Historic Houses and Glorious Gardens
Historic manors and world-famous gardens nestle enticingly amid the splendour of the Kent countryside.
Godinton House & Gardens, near Ashford, is one of Kent's finest hidden gems, with wood panelled interiors, evocative oil paintings and fine porcelain and antiques. Formal topiary, yew hedges and immaculate lawns frame walled, Italian and Rose Gardens, clouds of delphiniums and irises stretch all around. greenhouses full of fruit.
16th century Smallhythe Place, near Tenterden was home to the acclaimed Shakespearian actress Ellen Terry in the early 1900s, and her absorbing collection of stage memorabilia is now on display.
You'll find spectacular arrays of seasonal colour at Rolvenden's Hole Park Gardens - bluebell season is a must, whilst Pines, firs and oaks combine to create a delightful woodland setting at the informal Beech Court Gardens. Close by is Belmont, an extraordinary neo-classical house, commanding views over the North Downs, and one of Britain's finest clock collections.
And for a unique experience, check events at Chilham Castle Only occasionally open to the public, the Capability Brown-designed grounds are also sometimes the venue for prestigious equestrian events. And nearby you'll find two sites in many a horticulturalist's top ten. Great Dixter, famously the home of gardener and writer Christopher Lloyd, and Sissinghurst, the exquisite, intimate creation of writer Vita Sackville-West, is famous world-wide for its series of outdoor 'rooms'. Climb to the top of the fairy-tale tower for jaw-dropping Weald of Kent views.