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Two of Kent’s most famous landmarks, Hever Castle and Leeds Castle, are popular for more than just their rich history – they also provide a picturesque setting for two challenging golf courses.

When William Waldorf Astor acquired Hever Castle (below), near Edenbridge, in 1903 he gradually added to the estate, including creating a nine-hole golf course in the 1920s set around the castle lake.

Hever Castle

Then, between 1992 and 1998, another two more ‘nine-holers’ were added to form a 27-hole loop – the Kings, Queens, and Princes courses – which are spread over 250 acres and provide golfers with three different permutations from which to make up their round.

The Kings and Queens, when played together, form a 7,002-yards, par-72 championship course, which even the most accomplished player will find interesting. Tee times are available for visitors on the Kings and Queen courses after 10.30am Monday to Friday and after 11am at the weekends and on bank holidays. They can be booked a week in advance. Tee times are available throughout the day on the 2,784-yards, par-35 Princes course.

The nine-hole, 2,681-yards par-33 Pay and Play course at Leeds Castle (below), near Maidstone, was built on the 500-acre estate in 1924.

Leeds Castle

The course was redesigned by former Ryder Cup player Neil Coles in 1988 and nine years later further improvements resulted in the creation of a new 143-yard par-three hole on which the tee nestles alongside the Leeds Castle moat.

Another Kent course where history hangs heavily in the air is Eastwell Manor, near Ashford, where the origins of the Manor House date back to the Norman Conquest, with its carved panelled rooms and massive baronial stone fireplaces.

Along with its 23-bedroom hotel and spa, Eastwell Manor also boasts a nine-hole 2,132-yards, par-32 parkland golf course. Residents can play for £15 per round and the hotel is currently running a special offer for nonresidents of all-day golf and a full English breakfast for £20 Monday to Saturday. For more details, visit www.eastwellmanor.co.uk or to book a tee time, ring 01233 213100.

Kent Garden of England

Reproduced with kind permission of KOS Media Ltd and Visit Kent. For further information, go to www.kentnews.co.uk and www.visitkent.co.uk

 








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