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Here is what the I'm A Celeb contestants could do if they were stuck in one of Kent's castles for series 19

People across Kent are watching 12 celebrities compete in I'm a Celebrity's 19th series.

But rather than sun bathing in the deep dark jungle of Australia, this year's stars are surviving in a medieval castle.

Rochester castle is the perfect run down fort for I'm A Celebrity
Rochester castle is the perfect run down fort for I'm A Celebrity

Gwrych Castle in Wales will be the home to Shane Richie, Vernon Kay and Sir Mo Farah for the next few weeks.

Gwrych is a stunning fortress with 250 acres of gardens and grounds on top of a woodland hilltop - with views of a deer park and the Irish Sea.

It was the first attempt at replicating true medieval architecture in Europe in the 17th century.

Here in Kent, we have a castle or two that Victoria Derbyshire would be lucky to spend three weeks in and others that would make Jordan North even more nervous.

This is what the producers could have had if they'd chosen Kent over the Welsh...

The base floor of Rochester Castle, Picture: Pam Penfold
The base floor of Rochester Castle, Picture: Pam Penfold

Rochester Castle

This Medway fortress was built in the 1080s by Gundulf, Bishop of Rochester, and has fallen victim to many wars and sieges over the centuries - leaving great gaps in the castle walls.

Like some other strongholds in Kent, it was built to protect the valuable waterway of the river Medway but has since become a tourist attraction.

It's open-aired, run-down aesthetic and proximity to the river would make it the perfect camp site for this series of celebs - if a little cramped.

Scaling the fortress wall, water sports in the River Medway and open space for a few maggot themed trials would make it perfect the perfect spot.

The closeness to the High Street will be great for local businesses - but maybe not for the production team.

Chiddingstone Castle, near Tonbridge
Chiddingstone Castle, near Tonbridge

Chiddingstone Castle

This castle in Tonbridge and Malling has 35 acres of beautiful grounds around a building with Tudor and Victorian influence in its design, before being remodelled in the 19th century.

Though this estate would have been far too comfortable for the contestants, it has one thing many castles lack - an extensive collection of Japanese, Egyptian, Buddhist and Jacobite art and artefacts collected by the previous owner, Denys Eyre Bower.

The collection includes Ancient Egyptian 5,000 year old funerary boat, Japanese swords and high quality Royal Stuart and Jacobite portraits.

This could be inspiration for a twist on everyone's favourite trial.

Egyptian lamb brains called mokh or Tudor royal roast peacock with the feathers, limbs and head still attached, with a few fish eyes for good measure, would keep with the castle traddions and make good telly...

Leeds Castle. Picture: Visit Kent
Leeds Castle. Picture: Visit Kent

Leeds Castle

The first stone castle was built on the grounds in 1119 as a Norman stronghold. Since then, it became the home to six medieval queens, Henry VIII and his first wife, Catherine of Aragon.

For centuries, it has been a holidaying and festival spot for famous and noble visitors, even hosting the The Field of Cloth of Gold tournament with an array of Tudor games.

While the living arrangements would only be fit for Sir Mo Farah and Hollie Arnold MBE, the surrounding grounds would inspire plenty of nerve wracking trials.

Shane Richie guiding Victoria Derbyshire blind folded around the maze while being attacked by critters is something we'd all love to see.

And snakes hidden away in the grotto as the only way out would proudce a squeal or two.

Scotney Castle
Scotney Castle

Scotney Castle

This 14th century castle and Victorian mansion in Tunbridge Wells is home to a sprawling estate and stunning gardens.

It is also surrounded by a functional moat. So while contestants can enjoy the stunning view and classy living quarters, there's ample opportunity for celebs to face trials that will leave them soaked.

Kayaking, swimming and bridge building have all feagtured on series gone by and the moat would provide ample opportunity.

Walmer Castle Picture: Elaine Bryan
Walmer Castle Picture: Elaine Bryan

Walmer Castle

This Tudor artillery fortress was built under King Henry VIII to defend from a French and Spanish alliance raiding across the Deal coastline.

However, as medieval disputes died down, the castle and its illustrious gardens became the perfect weekend away for lords and ladies alike.

But don't let it's classy appearance fool you - the castle is actually much more rugged than you would think. Gun ports and canons once adorned the perimeter of these grounds to protect from any oncoming intruders.

This itself could be excellent inspiration for a spry trial taker; whether that's dodging (soft) canon balls fired by Ant and Dec atop the castle walls or musket wack-a-mole with pop-up soldiers storming the fort from across the channel.

Moss on the wall of Dover Castle
Moss on the wall of Dover Castle

Dover Castle

Built in 1180, this medieval fort has acted as both a grand home for Henry II and a stronghold for the anti-royal side of the Second Baron's War where they had to raid local shipments of food to stay alive.

The castles vibrant history also extends to the 20th century, where it was used as a fort in both world wars with air raid shelters on the grounds spanning three miles.

Abseiling down the White Cliffs might be too dangerous but there are plenty of other opportunities for vomit inducing trials, with the dark medieval tunnels and bunkers that could hide a creepy crawly or two.

Overlooking the English Channel, a water sport or two would be easy to arrange.

Hever Castle - the childhood home of Anne Boleyn
Hever Castle - the childhood home of Anne Boleyn

Hever Castle

This Edenbridge castle takes all the best bits of the castles above and combines them - it's classy, has a lake, gardens and a vibrant history.

Originally built in 1270 as medieval defensive castle, it was the childhood home of Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII’s second wife, and her powerful family between the 1500s and 1600s. However, it was passed to King Henry's fourth wife, Anne of Cleves, in 1557.

Much like Leeds Castle, Hever has a history of medieval tournaments and mazes for visitors to navigate - including maze path surrounded by water, which could make for entertaining TV.

And with a spectacular lake on the grounds, the lovely still waters would be a relaxing Friday night watch with a nice warm cuppa as contestants fall into them during a boating or zip-line trial.


While the tunnels in Dover and the bare walls of Rochester together would have made a perfect fit, the castles in Kent are a little to lavish for the celebrities.

Letting them sleep in the former bedrooms of King Henry VIII and wander the gardens of Walmer Caslte is hardly a challenge.

Maybe we're better off pitching for Bake Off...

Read more: All the latest news from Kent

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