Best places for blossom in Kent and East Sussex

Blossom is one of the most exquisite delights of an English spring. Fountains of white or cream blossom seem to appear from nowhere, often accompanied by a delicate fragrance.

In Japan ‘Hanami’, or ‘flower viewing’, is all about enjoying the fleeting beauty of blossom trees as they come into bloom. Join a blossom celebration in the run up to the National Trust’s #BlossomWatch day on 23 April 2022, when we'll be asking you to share your pictures of beautiful blossom on social media.

Read on to find out what type of blossom to look for as spring progresses at National Trust places nearby.

Spring blossom against blue skies and Chartwell

Chartwell 

From April into May, see delicate cherry blossom on the Top Terrace and in the borders lining the walkway from the Visitor Centre to the house. In future years, new cherry trees donated by the Sakura Cherry Tree Project this winter will blossom in the car park. From late April, the trees in the orchard are covered in blossom, including the bright pink Malus 'Arthur Turner' flower known for its showy displays every year. Don't miss the young ‘Winston’ tree, named for Sir Winston Churchill, which is set to blossom in years to come.

A view of the tower from the orchard meadow

Sissinghurst Castle Garden 

Walk beneath clouds of blossom from April on the rows of cherry trees in the orchard on the estate, and in the rose garden. As the season progresses, you’ll be spoilt for choice for blossom across the two orchards. There are over 1,100 fruit trees alone in the main orchard near the entrance, where apple blossom changes from pink to white as summer draws near. Apple trees make good nesting for birds so keep an eye and ear out for newly arrived chicks too.

Pale pink and white blossom covering the branches of trees with sunlight casting a dappled light onto the path below

Scotney Castle 

The wider estate is home to hedgerows of blackthorn, the earliest variety to flower from March. Also early to bloom is crab apple blossom in the Walled Garden, recognisable by its tinge of pink and sweet scent. You'll find apple blossom in the Walled Garden from late April too. From earlier April, cherry blossom is dotted around the site from the visitor entrance to the Quarry garden. Scotney’s next generation of cherry trees, chosen for their variation in colour and timing, can be seen by the old castle. Finally, into May, hawthorn blossoms in hedgerows on the estate. The flowers are highly scented, and grow in flat-topped clusters. To guarantee entry to the car park, please pre-book your parking tickets via the property website.

Batemans Tree Blossom

Bateman's 

Blossom peppers the wider estate with blackthorn, hawthorn and spindle trees flowering from early March to May. The orchard, recreated as it was in Kipling’s day, spills over with blossom from late April on the native varieties of pear and apple trees. The Pear Alley is clothed in white pear blossom in April. The flowers are good for pollinators, and complement the under-planting of spring-flowering bulbs.

A view across the gardens at Emmetts Garden with multi colour tulips covering the ground and pink cherry blossom on the trees

Emmetts Garden 

The young cherry trees at Emmetts come into flower in the first or second week of May. They are unusually lollipop-shaped as they were in the Lubbock family's day. Their beautiful pink blossoms are underplanted with a carpet of pink, red, white and black tulips that flower along with the cherry trees for a truly arresting sight. Venture into the surrounding woodland to see sweet or wild cherry blossom too.

Blossom on the apple trees in the orchard.

Ightham Mote 

Ancient blackthorn can be seen in the hedgerows at Mote Farm from March, along with crab apple trees in the orchard. In April and May, look out for pink-tinged cherry blossom on the eastern bank in the garden. From late April to May, more apple trees blossom in the orchard. Most apple blossoms have five petals and slightly woolly leaves.

Apple blossom in the orchard at Smallhythe Place

Smallhythe Place 

The blossom seasons starts early with crab apple trees coming into flower from March into April. From April to May, cherry blossom - a term used for many different species of cherry tree - fills the garden. Later in April, over 30 different varieties of apple trees start to flower in the orchard, creating an idyllic springtime country cottage garden.

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