Secret hideaways to visit in Kent

Wind down country lanes, cross peaceful pastures and venture into unknown corners of great houses to seek out Kent's hidden gems. A knight's dwelling at Old Soar Manor and even an empty tomb at Cobham Wood & Mausoleum await, each with a different story to tell. Every time you seek out tucked-away treasures, you help us open new places to discover.

The exterior of the remaining 13th century home

Old Soar Manor 

Negotiate the winding country lanes until you come upon this thirteenth century knight's dwelling. Wander in the footsteps of those who came before you to uncover its secrets. A historic haven today, the arrow slits and defensive passages suggest there's a different story to tell. Open Saturday to Thursday from 1 April, 10am to 6pm.

The front of the red brick house at Owletts

Owletts 

Step inside this Charles II house and be struck, despite the grandeur, by its familiarity. Sir Herbert Baker's descendants still call Owletts home. Wander past the oval stained glass window and electrical empire clock out into the sunny sunken garden to make memories of your own. Doors open on Sundays from April, 11am to 5pm.

Traditional herbaceous borders line the pathway in the garden at St John's Jerusalem, Kent

St. John's Jerusalem 

A hidden garden paves the way to a thirteenth-century chapel. Surrounded by a moat, the island retreat is laden with soft swathes of colour in the beds and borders, underpinned by a rustling breeze and birdsong. Visit on Wednesday afternoons from 4 April, 2pm to 6pm.

The restored Darnley Mausoleum

Cobham Mausoleum 

The lovingly-restored eighteenth century mausoleum at Cobham Wood is a place of peace and reflection. Though it never took on its intended purpose of nobleman's resting place, it maintains its proud place among the pastures. Open first Sunday of the month, April to September.