From a bountiful orchard to the childhood home of Anne Boleyn, we recommend the best gardens to visit in the beautiful county of Kent.


Don't miss our guide to the best gardens to visit in London and gardens with mazes for a fun day out.

Gardens to visit in Kent

Sissinghurst Castle

Sissinghurst Castle Garden
© National Trust Images/Andrew Butler

One of the most iconic English gardens to visit, created in 1930 by Vita Sackville-West and her husband Harold Nicolson. Renowned for its remarkable rose collection, Sissinghurst was voted the best National Trust garden by Garden Illustrated readers in 2020.

Read about Sissinghurst's remarkable rose collection.

Sissinghurst Castle, Nr Cranbrook, Kent TN17 2AB. Tel 01580 710700,

Ightham Mote Garden

A particularly fine view to enjoy at Ightham is the medieval manor house reflected in the South Lake. The lake and moat are fed by a stream flowing down the valley garden, which also boasts a cutting garden, orchard, rich summer borders and a 'secret garden'. Natural springs have been tapped to supply the fountain pools and open channels.

Mote Rd, Ivy Hatch, Sevenoaks TN15 0NT,

Walmer Castle and Gardens

The Queen Mother's Garden, Walmer Castle and Gardens, Kent
Historic England/Getty Images

Eight acres of award-winning gardens surrounding a country house that was home to Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother.

The replanted borders in the Broadwalk Garden were unveiled in 2016 – the colour and planting scheme inspired by the influential British garden designer Gertrude Jekyll.

The Queen Mother's Garden was designed by Penelope Hobhouse, reflecting Hobhouse's interest in Islamic gardens with its classical lines, still water, rich planting and cool shade.

Walmer Castle and Gardens, Kingsdown Road, Deal, Kent, CT14 7LJ,

Hever Castle

Hever Castle maze
© Hever Castle & Gardens

Hever Castle was Anne Boleyn's childhood home, and among the award-winning grounds you'll find a maze, an Italian Garden, a Rose Garden and a Tudor Garden, laid out as it might have been during the time of Henry VIII and his doomed second wife.

Hever Castle, Hever Rd, Hever, Edenbridge TN8 7NG,

Leeds Castle

At Leeds Castle there are 500 acres of gardens and parkland to explore, including the Culpeper Garden (named after the family who owned Leeds Castle in the 17th century), which blooms with roses, lupins and poppies.

The gardens also boast a remarkable maze, which is set in a square, yet when viewed from the air the pattern is circular (part of it resembles a queen's crown).

Leeds Castle, Broomfield, Maidstone, Kent ME17 1PL,

Little Buds Peony Farm

Little Buds Peony Farm

This peony specialist grows over 50 varieties on their farm, including the blousy Etched Salmon and heavenly Coral Sunset. Visitors are welcome to walk through the fields and take photos, and there are freshly cut bunches and potted up plants for you to buy. Open late May to mid/late June.

Little Budds Peony Farm, Coldblow Lane, Thurnham, Maidstone, Kent ME14 3LR,

Godinton House

Godinton House in Kent is a Jacobean house surrounded by a fine garden with herbaceous borders, a rose garden and a three-acre wild garden that in March and April is filled not only with daffodils, but fritillaries, primroses and other spring flowers. Chosen by Keith Wiley

Godinton House & Gardens, Godinton Lane, Ashford, Kent TN23 3BP,

Great Comp Garden

You know you’ve made it as a nurseryman or gardener, when your name becomes synonymous with a particular plant. This is true of William Dyson and his collection of salvias at Great Comp Garden. William is curator of the garden in Sevenoaks, and his adjoining nursery offers a huge range of salvias that can be seen in varied garden situations. Visitors can also explore gardens that wrap around a 17th-century manor house and showcase many unusual perennials, including kniphofias, crocosmias, dahlias and many grasses and shrubs. Chosen by Tom Brown

Great Comp Garden, Comp Lane, St Mary’s Platt, Sevenoaks, Kent TN15 8QS,

Brogdale Farm

Set in the weald of Kent, it houses an impressive collection of fruit trees. Its October Apple Festival offers the chance to try and buy more than 2,200 apple cultivars from all over the world and from almost every county in Britain – including many heritage cultivars. A visit is guaranteed to spark an interest in growing your own fruit. Chosen by Tom Brown

Brogdale Collections, Brogdale Road, Faversham, Kent ME13 8XZ. Tel 01795 536250,

Doddington Place Gardens

Doddington Place
© Molly Hollman Photography

These lovely landscaped gardens, recognised of being of historical importance by Historic England, are set in the grounds of an imposing Victorian mansion and cover 10 acres. They are surrounded by wooded countryside in an area of outstanding natural beauty on the North Downs.

There is a notable woodland garden – especially spectacular in May and June – which includes many different varieties of rhododendrons and azaleas. Also, watch out for the large Edwardian rock garden with pools, a formal sunken garden with herbaceous borders, and a flint and brick folly.

Doddington Place Gardens, Church La, Sittingbourne ME9 0BB,

Penshurst Place Gardens

Penshurst Place has been home to the Sidney family since 1552 making it one of the oldest family-owned estates in England.

Surrounded by 11 acres of walled formal gardens and housing one of the few surviving medieval Baronial Halls in England, Penshurst Place is an historical gem in the Weald of Kent countryside. The stately home and gardens were once used as a hunting lodge for Henry VIII, and now feature beautiful staterooms and grounds that are frequently showcased in popular TV and film productions.

Visitors can enjoy a stroll through the 11 acres of formal walled gardens, discovering hidden corners brimming with fruit trees, an abundance of tulips, roses, colourful borders and water features.

Penshurst Place, Penshurst, Tonbridge, Kent TN11 8DG,

Riverhill Himalayan Gardens

Riverhill Garden

The gardens at Riverhill are an intriguing mix of historic and traditional planting, with contemporary and quirky twists, making it a fascinating ‘must visit’ garden for families and garden lovers alike.

The principal features are the Walled Garden, restored in 2011, with sumptuous contemporary grass curves and frothy fountains, Rose Walk, Italianate terraces and Wood Garden.

The Wood Garden displays magnificent colour from carpets of bluebells with a vast array of specimen rhododendrons and azaleas. The gardens also have fantastic views over the Weald of Kent.

Riverhill Himalayan Gardens, Riverhill, Sevenoaks Kent TN15 0RR,

Find inspiration for more days out with our guide to 25 of the best English gardens.


Here's our gardens to visit guide


Abigail is a freelance writer and editor based in Hereford.