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Dazzling colours, seductive scents, superb seasonal shows – it is no surprise that Kent's gardens are world renowned. With 180 plus to choose from, there's one to match your every mood and interest; grand and historic, exotic and informal, or innovative vistas in the making.

Gardens Ashford
Godinton House
Godinton House, Godinton Park, Godinton Lane, Ashford, Kent TN23 3BP 01233 643854
Godinton House and Gardens has absorbed the history and culture of Kent for over 600 years, creating a visible architectural story dating from the medieval 14th century.
Godinton House is set in the tranquil parkland of the Godinton Estate, on the outskirts of Ashford. It's evolved over many centuries into a refined and much admired stately house. The gardens and grounds are also worthy of note, and many choose to visit the gardens even when the house is closed.
There are Refreshments available, and a picnic area is a delightful place to enjoy in the summer months.
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Gardens Canterbury
Dane John Gardens Watling Street Canterbury Kent CT1 2RN
Canterbury's most popular park has been transformed into attractive gardens with monuments and memorials, a bandstand for summertime concerts, a central fountain, a tearoom and children's maze. Stroll along the city walls which border one side of the gardens and wander up to the top of the Dane John Mound for an excellent view of the city. On the top of the mound is a monument commemorating Alderman James Simmon's gift of the gardens to the people of Canterbury. Many events are held in the gardens. Most weekends in the summer months there will be a band concert. Concerts range from Brass to Pop, Military to Rock with something to suit all age groups and tastes.
A historic park within Canterbury city's walls which dates back to 1551, and includes a mound which historical records prove was there in the first century AD. In 1790, local dignitary Alderman James Simmons laid out the park into formal gardens.
In 1999, the City Council completed a million pound renovation of the park supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund and local sponsorship. The City Walls and an avenue of lime trees provide a sense of enclosure and escape from the busy road and bustling shopping centre just a few yards away. There are excellent views over the city and towards the countryside from the top of the mound. There's a safe play area for children, a bandstand as a venue for traditional concerts throughout the summer and a fountain which provides a focus for the shaded walk along the avenue of lime trees.
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Gardens Dartford
Lullingstone Castle and The World Garden
Lullingstone Park, Eynsford, Dartford, Kent, DA4 034 Tel: 01322 852114 Fax: 01322 852115 Web: www.lullingstonecastle.co.uk open to the public from April - Sept Winner of the UK Tourism Awards. Near to the Roman Villa, this historic family mansion, church and garden was once frequented by Henry VIII and Queen Anne. Set within the beautiful Darent Valley between Dartford and Sevenoaks. The present manor house and gate house, overlooks a stunning 15 acre lake. Close to the manor house, a within the grounds, is St. Botolph's Parish Church, which is of Norman origin. It contains some of the oldest stained glass windows in England. The Garden is Britain's first ever 'World Garden of Plants', containing plants from around the globe, planted in layouts of their respective countries of origin, continuing to grow and build year on year, adding rare and important botanical plants to the collection.
Hall Place
Bourne Road, Bexley, Kent, DA5 1PQ Tel: 01322 525574 A fine Grade 1 Listed country house built in 1540 for Sir John Champneis, a Lord Mayor of London, and extended in the 17th century. The house is set in beautiful formal gardens on the banks of the River Cray. Now owned by Bexley Council, some of its rooms are open to the public. A magnificent Great Hall contains an 18th century chamber organ built by George England. Hall Place houses Bexley Museum and galleries that offer a changing programme of exhibitions throughout the year. The house is also the venue for concerts, lectures and private functions. It's open daily in summer months, and from Monday to Saturday during the winter.
Down House
Luxted Road, Downe, Orpington, Kent, BRS 7JT Tel: 01589 859119 Down House is an intimate window into the life of England's best known scientist. It was from his study here that Charles Darwin worked on the scientific theories that culminated in a book - On the origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection. It was a publication that both scandalised and revolutionised Victorian Britain. Down House, built during the late eighteenth century, remains much as it was when Darwin lived there. On the ground floor, the rooms have been furnished to reflect the domestic life of the family. The study holds his writing desk, chair and numerous objects connected with his work.
St John's Jerusalem
Sutton-at-Hone, Dartford, DA4 9HQ Tel: 01732 810378 Tranquil garden and 13th-century chapel. The large garden, moated by the River Darent, contains some magnificent trees a herbaceous borders The chapel was part of the former Commandery of the Knights Hospitallers of the Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, established here in 1199, of which the remainder was converted into a private residence.
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Gardens Dover
Walmer Castle
Kingsdown Road, Deal, Kent, CT14 7"
Tel: 01304 364288 Walmer Castle was built in 1540 as part of Henry Viii's ambitious chain of coastal defences. Over the centuries it has transformed from a fortress to a beautiful stately home with exceptional gardens. It's the official residence of the Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports - an office dating back centuries) & held by an impressive line of nobility, including Prince Henry (later Henry VIII), Prince George of Denmark, William Pitt the Younger, the Duke of Wellington, Winston Churchill, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother. There is plenty inside to highlight the times of all of these, and afterwards the gardens are also a delight to look around. Taped tours are available in several languages.

Goodnestone Park Gardens
Goodnestone, Nr Wingham, Kent Tel: 01304 840107 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. They are full of gardening quality at all times of the year, from early in spring to late-autumn) but they are just as enjoyable for a peaceful family day out or a walk in the Kent countryside. The gardens also provide the setting for various special events, including concerts, plant fairs and wedding receptions.

The Pine Gardens
Beach Road, St Margaret's Bay, Dover Tel: 01304 852764 Situated at St. Margaret's, just outside Dover, the Pines Gardens is a six acre park renowned for its trees, plants, and ornamental waterfall. There is a statue of Winston Churchill, a Romany caravan, and a beautiful wishing well. There are few places offer a more relaxing or inspiring experience. Also on offer is a picnic area with full wheelchair access. It boasts a truly stunning view of the White Cliffs, as well as across the English Channel to France.

East Northdown Farm and Gardens
Margate, Kent, CT9 3TS Tel: 01843 862060 Fax: 01843 860206 Web: www.botanyplants.co.uk A three acre garden with a range of coastal and chalk loving plants. The Nursery on site produces one of the most comprehensive ranges of plants in Kent) and all that are possible have been propagated from proven stock in the gardens. They are open at no charge to visitors. Tea and tours are available by appointment for groups. Situated between Broadstairs and Margate on the B2052, George Hill Road, near the North Foreland. Open: 7 days, loam to 5pm.
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Gardens Gravesham
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Gardens Maidstone
Leeds Castle
Maidstone, Kent ME17 1PL
01622 765400
Set in 500 acres of beautiful parkland, just east of Maidstone, a visit to Leeds Castle is full of discovery. Open all year, the historic castle has something for everyone.
Run wild in the sprawling Knights' Realm playground, relax in one of the formal gardens, or tour the castle itself. The maze is a popular feature with both the adults and hoards of excited children. Reach the centre and you are rewarded with a special journey back to the outside via a magical underground grotto.
For the golf enthusiasts, there's a 9-hole pay and play course located within the grounds. But it is the castle itself, of course, that is the centrepiece of any visit. Set on two islands in the lake, it is known as the loveliest castle in the world. Naturally that's a matter of personal opinion, but it's location is undoubtedly magnificent.

Stoneacre
Otham, Maidstone, Kent. ME15 8RS
01622 863247
A magnificent example of a half-timbered yeoman's house, dating from the late 15th century. The house features an impressive Great Hall, and a crownpost. The property is surrounded by harmonious, well tended gardens, plus an orchard and meadows.
Stoneacre managed now by the National Trust.

Iden Croft Herbs
Frittenden Road, Staplehurst, Kent, TN12 0DH
01580 891432
A picturesque, aromatic Herb Garden, set amongst the attractive Wealden countryside. Iden Croft Herbs also has a 15th century Walled Garden that is of particular interest. It's the home of the National Mint, Origanum and Nepeta Collections. As you would expect, there is a good Plant and Herb Shop, plus extensive facilities and gardens for the disabled. Coach parties should book in advance.
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Gardens Medway
Restoration House
17-19 Crow Lane, Rochester, Kent, ME1 1RF
01634 848520
Restoration House, in the Kent city of Rochester, 30 miles south-east of London, takes its name from the stay by King Charles II on the eve of the monarch's restoration to the throne. Described as England's finest pre-Civil War town house, it opened to the public in 2000 & belongs to Robert Tucker, who admits his work there is "a labour of love".
Restoration House was previously owned by television comedian Rod Hull, who fell to his death from the roof. Upstairs is the chamber in which, in Dickens' story, Miss Havisham's wedding feast lay untouched. It has beautiful rooms filled with 17th/18th century furniture and portraits by Reynolds, Gainsborough and others. A walled garden includes a formal pond, yew hedges and herbaceous borders.
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Gardens Sevenoaks
Quebec House
Quebec Square, Westerham, TN1S lTD House only: March - November, lpm-Spm, Wed-Sun. Garden/exhibition: March - November, noon-Spm, Wed-Sun, and Bank Holiday Mondays. An impressive historic house that was once the childhood home of General Wolfe. It includes a Battle of Quebec exhibition, as well as landscaped gardens and parkland.

Chartwell House
Mapleton Road, Westerham, Kent, TN15 1PS Tel: 01732 858381 Fax: 01732 858193 The former family home of Sir Winston Churchill. Bought by Sir Winston for its magnificent views over the Weald of Kent, and on to Sussex, Chartwell was both his home and the place from which he drew inspiration from 1924 until the end of his life. The rooms and gardens remain much as they were when he was here, with pictures, books) maps 8c personal mementoes strongly evoking the career and wide-ranging interests of this great est of British statesman. The beautiful terraced gardens contain the lakes Sir Winston created, the water garden where he fed his fish, Lady Churchill's rose garden, and the Golden Rose Walk - a Golden Wedding anniversary gift from their children. Many of Sir Winston's paintings can also be seen, in the garden studio where he often worked.

Emmett's Garden
Ide Hill, Sevenoaks, TN14 SAY Tel: 01732 858381 (Enquiries) / 01732 751509 (Infoline) A charming Victorian garden with plenty of year-round interest. Influenced by William Robinson, this delightful informal garden - with the highest treetop in Kent incidentally - was laid out in the late 19th century. It's home to many exotic and rare trees and shrubs from across the world. There are glorious shows of spring flowers and shrubs, a rose garden, & rock garden, Emmett's Garden is equally attractive for its spectacular views at all times of the year, and is especially popular for its autumn colours season.

Knole House
Knole, Sevenoaks, Kent, TN1S ORP Tel: 01732 452100 Fax: 01732 455528 Knole House is one of the great treasure houses of England, set in a magnificent deer park. The original 15th century house was enlarged and embellished in 1503 by Thomas Sackville, 1st Earl of Dorset and one of Queen Elizabeth's favourites, and has remained essentially unaltered ever since. The thirteen state rooms open to the public contain superb collections - including 17th-century royal Stuart furniture, three state beds, exquisite silver furniture, and the prototype of the famous Knole Settee, outstanding tapestries and textiles, and portraits by Van Dyck, Gainsborough, Lely, Kneller and Reynolds. The courtyard has been used for a number of period films and dramas, and the gardens and park land offer some leisurely strolls amid the relaxing countryside.

Ightham Mote
Mote Road, Ivy Hatch, Sevenoaks, Kent, TN1S ONT Tel: 01732 810378 Open: 15th March - 2nd November (closed Tuesdays & Wednesdays) Gardens and Shop: 10.3Oam - 5.OOpm; House: 1100am - 500pm. Dating from 1320 this rare example of a medieval moated manor house offers the most extensive visitor route since the National Trust acquired the property in 1985. It now includes the Great Hall, the Crypt, Tudor Chapel with a hand-painted ceiling, and the private apartments of the American donor Charles Henry Robinson. Ightham Mote also offers lovely gardens & water features, with idyllic lakeside & woodland walks.

Squerryes Court
Squerryes, Westerham, Kent, TN16 1SJ Tel: 015562345 Fax: 01959 565949 Web: www.squerryes.co.uk Open: April to September, Wed, Sun & Bank Holiday Mondays. Gardens 1130am - 5.OOpm. House 1230pm - 500pm. Last admission 430pm. Squerryes Court is a beautiful manor house dating back to 1681. Lived in by Warde family since 1731, it houses many Old Masters paintings, period furniture, tapestries, and porcelain, all collected in the 18th Century. The impressive gardens are lovely in all seasons, offering a lake, floral borders, a restored formal garden, and tearooms.

Chiddingstone Castle
Hill Hoath Road, Chiddingstone, Edenbridge, Kent, TN8 7AD Tel: 01892 870347 Web: www.chiddingstonecastle org.uk Open: Thursday, Friday & Sunday 11am - 5pm, Easter - September. Re-modelled in the late Georgian castle style, this enchanting fantasy dates back over five hundred years. It houses fabulous collections of the late owner, Denys Bower, which include historic furnishings and paintings, Royal Stuart memorabilia, Japanese lacquer, Egyptian and Buddhist antiquities. The extensive parkland and lake are especially picturesque, and there is an award winning orangery. A variety of Children's activity rooms and backpack tours are also available with the admission ticket.

Hever Castle and Gardens
Hever, Edenbridge, Kent, TN8 7NG Tel: 01732 865224 Web site: www.hevercastle.co.uk Hever Castle is best known as being the childhood home of Anne Boleyn, but actually dates back to 1270. Take a step back into the grace and splendour of the Tudor Court, as it is recreated with costumed figures, displays and portraits. Outside there are 35-acres of glorious Italian gardens, a vast lake, Tudor Garden, herb garden and the ever popular maze. A more recent addition is the unique 'splashing' water maze, which is much loved by the Youngsters. The children can also enjoy the revamped adventure Playground, including the impressive Henry Viii's Tower Maze. A garden shop offers plants grown at the castle, and there are a choice of restaurants. Hever Castle has a number of special event weekends, including medieval jousting, and archery. It's open from 1st March to the 30th November daily.
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Gardens Shepway
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Gardens Swale
Belmont House and Gardens
Belmont, Belmont Park, Throwley, nr. Faversham, Kent ME13 0HH
01795 890202
The unique Georgian house of Belmont, is set in beautiful gardens and is surrounded by classical English country parkland, commanding stunning views of the rolling Kent countryside. It is a completely unspoilt and distinctive example of the work of architect Samuel Wyatt.
The house and gardens evolved over the years it remained the seat of successive Lords Harris from 1801 until the Sixth Lord's death in 1995. The Harris family played a significant role in British expansion overseas during the 19th century, and Belmont contains fabulous mementos of the family's history and travels - fine paintings, furniture, Indian silverware and the finest collection of clocks in private hands anywhere in Britain.

Mount Ephraim Gardens
Staple Street, Hernhill, Faversham, Kent, ME13 9TX
01227 751496
Mount Ephraim Gardens are at the heart of an 800 acre estate comprising the house and gardens, a progressive fruit farm, woodland and grazing.
The glory of the garden lies in its superb site. The house, rebuilt in 1870, but the home of the Dawes family for over 300 years, commands a truly magnificent view over woodland parks, orchards and the Swale and Thames Estuary.
Magnificent displays in each season.

Doddington Place
Church Lane, Doddington, Nr Sittingbourne, Kent ME9 0BB
01795 886101
A magnificent Victorian country house set in landscaped gardens amid rolling rural countryside.
Doddington Place boasts beautiful views, picnic areas, and a number of regular events throughout the season.
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Gardens Thanet
Quex Museum, House, and Gardens
Quex Park, Park Lane, Birchington, Kent., CT7 0BH
01843 841119
Quex House and Museum is very much a hidden treasure of Kent, which is often missed by visitors to the area. A museum and Regency-period country house, with beautiful Victorian gardens.
It houses a world class Collection that includes African natural history and ethnography, weaponry, archaeology, ceramics, furniture & much much more. The vast life-size animal dioramas are the museum's breathtaking centrepiece, and the old walled kitchen garden is still maintained in the way it would have been in Victorian times - with many species no longer generally seen.
Family activities are also available, and there is a pleasant tearoom and a gift shop.

East Northdown Farm and Gardens

George Hill Rd, Margate, Kent. CT9 3TS
01843 862060
A three acre garden with a range of coastal and chalk loving plants. The Nursery on site produces one of the most comprehensive ranges of plants in Kent, and all that are possible have been propagated from proven stock in the gardens. They are open at no charge to visitors.
Tea and tours are available by appointment for groups.
Situated between Broadstairs and Margate on the B2052, George Hill Road, near the North Foreland.
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Gardens Tonbridge
Marle Place Gardens
Marle Place, Brenchley, Kent., TN12 7HS
01892 722304
A romantic, privately owned Wealden garden of 10 acres with plenty of interesting trees and shrubs. There's a bog garden and an attractive mosaic terrace.
Light refreshments are available, once you've enjoyed the rockery and a woodland walk.
Artists studios are usually open, and there are a number of sculptures in garden
No dogs please.
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Gardens Tunbridge Wells
Penshurst Place
Penshurst, near Tunbridge Wells Open between March and October. Gardens 1030am - 5pm, House 12.00 - 4pm. Set in the rural Weald of Kent, and surrounded by picturesque countryside and ancient parkland, Penshurst Place and Gardens has changed little over the centuries. A mediaeval masterpiece that has been the seat of the Sidney family since 1552, it still has the warmth and character of a much-loved family home. Today, Philip Sidney, Viscount De L'Isle, continues the family guardianship of this wonderful old house and garden with his wife Isobel and their two children, Philip and Sophia. Another of the splendours of Penshurst is the 11-acre formal walled garden, with records dating back to 1345. One of the oldest gardens in private ownership, it remains much as it was when constructed by Sir Henry Sidney in the Elizabethan era. Central to his ambitious project was the creation of the acclaimed Italian Garden, which involved shifting thousands of tons of earth 8c building a system of walls and terraces. Elsewhere there is a small but fascinating toy museum, which is packed to bursting with items that will revive your childhood memories. There is also a childrens playground, shops, and a restaurant. Special events are held regularly in the summer months.

Scotney Castle Garden & Estate
Lamberhurst, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN3 8JN
01892 893820
One of England's most romantic gardens, designed in the picturesque style around the ruins of a 14th century moated castle. There are rhododendrons and azaleas in profusion, with wisteria and roses rambling over the old ruins.
Wonderful vistas and viewpoints abound and there are beautiful woodland and estate walks to enjoy.
The prices given are Gift Aid prices. Entrance to the Gardens only is £9.10 and £4.60 for Adult and Child respectively.

Sissinghurst Castle Garden
Biddenden Road, near Cranbrook, Kent TN17 2AB
Sissinghurst Castle is home to one of the world's most celebrated gardens. It's the creation of Vita Sackville-West and her husband Sir Harold Nicolson, and was developed around the surviving parts of an Elizabethan mansion with a central red-brick prospect tower.
The design is based on a series of small enclosed compartments, intimate in scale and romantic in atmosphere and including the renowned White Garden, that provides out-standing design and colour through the season.
The study, where Vita worked, and the library are also open to visitors. In addition to the main tower and gardens, there is a pleasant woodland walk, and a small lake with a path around and seating areas.
The site is managed by the National Trust, and has a small gift shop and tea rooms close to the entrance.

Groombridge Place
Groombridge Hill, Groombridge, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN3 9QG
01892 861444
These award winning gardens, set in 200 acres of wooded parkland, feature a series of magnificent walled gardens set against the romantic backdrop of a 17th century moated manor house - including the Herbaceous Border, White Rose Garden, Drunken Topiary, Secret Garden, Knot Garden and Peacock Walk. In complete contrast, the ancient woodland of the 'Enchanted Forest' has mystery, magic and excitement to challenge the imagination of young and old alike.
Children love the 'Dark Walk', Tree Fern Valley, Groms Village and the giant swings.
There are also Birds of Prey flying displays every day, a canal boat cruise to and from the forest and a full programme of special events.
'The Garden Room' is a licensed self-service restaurant offering hot and cold dishes, snacks and cream teas. Pre-booked lunches or teas are available to groups, as well as guided tours of the formal gardens.

Sprivers Garden
Horsmonden, Kent TN12 8DR
01892 891081
Small formal garden. The 18th century style garden has walled and hedged compartments, herbaceous borders, a rose garden and nearby woodland walk. Managed by the National Trust.
Only open a few days a year.
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