Summer strolls at Emmetts Garden

A visitor enjoying the views at Emmetts Garden, a National Trust property in Kent

The views over the weald of Kent at Emmetts Garden look spectacular in the summer sunshine. Make the most of the warm weather by strolling around the gardens and into the woodland. Got time to spare? Take your walk a step further by following the trail to nearby Toys Hill, or even Chartwell.


Take a stroll down to the ram pump house and its adjacent pond and we’re sure you’ll come across these gentle insects and their damselfly cousins.

With shimmering bodies flashing in the sun, dragonflies can fly sideways and even backwards on fast, agile wings. Their powerful eyes see ultraviolet light, so they can easily spot prey and snatch meals on the go.

A dragonfly lays eggs on the lily pads in the rose garden fountain
Dragonfly laying its egg in the pond at Emmetts Garden, a National Trust garden in Kent
A dragonfly lays eggs on the lily pads in the rose garden fountain
The view of Ide Hill from Toys Hill, a natural area owned by the National Trust in Kent

Toys Hill carpark trail, via Emmetts Garden

If you're looking for a gentle walk, taking in fantastic views out over the Kent countryside and all seeped in the history of the National Trust, this is the one for you.

Summer view over weald of Kent from Emmetts Garden, a National Trust property in Kent

Weardale Walk From Emmetts Garden

This beautiful circular walk links Chartwell and Emmetts Garden; passing through the woodland areas of Toys Hill and Hosey Common, as well as the pretty hamlet of French Street.

Coppice Clearings

As you walk between Emmetts Garden and Chartwell, keep an eye out for the coppice clearings created by our ranger teams recently.

Without the coverage from the trees, the sun can now reach the undergrowth, encouraging new wildflowers and shrubs to grow. Usually carried out during late winter when the plants are dormant and so not to disturb the nesting birds, keep checking back to see how the undergrowth evolves over the summer too.

Coppicing is an ancient way of managing woodland. It may seem counterproductive but by cutting the trees down, it encourages new shoots to form from the stumps. It’s a great way of quickly producing sustainable timber.

Try A Longer Walk

Keep an eye out for...

The Octavia Hill well at Toys Hill, a National Trust place in Kent

Well, well, well

Octavia Hill (one of the founding members of the National Trust) sank a well for the residents of Toys Hill to use and gifted it to the National Trust in 1898. The well was restored in 1999 and has some of the best views across the Weald of Kent to the Ashdown Forest in the far distance.

The bat tower at Toys Hill, a National Trust countryside site in Kent

A batty place for a tower

The bat tower was once used as the water tower for the Weardale estate. After suffering damage in the 1987 storm, we decided to convert the tower into a bat hibernaculum. The tower is well used by bats and they seem to like hanging out in their new home.

A pond that supplied water to the Emmetts estate near Toys Hill and Emmetts Garden, National Trust places in Kent

Pump it up at Pugden

Next to a beautifully calm pond you'll see the remains of the Victorian ram pump system which was used to supply water for the Emmetts estate. The basic idea behind a ram pump is simple: it uses the momentum of a relatively large amount of moving water to pump a relatively small amount of water uphill.

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