Sissinghurst Castle Gardens

Sissinghurst Castle Gardens

Sissinghurst Castle, National Trust
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Details

Le chateau at Sissinghurst, as it was once nicknamed, is not a castle at all it is a network of marvellous squat Tudor buildings. The Sissinghurst manor house is at least 300 years old nestled in the Weald of Kent and built on a former pig farm dating from Saxon times.

The tower in the midst of the garden is built in a style reminiscent of a castle’s fortifications.

French prisoners were kept in desperate conditions in the ‘castle’ during the Seven Years War which is how it earned the name ‘le chateau’, and it stuck as a translation into the English.

The last private owners passed the estate to the National Trust in 1967.

The Garden

Sissinghurst Castle is most famous for its garden. In fact it is world famous.  Thousands of visitors a year come to Sissinghurst to admire the White Garden in particular.

The garden laid out by novelist Vita (christened Victoria) Sackville-West and diplomat Harold Nicolson is just as beautiful today as it was in the late 1930s after the devoted couple replanted the derelict Elizabethan farm.

Visit the site to experience their vision and the rooms in which Vita used to write her poetry.

In particular search out the mini-tower or white gazebo, on the corner of the moat. Imagine Vita writing overlooking the inspirational view of the gentle farmland and meadows to the north- northwest.

Climb the Castle Tower to see the aerial view of the gardens and further afield across the countryside.

Stay for a local lunch either in a nearby country pub or within the grounds of the estate in The Granary Restaurant. As is the wont of the National Trust, many of the ingredients like the herbs and vegetables are grown metres away from the kitchen.

The surrounding estate is vast and includes lakes, woods and farmland all dog friendly and welcoming for well-behaved pooches on leads. There is even a special dog ramp so your pet can enter the lake for a dip without damaging the delicate banks and plant life.

The best time to visit depends on what you like. Around the estate you can see bluebells in spring, snowdrops in winter and hunt out the little fairy doors too!  In June, the roses are usually at their best.

Directions

From London, you can get the train to Staplehurst and then the bus – only an hour and a half if you check the timings first.  If you’re driving it would only take 2 and a quarter hours – just right for a long weekend break.

Arriva bus 5 Maidstone–Hawkhurst (passing Staplehurst station), alight Sissinghurst 1¼ miles away (20 min walk).

Features

  • COVID-19 Response

    Important information 18 January 2021 The garden, granary restaurant offering a takeaway service only and estate at Sissinghurst Castle Garden are open for local visitors. We've introduced advance booking to keep everyone safe and maintain social distancing. You’ll need to book your tickets by 3.00pm the day before your visit. Members can book for free, while non-members will need to pay when booking. Tickets will be released every Friday. To avoid disappointment please book in advance, especially at busier times such as weekends and bank holidays. However, where space is available on weekdays, pre-booking may not always be necessary. The shop is shut for the winter season.

  • Guide Dogs permitted?

    Yes

  • Type of Garden/Environmental Attraction

    Formal Garden

  • Location features

    In countryside, Outdoor attraction

  • Establishment Features

    Self guided activity/route, Shop, Groups Accepted, Child Friendly, Family Friendly, Baby changing facilities, Picnic site

  • Catering

    Café, Cater for vegetarians, Restaurant

  • Parking & Transport

    On site parking (charge)

  • Travel & Trade

    Group discounts available, Educational Visits accepted, Coach Park

  • Accessibility

    Staff have had disability awareness training

Location

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