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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 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, by joining a guided winter tour, you can take in the ruined architecture of the extensive original buildings, the vast panoramic views from the top of the Tower, the current working farm and the 450-acre wider estate.
We've plenty of events for you to enjoy during the next few months, so make sure you keep up to date.
We can’t wait to see you.
We're open for special winter tours
From Monday 3 Nov to Sunday 8 March, you can join one of our team on a special guided tour behind the garden gate. Come and learn the history of the place, have a trip to the top of the tower (weather permitting), wonder at the panoramic views and check out the two exhibitions. It's even your chance to quiz the guides on all those Sissinghurst Castle questions you've never had time to ask.
Our formal gardens need a well-deserved rest over the winter months, so these tours are your chance to get to know a different side of Sissinghurst. The tours run on the hour from 11am-3pm, with the last tour at 3pm. There’s no need to book, and normal admission applies. Please meet at the Old Dairy coffee shop.
If you want to enjoy a good view with food grown and reared only a few feet away, then visit us in December for a festive lunch. Two or three courses with coffee and mince pies are available or you can enjoy individual courses if you don't have much time.
Give us a call to book in advance on
01580 710704 or pop by between 1-23 December from 12 noon and 2.30pm.
Before the first frosts appear, we're putting the garden to bed for the winter. There's lots to do: from lifting the dahlias, planting the biennial wallflowers and foxgloves, scarifying/top dressing the lawns, cutting the hedges and rose pruning.
Read our gardeners' blog for more details and find out what's happening for a renewed White Garden and Purple Border next season.
The Old Dairy
Our refurbished building, previously a home to a herd of cows, is now renamed the Old Dairy. Stop here for lunch, or just a snack, or for tea, coffee and cakes. Our home-grown plants live here too, as well as our secondhand bookshop.
Enjoy our new space, especially after a walk around the estate, and in winter; we'll light the wood burner while you browse the books.
Our exhibitions will remain open throughout the year.
Learn more about the story of Vita and Harold's remarkable life in the oast house, where we tell the story of how the couple built a life together.
Or take part in a winter tour and admire the couple's joint effort in creating the garden with some of Vita's gardening tools on view.