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A Kent village dominated by Sissinghurst Castle

UK | South Coast | Kent | Sissinghurst
Sissinghurst Castle

The pretty village of Sissinghurst is situated between Cranbrook and Frittenden, east of Tunbridge Wells. The village is famous for its proximity to the National Trust treasure Sissinghurst Castle and Gardens.

The village is in an area of outstanding natural beauty with ancient forests, green fields and buildings of historical significance. Sissinghurst has everything you could want in a village – a pretty church, great pub, a restaurant, an antiques shop and grocery shop, and the high street is lined with traditional white weather-boarded cottages. The Milk House village pub is a 16th century hall house which is well known in the area, serving locally produced food and wine from nearby vineyards.

Sissinghurst Castle is an Elizabethan manor house, the former home of Vita Sackville-West who transformed the gardens in the 1930’s. The writer and poet began designing the gardens with the help of her diplomat husband Harold Nicolson. The gardens were created as a series of rooms or ‘succession of intimacies’ as Harold called them, filled with abundant, exuberant planting which reflected the romance of Vita’s writing, and still inspire gardeners to this day. It is one of the most admired gardens of the 20th century and the White Garden is renowned worldwide. You can even take a little bit of Sissinghurst home by buying a plant or two from the plant shop. The castle also has a museum and gift shop to pick up some presents. There are some great grounds to take strolls with your family and dogs too. Why not enjoy some lunch at the Granary restaurant where much of the food is sourced from the estate? Check the website for forthcoming events too.

“Sissinghurst Castle has some of the best examples of 20th century gardening at this scale in the country…”

Sissinghurst is at the edge of High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, a lush green expanse that is full of pleasant villages and market towns. The main hub is Royal Tunbridge Wells and it is a reasonable driving distance from Sissinghurst to enjoy a shopping trip and to visit some of the town’s places of historical interest. The High Weald has many picturesque towns and villages amid the rolling hills, ancient woods and open heaths. Also catch an old steam train on the Spa Valley Railway to see more of the countryside up close. Other places of interest are the Union Mill at Cranbrook, Scotney Castle and the aforementioned Sissinghurst Castle. For children there is the enchanting Groombridge Place. If you like a climb, check out Go Ape at Bedgebury Pinetum and National Forest, or if watersports is your ‘thing’ check out Bewl Water.

There is a pass to get discounts on entrance fees to attractions in the area called the Seven Wonders of The Weald pass.

Tunbridge Wells

All the places are within easy reach of Tunbridge Wells.

The seven wonders pass includes: Scotney Castle, Biddenden Vineyards, Groombridge Place, Kent & East Sussex Railway, Chiddingstone Castle & Gardens, Hole Park Gardens and Royal Tunbridge Wells itself.

While you’re there

Royal Tunbridge Wells

Visit for a great shopping experience in one of England’s prettiest large towns

The Milk House

Roll up to the Milk House, a well-known pub and former 16th century hall house

Sissinghurst Castle and Gardens

Vita Sackville-West’s wonderful former home and garden is a worthy day out

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