Stable courtyard garden from the tower. © NT/Hannah Epps

Stable courtyard garden from the tower.

A sense of place

Nestled at the foot of a deep valley, the gardens at Ightham Mote occupy fourteen acres, with a sequence of water features running throughout.

Why not relax in the enclosed garden, be inspired by our cuttings and vegetable garden, meander through the orchard with historic apple varieties or stroll around the historic pleasure grounds?


North lawn

North lawn at Ightham Mote © NT/ Adam Ford

With an 18th-century cascade, terraced walks on either side and stunning views of the house, the north lawn is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the surroundings.

Enclosed garden

The cherub in the Enclosed Garden © Tony Drake

Hidden behind high walls, this secluded, paved garden with central fountain is a relaxing place. Its soft planting reflects the American idea of a traditional English garden.

Cuttings Garden

In August the Cuttings Garden is full of the scent of Sweet peas © Adam Ford

Awash with colour, the cuttings garden provides beautifully scented cut flowers for the house and fresh vegetables for the restaurant. The scent from the cuttings garden is especially good at the end of June when the sweet pea walk is at its best.


The orchard in the spring sunshine © Adam Ford

Catching the early morning sun, the orchard occupies the site of the original sixteenth-century kitchen garden. Featuring a variety of historic apple trees, the orchard is a lovely place to sit and admire the view.

Historic Pleasure Grounds

Historic pleasure grounds at Ightham Mote © NT / Adam Ford

With a meandering stream, ornamental lake and specimen trees, this landscaped walk at the north end of the garden has its origins in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. After the area's gradual decline following the First World War, you can once again enjoy a quiet stroll.

A lost garden

The south side of Ightham Mote as viewed from the south lake © NT/Hannah Holohan

Following its decline in the early twentieth century, the South Lake pleasure grounds are slowly emerging. This area is only accessible on one of our complimentary guided tours.

Current work

Dredging the South Lake at Ightham Mote to restore the habitat

Dredging the South Lake at Ightham Mote to restore the habitat

Thanks to a grant from the SITA trust, the independent funding body created in 1997 to provide funding through the Landfill Communities Fund, we have been able to carry out some much needed work on the South Lake.

Forming part of the original medieval water system and once site of an ancient mill, over the past few years, the South Lake has been silting up and has been smothered by rushes. The continued decline would have had an effect on the ecological nature of the site, so it has been our primary focus to restore the pond habitat.   

Whilst the area looks quite bare at the moment, the work will benefit a number of BAP (Biodiversity Action Plan) species including common toad, grass snake, soprano pipistrelle and brown long-eared bats.

Drawing on the past

Western terrace at Ightham Mote circa 1900

We carried out research into how the gardens and estate have changed over the past 700 years. From this, we have created a Conservation Management Plan to guide us in our presentation of the garden.