Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells Rainbows and Brownies learn new challenges at Leeds Castle

Pam Mills
AMAZING ADVENTURE: 1st Speldhurst Brownies try to find their way out of the maze

There were 41 units representing Tunbridge Wells and Tonbridge, along with many more from Malling.

The girls met King Henry VIII and were impressed by his clothes, the furniture around him and his sense of humour.

Ava, seven, from Loose Rainbows said: “I liked Henry VIII best, he was kind of fat and funny and had an amazing cloak.”

Over 800 new badges and activities have been created to equip the 400,000 members of Girlguiding with the skills and experiences they will need to ‘thrive, succeed, make change and be happy’ in the modern world.

The new programme has been developed around six themes: Skills for My Future, Have Adventures, Be Well, Know Myself, Express Myself and Take Action.

ROYAL APPOINTMENT: The girls meet King Henry VIII in his splendid surroundings

Mary Saunders, the County Commissioner who organised the visit, said: “We are really pleased to be able to offer this opportunity to our youngest members.

“Parts of the new programme are aligned with the aspects of the day at Leeds Castle, and it was fantastic seeing them explore new activities and overcome challenges throughout the day.”

One of the problem-solving challenges of the day was the castle’s maze.

Partly shaped like The Queen’s crown, it is made up of 2,400 mature yew trees.

Eight-year-old Erin from 1st Speldhurst Brownies said: “The maze was so cool, we didn’t get lost and easily found the middle!”

Helping each other out of the maze made up part of the ‘Know Myself’ theme, while for others it was about overcoming concerns about meeting the birds of prey on display.

Girlguiding Kent Weald County offers opportunities for girls aged five and above in the towns of Tonbridge, Tunbridge Wells, Maidstone and their surrounding villages.

For further information about Girlguiding and the new programme, visit the website at

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