What to expect from your visit

Sissinghurst in Autumn

The gardens at Sissinghurst Castle Garden are open for pre-booking, along with our car park, restaurant, takeaway café (weekends only), shop and toilet facilities.

To ensure the safety of our visitors, staff, volunteers and local communities, we've reduced the number of people we can welcome at one time. Please book your tickets before you visit. Members can book for free, while non-members will need to pay when booking.

Where space is available on weekdays, pre-booking may not always be necessary, however, if you do not book, we cannot guarantee admission.

In this article you’ll find everything you need to know about what's open and what to expect from your visit.

Garden maintenance

Please note that we are carrying out essential maintenance work to areas of the garden over the winter until March 2021. Areas affected include top courtyard, lower courtyard, moat walk, the rose garden and the orchard. You may find some areas and routes closed to allow the grass to regenerate and prevent further impact while the ground is wet. The main garden rooms and rose garden pathways are accessible as normal. The cutting garden will remain open. Moat walk will be closed, but can be viewed from the top or bottom, and the gazebo may be closed if the orchard is waterlogged. One-way routes are in place in top courtyard and lower courtyard.

We would ask that all visitors are mindful of social distancing and respectful of others whilst still enjoying the garden. Many pathways are narrow, so if one area seems busy, please try an alternative route. It’s no problem to go around the garden twice if you miss anything. If you are a wheelchair user, please ask for a map that shows the accessible routes.

Golden avenue of pleached lime trees in the gardens at Sissinghurst
Golden avenue of pleached lime trees in the gardens at Sissinghurst
Golden avenue of pleached lime trees in the gardens at Sissinghurst

Parking and arrival

Please have your tickets, membership card and booking voucher close to hand as you arrive, as we'll be checking your booking as you enter the car park.

Please arrive within your half-hour timeslot, to help maintain social distancing. The timeslot is for your arrival time into the garden. Please make your way to the garden as soon as you arrive.

If you’re more than 10 minutes late for your arrival slot, then entry will be at the discretion of the property team. We're asking visitors to limit their visit to two hours, to help maintain safe numbers in the grounds and ensure that as many people as possible have the opportunity to enjoy Sissinghurst.

There's no extra charge for parking - your pre-booked ticket includes a parking space.

Campervans that are used for transport are welcome for pre-booked visitors but are not permitted to stay overnight. Currently, we’re unable to welcome caravans and coaches.

Staying safe

To help keep everyone safe, please follow social distancing and government guidance when you visit. And look out for signs while you’re here which will explain any changes to how you can access different parts of the site.

You'll find bottles of hand sanitizer you can use outside the toilet facilities, and at the entrances to shop, Granary restaurant & Old Dairy (when open), as well as sinks for hand washing in the available toilets.

If you’re showing any of the symptoms of coronavirus, or if you've been in contact with anyone that has the virus in the last 14 days, please don’t visit.

The view from the orchard in the frost at Sissinghurst Castle Garden
The view from the orchard in the frost at Sissinghurst Castle Garden
The view from the orchard in the frost at Sissinghurst Castle Garden

Facilities

Toilets - including access and baby change facilities - are available next to visitor reception and the restaurant. We have limited the number of available cubicles to ensure adequate social distancing. These are sanitized at least three times a day.

The Granary restaurant is open to sit in or take away from 10.30am to 5.30pm, and our outdoor food outlet is open on weekend afternoons from 2.30pm serving a limited range of takeaway hot and cold drinks and some light snacks. We ask that you use the picnic area next to the vegetable garden where there are picnic tables are available, appropriately spaced.

Our shop and plant sales are open between 10.30 and 5.30 daily.

For the safety of staff and visitors we've introduced social distancing measures and changes to payment in our cafés and shop, which will be via card only. In line with government guidance visitors to our shop and the restaurant are now required to wear a face covering. Please bring one along with you.

Sadly, we’re not able to open everything at once. Some facilities and areas remain closed at the moment, so that we're sure that everything we do is safe, but new possibilities are opening up all the time.

Access

Visitors are welcome to loan one of our wheelchairs on a first come, first served basis. Benches are located around the site for visitors to rest as they walk.

Dogs are welcome on the wider estate but assistance dogs only in the garden. Please keep them on a short lead at all times.

Flowers in full colour outside of the shop
Flowers in full colour outside of the shop
Flowers in full colour outside of the shop

Opening up our buildings

We are planning to gradually reopen our buildings once we feel it is safe to do so. The Long Library and South Cottage are open with restrictions in place to make them safe for your visit:

  • Visitors will be asked to wear a face covering in our buildings
  • We will no longer be offering guided tours of the South Cottage
  • A maximum of 8 people allowed in the Library or South Cottage at any one time
  • On entry, visitors will be asked to apply the hand sanitiser provided
  • We will be securely collecting personal details as part of the track & trace scheme
  • There will be a strict one-way loop in the Library and South Cottage
  • We will be regularly cleaning
  • We have replaced hand-held room guides with text panels
  • We are following National Trust and Government guidance carefully, but if something isn’t working we will react quickly

Exploring the gardens

Our gardens are looking lovely and they will continue to do so well into the autumn. However, they won’t be quite as you’re used to seeing them. We’ve only had a limited number of gardeners at Sissinghurst, while everyone stayed home and stayed safe, and we have not been able to bring back any volunteers at this time.

We have a small team back at work now, but nowhere near what we’re used to, so the gardens aren’t perhaps as well-groomed as you might be expecting. There are some weeds and rough edges; please bear with us as we do what we can as soon as we can, and instead enjoy all the many other pleasures that our gardens have to offer.

Please don't use bikes, scooters and trikes anywhere in the grounds, and please don't bring parasols, wind breakers, tents, gazebos or inflatables on your visit.

Agapanthus 'Loch Hope' and Anemone hybrida 'Honorine Jobert' in the Rose Garden with the Tower in the distance at Sissinghurst Castle Garden
Agapanthus 'Loch Hope' and Anemone hybrida 'Honorine Jobert' in the Rose Garden with the Tower in the distance at Sissinghurst Castle Garden
Agapanthus 'Loch Hope' and Anemone hybrida 'Honorine Jobert' in the Rose Garden with the Tower in the distance at Sissinghurst Castle Garden

How to book

All visitors must book a ticket in advance, including members. Entry and parking is free for members, but please bring your membership card with you. Non-members will need to pay in advance.

Please book one ticket per person, except for children aged 5 or under as they don’t need a ticket.

You’ll need to choose a 30-minute arrival time for the day you want to visit.

The timeslot is for your arrival time into the garden. Please make your way to the garden as soon as you arrive.

Tickets are for your use only and are not available for resale

We'll send your booking confirmation by email. Please make sure you fill in your correct email address when you book to ensure you receive your confirmation email.

Every Friday we'll release new bookings for visits the following week. You can book up to 18 hours before a timeslot.

Due to limited spaces, we’re asking that you only book once a week to allow others a chance to visit.

Help support key workers

To say thank you to our nation's key workers and all they have done for us, we're encouraging visitors to keep the first and last slots of each day free for key workers to use. While we are unable to 'reserve' these slots exclusively for key workers, we hope you will join us in thanking them by leaving these times free. If you or someone in your group are a key worker, please take the opportunity to book these early and late timeslots.