park with pram? Yep – Leeds Castle has tonnes of parking and it’s only a short walk to the main entrance.

How much? An adult ticket is £21.60 but it gets you in for a whole year which is a great excuse to go back. And again!  Under 4’s go free.


Click here for more information


Our day out in pictures …


Leeds Castle





















Diary of a tired mummy …

7pm – Start feeding baby in the dark.  Thank God for smartphones.  What did people do during darkened feeds back in the days of the Nokias? Snakes?

7.30pm – Pray to myself that baby continues his amazing run of only one night wake up as per the previous week.  Chastise self for praying about such things when God has a lot more to worry about. But then pray a little bit again, just to be safe.

7.45pm – Do the ‘put sleeping baby down without waking him dance’ and inwardly scoff at the health visitors and ‘sleep experts’ who say babies should always go down ‘drowsy but awake’.  Yeah right.

7.50pm – Confident that baby is snoring soundly in his £100 pod (an emergency insomnia purchase a few weeks back) so start the tip-toe-for-gods-sake-avoid-the-creaky-floorboard-routine to escape the darkened room.

7.55pm – Congratulate self on successful ninja like escape moves.

8pm – Share sense of achievement with other half who rewards me with a fun size Dairy Milk and the suggestion of an episode of ‘Me and My Guide Dog’ on ITV.

8.05pm – Spend five minutes procrastinating over the pros and cons of watching the Guide Dog programme, last week it made us both cry.  A bit like the donkey adverts.

8.10pm – Realise during my escape from the bedroom routine, I forgot a VITAL component of baby’s sleep routine – the ongoing hoover soundtrack.  Quickly rectify situation by turning on the bedroom’s sound system via smartphone.  Really, how DID people cope before them?

9pm – Both discuss the idea of going to bed ourselves after an emotionally harrowing episode about the lovely guide dogs.

9.15pm – Still no movement from sofa as important discussion about our own dog and her painful leg underway.

9.20pm – Get emotional about dogs in general.

9.30pm – Decide we really MUST go to bed, especially as other half is up for work at 4am.

9.30pm – 10pm – Half an hour spent faffing/taking said dog for wee/getting emergency drinks and snack for the nightshift.

10.05pm – Finally in bed. A whispered ‘chat’ about how other half needs to get better at being quiet ensues.

10.10pm – Get back up to check on baby next to the bed who sounds like he’s developing a cough.  Noooo.

10.15 – Other half asleep.  Me wide awake thinking about guide dogs / my dog / my baby / has my baby got a cough / is it too early to crack open the nightshift snack?

10.20pm – Yes baby’s cough confirmed when it wakes him up.  Boobs out, emergency feed to sleep.  Sod off ‘drowsy but awake’ boll*ks.

10.45pm – Re-run the whole routine of 7.45pm.

1.30am – Realise baby must have gone back down ok, and I must have had sleep of some sort as I am now being woken again by a spluttering, unhappy baby.

1.30am – 4am – 2 and half hours, yes 2 and a whole half hours spent feeding/burping/ssshing/frantically looking for the Snufflebabe stuff in the dark/trying to put cranky baby back in cot.

4.05am – re-woken by other half’s work alarm assaulting my senses.  F*ck off I’ve only just gone to sleep!

5.30am – Hi baby, it’s you again and this time he thinks it’s play time. IT’S NOT BLOODY PLAY TIME!

5.30am – 8am – Another 2 and a half hour block of time spent trying to convince hyperactive baby going back to sleep is a REALLY GOOD IDEA.

8.15am – Realise I’ve lost the battle and get up to face the day.  Feel like I’ve been run over.  Look like I’ve been run over.

10.30am – Write blog about the above.  It’s my therapy.  Baby asleep in pram.  Go to make a coffee with actual caffeine despite not having had caffeine for 18 whole months.

10.35am – Already praying about tonight’s sleep.  Please ….


As always if you enjoyed/empathised with this blog – hit the share button. Love ya, thanks xx


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Licence: This image is licensed for (i) company internal use by the original client; (ii)  PR use by editorial third parties, when used in conjunction with the original press release; and (iii) marketing use in multiple media by the original client - all for a period of two years starting on 22Apr13. Contact photographer in advance to agree a fee for other uses.
(C) Nick McGowan-Lowe 2013. Unit 114 Stirling Enterprise Park, John Player Building, Stirling, Scotland, FK7 7RP. T: 01786 474448; F: 01786 474285; M: 07774 438935; VAT: 724 1334 66. E: W:
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