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Kent's Glorious Castles & Magnificent Gardens

Kent's Glorious Castles & Magnificent Gardens

Discover some of the finest Castles and Gardens in the 'Garden of England'

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Discover some of the finest Castles and Gardens in the 'Garden of England'

Leeds Castle

Rising majestically from the still waters of its moat, surrounded by 500 acres of parkland and gardens, Leeds Castle is without a doubt one of the most beautiful venues in Kent. Coined ‘The Loveliest Castle in the World’, it is the perfect place for a great day out.

Rochester

Historic Rochester, with its Norman castle was place cherished by the Victorian novelist, Charles Dickens, who lived in the area as a child and returned as a successful author.

With history dating back centuries, there is so much to see and do in the historic city itself.  Explore the stunning Rochester Cathedral, founded in 604 and the second oldest in England.  Enjoy the breathtaking views from the top of one of the tallest keeps in the country at the magnificent Rochester Castle Built on the highest part of Rochester’s Roman city wall, to defend the crossing of the River Medway. 

In recent years Rochester’s quaint High Street has become home to many attractive boutiques, gift shops and quirky homeware stores. There’s more of a café culture here now too, with people sitting outside the popular coffee shops, tea rooms and restaurants in the summer months.

 

Ightam Mote

Built nearly 700 years ago, this romantic moated manor house has seen many changes and been owned by Medieval knights, courtiers to Henry VIII and high society Victorians.

Highlights include the picturesque courtyard, Great Hall, crypt, Tudor painted ceiling, Grade I listed dog kennel and the private apartments of Charles Henry Robinson, who gave Ightham Mote to the National Trust in 1985.

The house is surrounded by peaceful gardens with an orchard, water features, lakes and woodland walks.

Venture onto the Ightham Mote estate which offers unique views across the Kent countryside and stunning displays of flora and fauna. There is the renowned ancient bluebell woodland in spring at Scathes Wood, wildflowers in the summer, autumn colours and the crisp days of winter to come back and enjoy. Discover the hoppers' huts and the source of the water spring that feeds the moat at Ightham Mote.

Scotney Castle

Scotney Castle is an English country house with formal gardens situated to the south-east of Lamberhurst belonging to the National Trust.

The gardens, which are a Site of Special Scientific Interest and a celebrated example of the Picturesque style, are open to the public. The central feature is the ruins of a medieval, moated manor house, Scotney Old Castle, which is on an island on a small lake. The lake is surrounded by sloping, wooded gardens with fine collections of rhododendrons, azaleas and kalmia for spring colour, summer wisteria and roses and spectacular autumn colour.

At the top of the garden stands a house which was built to replace the Old Castle between 1835 and 1843. This is known as Scotney New Castle, or simply Scotney Castle. It is an early and unusually restrained example of Tudor Revival architectural style in 19th-century Britain. Following the death of the resident, Elizabeth Hussey, in 2006, this house was opened to the public for the first time in June 2007.

 

Emmetts Garden

This 19th century Emmetts Garden has outstanding views over the surrounding Kent countryside. The garden was established in the late 19th century in the style of William Robinson. There are many rare and exotic plants and in Spring there are great displays of daffodils, bluebells, camellias and rhododendrons and good Autumn colour. In the summer there is a good rose garden and the rock garden has recently been replanted to original plans.

Penshurst Place

Penshurst Place, once the property of King Henry VIII, was left to his son King Edward VI and granted to Sir William Sidney in 1552. It is the ancestral home of the Sidney family and has been in continuous occupation for more than 460 years since and was the birthplace of the great Elizabethan poet, courtier and soldier, Sir Philip Sidney. The original medieval house is one of the most complete surviving examples of 14th-century domestic architecture in England. Many TV shows and movies have been filmed at Penshurst.

The Bluebell Railway

Sheffield Park Station was built in 1882 by the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway and The Bluebell Railway has restored this station in the style of the Brighton era in the 1880s. The station was really built to serve Lord Sheffield who owned the large house and estate about a mile away. Lord Sheffield was a great supporter of Cricket and the “Sheffield Shield” is still played for today in Australia.

The Bluebell Railway commenced train services in August 1960 and now runs trains on a 22 mile return trip between Sheffield Park and East Grinstead.

 

Royal Tunbridge Wells

Royal Tunbridge Wells lies in the heart of the beautiful High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. This historic spa town has welcomed visitors for over 400 years. Browse among the chic independent shops of the colonnaded Pantiles and the High Street, with buzzy cafe's bars, music and one-of-a-kind shops.

Hever Castle & Gardens

Experience 700 years of history at the romantic double-moated 13th century castle once the childhood home of Anne Boleyn, second wife of Henry VIII. Hever Castle & Gardens is the perfect setting for a day out whether alone, with friends or family. For history lovers this castle in Kent is a great place to learn not just about the Tudors, but also about the Astor family, who were the owners of Hever Castle for 80 years from 1903 and were responsible for most of what you see today. Spend hours admiring not only the lovely interiors and historic elements but also the stunning grounds with statues and a variety of ornamental gardens, making it an ideal day out for horticultural lovers.

 

Day 1

We depart Cumbria for the journey south to Kent, comfort stops will be made en-route before we arrive at our hotel the Marriott Tudor Park Hotel & Country Club near Maidstone. After checking into our rooms, dinner is served in the hotel tonight.

D

Day 2

We visit Leeds Castle today, the 'loveliest castle in the world'. We discover the beautiful castle rooms and explore the lovely grounds, riverside woodland garden and Mediterranean terrace garden, from where we can enjoy beautiful views over the serene lake & parkland. In the afternoon we visit the city of Rochester with its magnificent cathedral and historic castle, take a stroll along the High Street and explore the old town and cobbled streets. Dinner at the Marriott.

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Day 3

Today our first visit is to Ightham Mote, a romantic 14th century moated manor house, garden and estate with extensive grounds where carpets of flowers blossom during the summer months. After lunch we make our way to moated Scotney Castle. We relax in the picturesque garden with its glorious backdrop of a fairytale castle, venture into the beautiful grounds and discover the delights of its Victorian country mansion house with all its secrets and stories. Dinner at the hotel.

B, D

Day 4

We begin this morning with a visit to Emmetts Garden, which showcases an amazing variety of flowering plants and exotic trees, with sweeping views of the Kent countryside. Next we visit Penshurst Place where we discover its fascinating interior and beautiful formal grounds, before making our way to the Bluebell Railway for a steam train journey between Sheffield Park and East Grinstead. Dinner at the hotel.

B, D

Day 5

This morning we head south to the delightful Spa town of Royal Tunbridge Wells, with its elegant streets and Georgian buildings and the famous Pantiles, a colonnaded shopping area in the town centre. After lunch we head to enchanting Hever Castle & Gardens, this wonderful manor house was the childhood home of Anne Boleyn. We return to the Tudor Park for dinner.

B, D

Day 6

We leave our hosts at the Marriott Tudor Park for the journey north to Cumbria.

B

B=Breakfast Included, D=Dinner Included

Tudor Park Marriott Hotel & Country Club

Surrounded by beautiful countryside, Tudor Park Marriott Hotel & Country Club offers a private 18-hole PGA golf course, free parking and a swimming pool. 

The luxurious rooms at Tudor Park Marriott Hotel & Country Club feature flat-screen TVs, a laptop safe and sumptuous bedding. Guests can enjoy free Wi-Fi access in public areas 24 hours a day.

Tudor Park Marriott Hotel & Country Club also boasts an on-site gym and spa offering beauty treatment and massages.

Dining options include the Cast Iron Grill, offering fresh and locally sourced British dishes. Zest Bar is a lively sports bar, and The Brew Bar Lounge offers a selection of craft beers, cocktails, sharing plates and afternoon tea.

Below is a list of pick-up points available on this tour.

Below is a list of pick-up points available on this tour.

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Name Address Contact Details
Appleby The Sands Appleby
Aspatria Car Park beside Spar Aspatria
Brough Monument Bus Shelter Brough
Carlisle Entrance to Sands Centre Car Park Carlisle
Cockermouth Monument Main Street Cockermouth
Dearham Commercial Corner Dearham
Distington Outside Prospect Works Distington
Egremont Conservative Club Egremont
Flimby Railway Station Flimby
Harrington Galloping Horse bus stop Harrington
High Hesket Palmerstons Furniture Store
Keswick Bell Close Car Park Keswick
Kirkby Stephen Market Square Kirkby Stephen
Maryport Outside Coop Maryport
Penrith Sandgate Bus Station Penrith
Thursby Bus Stop Thursby
Waverton Bus Stop Waverton
Whitehaven Bus Stop Tangier Street Whitehaven
Wigton Old Bus Station Wigton
Workington Lay By opposite Grahams Travel Jane St. Workington
From Price Call Back Telephone Favourites
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