Welcome to your fairy-tale adventure in the Garden of England!
Groombridge Place near Tunbridge Wells promises a fun day out for all the family providing award winning manicured gardens, Crusoe’s world adventure playground, the Romany camp, the Owl and Raptor Centre, the Enchanted Forest - with its hidden woodland characters, giant tree swings, tree canopy walkway, river boat ride - and other thrills of the imagination to discover.
The moated manor house itself was rebuilt in 1662 by Philip Packer when Charles II ruled to replace a medieval building that can be traced back to 1230.Enjoy a trip on the canal boat along the River Grom flowing in the grounds between the gardens and the Enchanted Forest.
You can see the heritage Spa Valley Railway engines and carriages snaking their way through the Wealden countryside from the heights of the climbing courses.
The gardens feature a giant chess game which you can play, a board-walk through the forest and a maze! The birds of prey show their flying skills off twice a day.
The different formal garden areas were designed by John Evelyn in the late 17th century. The Secret Garden contains blue agapanthus and gazania amongst other blooms. The Knot Garden has a tantalising tulip display in spring. The White Rose Garden stars in the artistry of diverse shades of white. The Oriental Garden comes to life thanks to the fiery colours of dazzling Japanese maples. The Drunken Garden’s highlights are veronica, clematis, ceanothus and lilies in blue and yellow.
As if this isn’t enough, there is a Sherlock Holmes museum too! The connection is that the setting for Conan Doyle’s novel The Valley of Fear is right here. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle used to visit his friends who owned the property in the late 1800s on a regular basis. He thought his friends’ estate was the perfect backdrop for this mystery thriller, the final Sherlock Holmes book. The museum displays the artefacts and links between the property and the author.
Keep an eye out for the native wildlife especially in the deer park and the birds and animals including the peacocks, pony, donkey and famous zedonk!!