Tuesday, 20 October 2009
The Honeymoon Song
Today – well, I write this six days later, but it was today when it happened – we visited Leeds Castle. Which, as I’m sure you all know, you get to by going to Leeds and then asking a taxi driver to take you to the castle.
It’s a lovely place. Of course, the main reason I wanted to visit was because, twenty-odd years ago, it was used as the location for the filming of a Doctor Who story. So I made my own little video documentary in the style of the DVD extras. Just messing about. I even sneaked onto the golf course in order to get a view of the tunnel K-9 used to get into the castle. It was important, okay?
But mainly the day was spent breathing in huge sleepy lungfuls of fresh air, and wandering the grounds, and making our way through the various rooms. You start your tour via the wine cellar – where Doctor Who had his swordfight with Count Grendel – then make your way upstairs, going through a mixture of chambers, some restored to their original 16th century look, others remaining as examples of roaring 1920s luxury. Very eclectic; a French fireplace here, a Chinese screen there. Henry VIII stayed there, as did Noel Coward. Doctor Who was filmed there one week after the building had been used for a peace conference between Egypt and Israel.
Having done the castle, we visited the world-famous Dog Collar Museum – featuring dog collars dating back to the middle-ages – before visiting the maze, which wasn’t too large or difficult so we managed to get to the middle before it stopped being fun. In the middle is a grotto, quite fun, though I’m not sure the Rime of the Ancient Mariner is about being struck in an underground grotto.