By night, Leeds Castle feels a very different place, says curator Tori Reeve.
“You get much more of a sense of the entertaining palace that it was – and of what it was like to live there and be rich!” she says.
If that sounds like fun, be among those at the castle’s Museums at Night event this Friday, May 16. You can also get a sneak preview of its new Gatehouse Exhibition, as well as an in-depth look at some of the castle’s finest treasures.
Among them is missal box said to have belonged to Anne Boleyn, a medieval crusader’s sword from Alexandria and a buff leather jacket worn at the Battle of Maidstone in 1648. Tori will be leading the tour along with expert costume conservator, Zenzie Tinker, who will be talking about her work on a sequinned silk evening dress worn by Lady Baillie.
“The Gatehouse Exhibition gives people access to rooms which haven’t been open to the public for some years, and the crusader sword, for example, has been on loan to the Royal Armouries in Leeds for more than 10 years,” said Tori.
“Museums at Night visitors will be the first people to see it.”
The highlight of the evening will be a big-screen showcase of a computer-generated fly-through history of the castle from its 12th-century origins as a stone fortress on the River Len to its modern-day splendour.
The event will take place on Friday, May 16, from 6.30pm to 8.30pm. Tickets cost £7, including a glass of wine for adults. Call 01622 765400.
World renowned photographer Spencer Tunick will be exhibiting at Georges House in Folkestone
Adults only are invited to welcome a New York artist who will be presenting his latest work featuring naked locals.
Spencer Tunick has famously photographed huge groups of nudes in Ohio and Mexico City among other venues, and more recently has been busy photographing nudes on Folkestone seafront for this latest piece which he will unveil for Museums at Night.
As What’s On went to press the artist’s plan was for brave participants of all shapes, ages and sizes to stand in line clothed and, at their turn, disrobe for up to two minutes to be snapped for this unique portrait series.
The results will be seen when Spencer hosts his Scope Out exhibition at Georges House Gallery in Folkestone, the headquarters of arts group Strange Cargo, on Saturday, May 17 from 7.30pm to midnight.
Entry is free. Call 01303 244533.
Sleep under the watchful eye of one of the 500 African animals during the Powell-Cotton Museum's sleepover. Picture: Paul Dennis
One venue is taking the night-time concept to extremes and inviting you to pack your pyjamas for an all-night sleepover.
The Powell-Cotton Museum at Quex Park, Birchington, is hosting the Animal Sleepover for Families, when ticketholders will explore the museum gardens at dusk, listen to the evening chorus and look out for creatures who emerge at twilight.
Inside the museum will be movement, memory and alphabet games as well as a storytelling session, before guests settle down to sleep under the watchful gaze of 500 African mammals.
Tickets for the overnight event from 8pm on Saturday, May 17, to 9am on Sunday, May 18, cost £25 for adults, £30 for children and £120 for families. Call 01843 842168.