Beautiful gardens local to Tunbridge Wells
4th May 2018
Kent is known as the Garden of England because its nutritious soil and temperate climate have made it perfect for agriculture. This is great news for horticulture, as the very same traits make our county one of the prime spots for garden lovers.
There are countless gardens in the county of Kent, so we've put together list of gardens to visit within 10 miles.
Within 5 miles of Tunbridge Wells
The masters of handcrafted stone are world-renowned for their statues and sculptures, but to really appreciate their work you have to see it in person. With 65 years of experience, this is no ordinary showroom - Chilstone boasts 35 acres of woodland and lakeside walks to enjoy, dotted with stunning sculptures and fountains that showcase the work they do.
Highlights: Woodland plants such as bluebells and anemones make this an ideal garden to enjoy in spring.
Just a stone's throw from Tunbridge Wells, Groombridge Place is a historic house with a twist. The formal gardens, established in the 17th Century, retain their formal structure but stand in contrast to the real magic of this place: the enchanted forest. Boasting the longest and tallest treetop walkway in the UK, ginormous swings, hidden fairy dwellings and a tepee or two, this is a family day out that is truly unforgettable.
Highlights: The treetop walkway is fun for both adults and children, and gives a great view of the forest from a rare vantage point.
Within 10 miles of Tunbridge Wells
Hever Castle and Gardens
This historic house was once the home of ill-fated Queen Anne Boleyn, but the gorgeous gardens are a more modern addition, added in the early 20th Century by the Astor family. The garden features landscaping on a huge scale, which offers visitors long, scenic walks around the man-made lake (which took 800 men to build!).
Highlights: The Italian Garden is unique and unmissable, built especially to house Astor's classical statues. Water features are paired with vibrant, colourful and aromatic planting that make a perfect setting for a sunny day.
Another house with a great deal of history, Penshurst Place is still occupied by the Sidney family, who have owned the 14th Century property for almost 500 years. Large parts of the garden remain as they were constructed in the reign of Elizabeth I, juxtaposed with modern planting and sculptures, standing as treasures hidden in secluded garden rooms formed by an ancient yew hedge that surrounds the garden.�
Highlights: The Jubilee Walk, a 72m long double herbaceous border, stands as one of the finest floral displays you will find this summer. It's genuinely breath-taking.
Tunbridge Wells' nearest National Trust property, Scotney Castle has a romantic feel and park-like landscape, with many quirky corners for creative games of hide-and-seek. The old castle was deliberately ruined to create a beautiful backdrop for the garden - that's quite some dedication!
Highlights: Scotney has one of the best displays of rhododendron we've ever seen. The planting looks great all year, but late April- early May is when Scotney is at its show-stopping best.
These gardens are all public attractions - if you're looking for something a little more niche, you can see local gardens that open infrequently as part of the National Garden Scheme (NGS) on their website.