Gardens and Historical Houses in the Southeast

 Emmetts Garden, lde Hill, Kent.

(The National Trust) 5-acre hillside garden, with the highest tree-top in Kent, noted for its fine collection of rare trees and shrubs; lovely spring and autumn colour. TEAS. 5m SW of Sevenoaks. 1& half m. S of A25 on Sundridge-lde Hill Rd. 1&half m N of Ide Hill off B2042.

Finchcocks, Goudhurst, Kent.

4 acre garden surrounding early 18th.cent. manor, well-known for its collection of historical keyboard instruments. Spring bulbs; mixed borders; autumn garden with unusual trees & rare shrubs; recently restored walled garden. TEAS.2m W of Goudhurst, off A262. Bank Hol Mons, Aug every Wed, Thurs & Sun (2-6).

  Goodnestone Park, Wingham, Canterbury, Kent.

Connections with Jane Austen who stayed here. 10 to 12 acres; good trees; woodland garden, snowdrops, spring bulbs, walled garden with old-fashioned roses. Picnics allowed. TEAS (not in Feb, March). Village lies S of B2046 from A2 to Wingham. Brown tourist signs off B2046 say Goodnestone Park gardens. Suns April 1 to Oct 15 (12-6), Mons, Weds to Fris March 27 to Oct 27 (11 -5). Closed Tues and Sats.

  Great Comp, Borough Green, Kent.

Skilfully designed 7-acre garden of exceptional beauty. Spacious setting of well-maintained lawns and paths lead visitors through plantsman's collection of trees, shrubs, heathers and herbaceous plants. Good autumn colour. Early 17th. cent. house (not open). TEAS on Suns, Bank Hols. (2-5).2m E of Borough Green. A20 at Wrotham Heath, take Seven Mile Lane, B2016, at lst Xrds turn R, garden on L half m.Open Suns in March and every day April 1 to Oct 31 (11-6).

  Groombridge Place Gardens & Enchanted Forest,

Near Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent,is one of England's most beautiful gardens and a history spanning 700 years. Together with its Enchanted Forest,designed to amuse,intrigue and entertain, with Deer, Alpacas, Eagles, farm animals and giant fish there is something for all the family.

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   Hever Castle, nr Edenbridge, Kent.

Formal Visitors can explore the magnificent gardens for all seasons which include Italian gardens with statuary, sculpture and fountains; large lake; 'splashing' water maze; rose garden and Tudor herb and knot garden, topiary and yew maze. 120yds herbacious border. Romantic moated castle,the childhood home of Anne Boleyn, also open. Refreshments available. 3m SE of Edenbridge, between Sevenoaks and East Grinstead. Signed from junctions 5 and 6 of M25, from A21 and from A264. Open every day. March & Nov (11 -4) Apr to Oct 11-6, Castle opens 12 noon)

  Ightham Mote, Ivy Hatch, Kent

 14-acre garden and moated mediaeval manor c.1340. Mixed borders with many unusual plants; lawns; courtyard; orchard of Kent apples; water features including small lake, leading to woodland walk with trees, rhododendrons and other shrubs. (The National Trust) TEAS.6m E of Sevenoaks off A25 and 2&half m S of Ightham. Buses from rail stations Sevenoaks or Borough Green to Ivy Hatch, 112m walk to Ightham Mote. House and garden. (10.30-5.30 last admission 5pm)

  KNOLE, Sevenoaks, Kent.

 Once at the centre of court life, Knole was the inspiration for Virginia Woolf's Orlando, and contains extraordinary furniture from the royal palaces, alongside superb portraits, textiles and silver. Don't miss seeing how a grand estate was run. Understand Knole's whole history in their stunning visitor centre, then sit and dream among the lemon trees in the Orangery. Walk among the deer in the park and the landscape gardens, herb garden. TEAS. Station:Sevenoaks. Well signposted.(National Trust) (11-4 last adm 3pm.)

  LEEDS CASTLE, Maidstone, Kent.

Mentioned in the Doomsday Book of 1086,the Castle, set in 500 acres of parkland, has been a royal residence to six of England's queens and a palace to King Henry V111. Gardens are spectacular all year, but the spring display of daffodils and wood anemones, followed by azaleas and rhododendrons, is magnificent. Now with the Knights Realm Playground,the Maze, Falconry Displays, the Black Swan Ferry and Elsie the train. Day tickets purchased will last a whole year.

  For further info click on photograph

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