Gardens and parks in Kent

From new displays across the garden at Ightham Mote to unmissable spring showstoppers at Emmetts Garden, National Trust gardens across Kent are filled with colour this season.

By visiting our gardens you help us care for them throughout the seasons.

A family walking in the woods at Fountains Abbey, North Yorkshire

Latest visiting update 

Our gardens, parks, cafés, shops, countryside locations and many houses are open. You no longer need to pre-book at many places. Some still require booking ahead, so please check the property webpage before you travel.​

Spring daffodils in front of Chartwell house

Chartwell 

Daffodils cover the grounds from early spring. Look out for the double-headed Winston Churchill daffodil in the Walled Garden. Magnolias, rhododendrons and azaleas line the pathway as spring progresses. Another highlight is the Eddie’s White Wonder, standing tall over the croquet pitch. In May, bearded irises bob along the Iris Walk, including varieties similar to those favoured by Clementine Churchill herself. The place for bluebells, usually from mid-April, is the surrounding woodland, with the forest floor of Mariners Hill fully carpeted with blue.

Bluebell slopes at Emmetts Garden, a National Trust property in Kent

Emmetts Garden 

The rhododendrons and azaleas are unmissable, with 130 different varieties providing ongoing interest throughout the season. 48 cherry trees blossom next to the wildflower meadow, surrounded by a sea of pink, red and black tulips. More unique specimens are the handkerchief and wedding cake trees. The ‘wow’ moment at Emmetts however is always the English bluebells, with the whole woodland completely transformed. Please check pre-booking requirements on the website before visiting.

Looking across the daffodil filled orchard to the north side of the house on a sunny day

Ightham Mote 

There's new planting including mid and late-season daffodils, grape hyacinths, Russian snowdrops and snowflakes. In the orchard new apple and other fruit trees have been planted. Plus there's a new fruit, vegetable and herb border underway along the west wall. New and renovated paths around the north pleasure grounds and south lake will make it easier for buggies and wheelchairs to enjoy stunning views back to the house. From early May the alliums arrive, signalling the transition to early summer.

A view from the bastion at Scotney Castle overlooking the old castle and rhododendrons

Scotney Castle 

The Quarry Garden, filled with azaleas, re-opens this spring. Capture the iconic view from the Bastion over the newly-landscaped rhododendrons to the Old Castle before winding your way inside. Clouds of cherry and amelanchier blossom guard the entrance to the Quarry Garden, whilst the Walled Garden fruit trees are covered in delicate blooms. Daffodils include Narcissus 'Eystettensis', an ancient variety of Narcissus dating back to the 1600s under the beech opposite the Queen Mother's Lawn. Bluebells are most dense under the two main beech trees and along the drive, as well as throughout the woodlands on the estate. To guarantee entry to the car park, please pre-book your parking tickets via the property website.

Colourful Irises in the garden

Sissinghurst Castle Garden 

The formal gardens spring to life as snowdrops make way for daffodils and anemones. Walk the nuttery and lime walk to see flower beds in full bloom. The orchard brims with daffodils and crocuses, and blossom on the fruit trees. Late April sees bluebells create a carpet of purple amongst the trees. In May, irises light up the garden for one brief but spectacular moment. Heritage cultivars such as ‘Black Douglas’ from America and ‘Beotie’ from France bloom in rich, intense colours.

The wisteria at Knole

Knole 

Lord Sackville’s private garden is open on selected dates, revealing sprawling lawns, a walled garden, an untamed wilderness area and a medieval orchard. The garden at Knole has existed since the early fifteenth century. Highlights include rarely-seen views back to the beautiful south front of the house, the mossy meandering paths of ‘the wilderness’ and a glorious display of purple wisteria along the garden’s western wall. Self-guided tours are available (pick up a leaflet at the entrance to the garden). As this is a private garden, tended by Lord Sackville’s gardeners, seating is limited and plants are not marked. Open Mon 28 Mar, Mon 11 Apr, Wed 27 Apr & Thurs 12 May. Last entry at 3.30pm. Pre-booking essential.

The garden at Quebec House

Quebec House 

Tulips planted outside the front door bloom a beautiful red every year. Daffodils line the path to the coach house and around the borders of the intimate garden. The alliums begin to emerge as well as the very beautiful aquilegia - otherwise known as Granny's Bonnet. A small patch of wisteria winds up the front and side of the house, framing the windows with lilac, and the smell of wild garlic fills the air. Open Wednesday to Sunday. Closed Mondays & Tuesdays.

Apple blossom in the orchard at Smallhythe Place

Smallhythe Place 

The garden contains a traditional rose garden, orchard, nuttery and ponds, all of which are home to an abundance of wildlife including the protected Great Crested Newt. Come spring, see carpets of colour including primroses, bluebells and fritillaries stretching across the gardens. Spring bulbs surface around the ponds, and pale pink and white apple blossom litters the grounds of the orchards. Open Wednesday to Sunday. Closed Mondays & Tuesdays.