Dazzling colours, seductive scents, superb seasonal shows - Kent's gardens are rightly world renowned. And with 180-plus to choose from, there's one to match your every mood and interest: grand and historic, exotic and informal, innovative vistas in the making like the World Garden of Plants at Lullingstone Castle. The famous World Garden is laid out in the shape of the map of the world and contains plants collected from across the globe.
This internationally renowned garden was developed by Vita Sackville-West and Sir Harold Nicolson around the surviving parts of an Elizabethan mansion. It comprises small enclosed compartments, with colour throughout the season, resulting in an intimate and romantic atmosphere.
This castle, now in the care of English Heritage, was built in 1540 as part of Henry VIII's chain of coastal defences. Centuries of domestic refinements have transformed it from a fortress to an elegant stately home with beautiful gardens. It is the official residence of the Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports. See the Duke of Wellington's rooms and also the reception rooms of HM Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother.
Visitors to Goodnestone are always surprised to discover such a haven of beautiful tranquillity hidden away in
south-east Kent. The gardens have many centuries of history behind them and have been created by generations of the FitzWalter family who have lived here since they built the house. The gardens have been brought to their present level of acclaimed quality during the last forty years.
The Secret Gardens of Sandwich lie in the heart of Sandwich. Encircled by the old stone city walls, the gardens are an oasis of serenity waiting to be explored. At their heart stands the Grade I listed manore house designed by famous English architect Sir Edwin Lutyens who also devised the 3.5 acres of ornamental gardens.
Charming Emmetts – an Edwardian estate owned by Frederick Lubbock – was a plantsman's passion and a much loved family home. Influenced by William Robinson, the delightful garden was laid out in the late 19th century and contains many exotic and rare trees and shrubs from across the world. Explore the rose and rock gardens, take in the spectacular views and enjoy glorious shows of spring flowers and shrubs, followed by vibrant autumn colours.
Leeds Castle, set on two islands on the River Len in the heart of Kent, has been home to royalty, lords and ladies for almost 900 years. Open all year round, its special blend of heritage and history, glorious gardens, attractions and programme of special events, make it the perfect choice for a day out.
Tom Hart Dyke, heir to the Castle, has recently built the famous 'World Garden' within the grounds of his family Castle. The famous World Garden is laid out in the shape of the map of the world and contains plants, planted in their respective areas of origin, collected from across the globe.
Be inspired to come and visit this thirteenth century romantic castle - once the childhood home of Anne Boleyn. Set in magnificent gardens from the majestic formal Italian Garden and topiary, to the informal meanderings of the lakeside and Sunday Walk. The Water Maze on Sixteen Acre Island and the Yew Maze challenges both adults and children alike!
Henry VIII owned Penshurst Place and used it as his hunting lodge whilst he was reputedly courting Anne Boleyn at Hever Castle. The Sidney family, owners of Penshurst Place since 1552, are related to Percy Bysshe Shelley the Romantic poet, and to the Churchill’s through the Spencer family. The gardens are one of the finest examples of Elizabethan design in the country.
Scotney Castle is a hidden gem, set in one of the most romantic gardens in England. The fairytale 14th-century moated ruined castle is surrounded by stunning gardens. Early in the year snowdrops appear, followed by banks of primroses, daffodils and drifts of bluebells. Scotney looks beautiful all year round, with magnificent rhododendrons, azaleas, kalmia and rambling roses in the summer.