“If you want to be happy for a lifetime, plant a garden.” – Old Chinese proverb.
Such a proverb may well have been written with the English in mind, such is their passion for both their own green space and visiting larger country gardens, for inspiration and tranquility.
It’s not however just the English who enjoy visiting these beautiful spaces, with tourists from all over the world also wanting to experience the same pleasures. Not surprisingly, the English Garden was awarded the top prize for making the greatest contribution to tourism in the Visit England Awards for 2012. The English garden has been making this contribution to our tourism for the last three centuries at least. Our guides are all enthusiastic gardeners themselves and will enjoy showing you a varied selection of the best England has to offer.
Here is one example of a typical 9 hour English Country Garden tour.
The Gardens of Kent
A drive through the ‘Garden of England’ and a visit to three different country gardens
Hever Castle, once the childhood home of Anne Boleyn, who became Henry VIII’s second wife, was, in the early twentieth century, owned by the wealthy American philanthropist William Waldorf Astor, who transformed the grounds around the castle, creating the magnificent Italian Gardens, and the fragrant walled rose garden.
Penshurst Place, home of the Sidney family since 1552, their Elizabethan gardens remain much as they were over 400 years ago, and have recently been the subject of a major restoration program to the double herbaceous border. Most notable here is the Union Flag garden, made from lavender, roses and tulips, best seen in late spring.
Sissinghurst Castle, one of the most famous gardens in England created by the diplomat Harold Nicholson and his socialite wife Vita Sackville-West in the 1930s. It is also possible to visit the Tudor manor house where they lived. The gardens are unusual, in that they consist of a series of outdoor rooms, each with a separate theme.
There are however many, many alternatives to this itinerary depending on your own preferences, and of course the time of year. We can also organize extended tours around the country with over-night stays. Please enquire here.
9 hour Gardens of Kent and or Sussex tour £600/£650
The cost includes the use of the driver guide and his car and is NOT the rate per person. The lower price is for up to 4 passengers, the higher for 5/6 passengers. All parking charges are included but admission fees are additional.