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Historic, poetic, iconic; a refuge dedicated to beauty. Vita Sackville-West and Harold Nicolson fell in love with Sissinghurst Castle and created a world renowned garden.

Vita Sackville-West, the poet and writer, began the transforming Sissinghurst Castle in the 1930s with her diplomat and author husband, Harold Nicolson. Harold's architectural planning of the garden rooms, and the colourful, abundant planting in the gardens by Vita, reflect the romance and intimacy of her poems and writings.

Sissinghurst Castle was the backdrop for a diverse history; from the astonishing time as a prison in the 1700s, to being a home to the women’s land army. It was also a family home to some fascinating people who lived here or came to stay. Today you can take in the ruined architecture of the extensive original buildings, vast panoramic views from the top of the Tower, the current working farm and the 450-acre wider estate along with Vita and Harold's gardens.

We've plenty of events for you to enjoy for the rest of the year, so make sure you keep up to date.

We can’t wait to see you.

Colourful autumn


We've just two more weeks (until Sunday 2 November) for you to enjoy our colourful gardens before they snooze for the winter. Come and see how we're reviewing the planting ready for a renewed White Garden and Purple Border next season.

Read our gardeners' blog for more details.

Our winter tours

Views from the top of the tower

Our formal gardens will be having a rest from Monday 3 November 2014 - Sunday 8 March 2015.
Don't be disappointed though, because we can offer you a guided tour on your visit. Please click on the link below to find out the timings.

The events' page will tell you more

When you visit...

Vita’s wedding skirt from 1913

Don't forget our two exhibitions that will remain open throughout the year.
Catch a glimpse of the story of Vita and Harold's remarkable life in the oast and admire their joint effort in rescuing the garden with various items on view in the tower.

Book month

During October, come and learn how we're conserving the 11,000 books that Vita and Harold kept in the library and South Cottage. We're halfway through our three-year project and already this significant collection is safe from creepy-crawlies and damp for many years to come.

Letterpress project

Volunteers using the letterpress

A working copy of the Minerva press, the first piece of furniture owned by Vita and Harold that was a present from Leonard and Virginia Woolf, has been installed in the Old Dairy barn. During October, volunteers will be getting inky fingers while printing copies of Vita's poem: Sissinghurst.
The project is being supported by a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Read how we're getting on.

The Old Dairy

Customer selecting goodies from the Old Dairy selection

Our refurbished building, renamed the 'Old Dairy', incorporates your light snack needs, our home-grown plants and a new venture: our secondhand bookshop. Enjoy our new space, especially after a your walk around the estate, and in winter; we'll light the woodburner while you browse the books.