The beautiful Hole Park Gardens in Rolvenden, is one of the Seven Wonders of the Weald. The garden was crowned Kentish Garden of the Year in 2016 by Visit Kent and Kent Life Magazine.
Hole Park is a family owned estate which has been in the Barham family for the past four generations. Formalised gardens combine with natural woodland. These extensive gardens were designed and planted by Colonel Barham, the great-grandfather of the present owner, during the twenties and thirties.
New this year (2017) is the recently planted long herbaceous border which will take on a pink and blue theme, close to the original colours used by the late Christopher Lloyd when he first designed the border at Hole Park.
Those of us who love spring bulbs won’t be disappointed with a visit to the gardens in early April as there are swathes of crocus, narcissus and daffodils across the 16 acre gardens and 10 acre woodland. Visitors can also walk through the pretty Camelia walk and admire the shade-loving hellebores and early flowering cherry and magnolia trees. The meadows and woodland floor are a sea of primroses and dainty blue scillas at this time of year.
Later in April visitors can look forward to the amazing display of bluebells which can be enjoyed via the circular woodland walk taking you past the solar powered renovated ice house and through the garlic walk. The naturalised flowering meadows with their fritillaries and buttercups are also a pretty sight.
Hole Park’s website will have a bluebell barometer which will be updated regularly in April.
In May the gardens are full of tulips, roses and clematis and the vineyard garden has impressive standard wisterias to admire. Rhododendrons and azaleas flower throughout the gardens and the wild orchids will start to flower in the meadows alongside the delightful spires and star-shaped flowers of ‘Camassia’. The sundial garden provides a view over the Wealden countryside through an oval window shaped in the topiary hedge.
The late flowering agapanthus and exotic border with its cannas and dahlias take centre stage in late summer before the reds, yellows and golds of autumn bring interest during October.
A circular network of hard paths enables visitors of all ages, including those who require a wheelchair, to enjoy the gardens. Wheelchairs may be reserved free of charge and there are full disability WC facilities.
Light lunches and delicious homemade cakes are available in the coach house where apple juice, local beer and homemade jam and honey produced from the fruit and bees on the Hole Park Estate can be purchased. There is also a small plant stall next to the coach house.
There is a dedicated tea room for groups, free parking for cars and coaches and conducted tours can also be arranged for groups by prior arrangement.
Admission: £7.00 for adults and £1 for children (5 to 18). The gardens are open 11am to 6pm
Hole Park is situated 4 miles west of Tenterden on the B2086 between Rolvenden and Benenden.
Click here for the Hole Park Events list.
Spring Saturday 1 April to Saturday 10 June – Open daily
Summer – 14 June to 31 October – Wednesdays & Thursdays
Autumn Sundays – 1, 8, 22 and 29 October 2017
All other times by appointment
For more information please visit www.holepark.com or telephone
01580 241344 / 241386. Group bookings should be made in advance.