Inspiration for your own home-grown garden
Sissinghurst Castle Garden has become one of my favourite National Trust sites to visit in Kent. Beautifully located between the rolling hills of the High Weald and the Kent Downs, both of which are ‘Areas of Outstanding National Beauty’.
We first visited Sissinghurst Castle Garden in September; shortly after becoming National Trust members, I was immediately won over by the magnificent gardens and meticulous planting. I couldn’t wait to revisit in the springtime and admire the spectacle of colour nurtured within the cottage garden beds.
You can tell that the National Trust gardening team gives a tremendous amount of effort, thought, and dedication as the gardens are breath-taking.
Where is Sissinghurst Castle Garden
How to get to Sissinghurst Castle Garden
- By Train
You can catch a direct train from London Bridge to Staplehurst Station, which is 5 miles from Sissinghurst Castle.
The journey time is around 50 minutes. A taxi rank serves this station.
- By Car
Sissinghurst Castle Garden in Kent is just 2 miles northeast of Cranbrook and 1 mile east of Sissinghurst village just off the A262.
There’s a free car park for National Trust members, or parking charges apply to non-members.
A little history of Sissinghurst Castle GardenA spectacular transformation
Sissinghurst Castle endured through the mid-17th-century English Civil War only to become a victim in the Seven Years’ War. Although, it wasn’t through the rage of battle; it was at the hands of French prisoners of war. The French sailors were incarcerated in awful conditions and proceeded to demolish the newly named Château de Sissingherst.
Fast forward to the 1930s, and Sissinghurst Castle was purchased by the English author Vita Sackville-West and her husband, Harold Nicolson. The couple totally transformed the beautiful walled gardens, which were in a state of disarray and proceeded to renovate the few remaining historic buildings into their family home.
Arriving at Sissinghurst Castle GardenInspiration to us all
Where to stay near Sissinghurst Castle Garden
- Sissinghurst Castle Farmhouse – Yes, amazingly, you can stay within the grounds of Sissinghurst Castle Garden.
This beautiful farmhouse has been lovingly decorated throughout and offers a delicious variety of breakfasts.
- The Woolstore – This delightful holiday cottage is within a short distance of Sissinghurst.
The Woolstore makes a perfect place to stay while discovering the Garden of England. Wake up every morning amongst cherry orchards and sheep meadows.
Climbing Sissinghurst Castle TowerAdmiring the Wealden landscape
As we step through the ancient arches, the captivating towers appear before you; it really is a wow moment and brings so much character to the surrounding estate and the courtyards.
I urge you to climb the 78 steps to the top of the towers; you get an incredible view of the Wealden countryside beyond and a breath-taking viewpoint of the fairy-tale gardens below.
Sissinghurst Castle really brought a beaming smile to my face, and I couldn’t wait to head off and discover the exquisite blooms in the rose garden and the cottage garden.
I love the old gates snuggled within the walls of the walled garden; they lure me through to the rustic courtyards and the striking flower borders beyond.
If you're intrigued by Kent's weird and wonderful history, or all unusual stories around the county, then take a peek at "Kent's Strangest Tales".
You won't be able to put it down, you can pick it up for your Kindle or in good old paperback.
The captivating Rose GardenSo much more than roses
Hiking the Kent Countryside
Sissinghurst is located in Kent nearby Cranbrook and Tunbridge Wells. This region of Kent is ideal for hikes as it is close to the High Weald and North Downs (AONB), an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. To explore the trails in this region of Kent, the Ordnance Survey maps that will help you along the route is no. 136, ‘High Weald’.
Alternatively, why not purchase and download the OS Maps App, which covers all of Great Britain.
The jewel of the South Cottage GardenA picture-perfect setting
If you relish in the thought of a delicate cottage garden, then like me, you’ll fall in love with the ‘South Cottage Garden’.
When we strolled into this cheerful garden, it blew me away.
The vibrant swathes of yellows, oranges and reds are stunning, especially with the quaint redbrick South Cottage as a tranquil haven of serenity.
Find a quiet bench put your day to day worries to one side, and soak up the sights and sounds of an English country garden.
Bumblebees flitting from one blossom to another, butterflies twitching in the breeze and the sweet breath of spring flowers floating in the air.
Escape for a few days
Are you looking for that ‘perfick’ holiday hideaway to relax in while you discover the Garden of England?
After a day exploring the Kent coast and its many historic castles enjoy one of the handpicked properties and unique retreats at Holiday Cottages.
Discovering Moat Walk and Lime WalkA slice of Elizabethan history
The South Cottage Garden is bordered by the Rose Garden and two rectangular gardens, Moat Walk and Lime Walk, both of which exhibit lush avenues of outstanding planting.
As the name would imply, Moat Walk was once an open moat forming part of the original channel surrounding Sissinghurst Manor. Two other sections of the moat can still be admired within Sissinghurst Castle Garden.
From The NutteryTo the Herb Garden
Meandering around the moatA visit to the White Garden
Our next inspiring sanctuary is the White Garden; yes, you guessed it, the theme here is white, with dashes of shimmering silver. Once again, the charming planting here is so synonymous with a bursting English country garden.
I love the proud alliums; the runaway rambling rose and the delicate grasses wafting in the warm breeze.
The captivating Delos GardenA delicate touch of Greece
The incredible couple tried to emulate the Greek look and feel in their own garden; however, Vita and Harold weren’t wholly successful due to the original north-facing location and the uncertainty of the Kentish weather.
Fast forward to the spring of 2021, and the National Trust gardening team have transformed the area around the Priest’s House into a scene of Greek serenity.
Visiting the Delos Garden on a bright day with the sun beating down on the Mediterranean plants, nestled amongst ruined stone pillars and olive trees, you almost feel like you’ve been swept away to southern Europe.
Discovering more of Kent
Pick up the perfect plantDon’t forget to visit the Vegetable Garden
We found the prices of the plants at The National Trust gardens fairly reasonable compared to other garden centres and nurseries.
Don’t miss the Vegetable Garden at the rear of the National Trust shop; it will elevate your allotment to another level.
If you loved visiting Sissinghurst Castle Garden, head a little further west in Kent and stop by Scotney Castle.
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