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Castles in Kent

Having served on the front line, discover the spectacular castles in Kent

Crowning the white cliffs high above the port, the mighty Dover Castle was started by Henry II in the 1160s. A visionary restoration has brought those days vividly to life in the Great Tower, where technicolor furnishings sit beside brightly-painted wood. Deep underground the Secret Wartime Tunnels reveal stories of conflict that range from the Napoleonic era, via Dunkirk to the Cold War.

Exquisite Leeds Castle simply should not be missed. Romantic, lake-ringed and packed with heritage, its ornate interior is unforgettable, making it one of the iconic castles in Kent.  Outside, 500 acres of parkland houses a hedge maze, holiday cottages and the high-wire thrills of Go Ape.

The 113ft Norman keep of Rochester Castle is one of the tallest in England, while the castle is also among the country's best-preserved. The many stories to be discovered at 13th century Hever Castle include the romance between one-time resident Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII. At Tonbridge Castle explore one of England's finest examples of a mote and bailey fortifications; there are 14 acres of grounds to roam around too.

Walmer Castle was built by Henry VIII to bolster defences against the French, before being turned into the elegant home of the Duke of Wellington, Warden of the Cinque Ports. Prowl battlements and storerooms at beautifully preserved Deal Castle, another Henry VIII fortification. While fairy-tale, river-side Upnor Castle is a real rarity: an Elizabethan artillery fort, designed to protect the Queen's fleet at nearby Chatham Docks.

The list of enthralling castles in Kent stretches far and wide revealing unique history and heritage in some of the most beautiful parts of the county.