Home   What's On   News   Article

Gardens in Kent: 10 of the best in the county

By Angela Cole

Kent is the Garden of England - here's 10 gardens to celebrate it.


The eight-acre gardens at Hadlow College were originally designed and maintained as a teaching resource for the students, but is now open to the public.

Each year, from September to May, students build new gardens on themes from domestic gardens, show gardens to public landscape styles using a range of plants and materials in innovative ways.

They hold two national collections - the National Collection of Japanese Anemones, flowering from August to October, and the National Collection of Hellebores, flowering February to March.

Broadview Gardens
Broadview Gardens

All seasons are covered at the gardens, from summer with its bright colours through borders in contrast to the leafy shade from the lakeside trees, to spring with tulips, crocuses and daffodils used in formal bedding schemes, autumn with Japanese Anemones and late flowering perennials and winter with its shrubs, grasses and colourful dried heads of herbaceous plants.

Find the gardens and garden centre at Hadlow College, Tonbridge Road, Hadlow, TB11 0AL. Call 01732 853211, email broadview@hadlow.ac.uk or visit broadviewgardens.co.uk for details of opening times.


Goodnestone is a haven of tranquillity hidden away between Canterbury, Sandwich and Dover. The gardens have many centuries of history behind them and have been created by generations of the FitzWalter family who have lived here since they built the house.

The gardens are renowned for their quality and are suitable for a peaceful family day out or a walk in the Kent countryside, as well as special events, including concerts, plant fairs and wedding receptions.

Open to the public Wednesday to Sundays from May to August and Sundays in September, for details go to goodnestoneparkgardens.co.uk


The gardens near Borough Green are seven acres of beautiful and rare plants surrounding a 17th century manor house. There's also an Italian Garden, romantic ruins, enchanting woodland walks and a tearoom.

Great Comp Garden
Great Comp Garden

The garden is the creation of Roderick and Joy Cameron who moved to Great Comp in 1957. They opened the garden to the public for charity in the 60s, and it is now run by curator William Dyson, assisted by gardeners and a small team of volunteers.

Find the gardens at Comp Lane, Platt, Borough Green, TN15 8QS. For details and opening times visit greatcompgarden.co.uk

Kent's Year of the English Garden celebrations.


With its unique place in the history of science and evolution, Down House, the family home of world-renowned scientist Charles Darwin, is a must-see.

Stand in the study where Darwin wrote On the Origin of Species, stroll through the gardens that inspired him, and visit his and wife Emma's newly recreated bedroom which overlooks them. Let Sir David Attenborough take you on an interactive multimedia tour around the house, and discover how Darwin developed his groundbreaking theories.

Find Down House at Luxted Rd, Downe (off the A21 or A233), BR6 7JT. For more details and opening times visit english-heritage.org.uk


An ancient estate surrounded by parkland with beautifully restored house and gardens, Godinton is a much-loved home with 600 years of history.

Tours of the house are led by expert guides revealing a country house collection of furniture, art, porcelain and curios and there are homemade cakes and refreshments in the old Billiard Room.

Godinton House and gardens
Godinton House and gardens

The famous yew hedge surrounds the formal gardens with the wild, Italian and walled gardens beyond, full of colour and interest through the seasons.

Find Godinton House & Gardens at Godinton Lane, Ashford, TN23 3BP. For details of opening times, prices and events go to godintonhouse.co.uk


Hiding behind the ancient city walls of Sandwich lie 3.5 acres of gardens.

When Steph and Dom took over in 2003, they had been neglected but it was their immediate priority to unearth the beauty and they were reopened by Monty Don in 2007.

Find the gardens at Knightrider Street, Sandwich, CT13 9EW. For detail visit the-salutation.com/the-gardens


Tucked away in the Weald of Kent, between Rolvenden and Cranbrook, the 15-acre gardens are privately owned. They are often referred to as a hidden gem, with plenty of treasures behind its walls and within its hedges.

For more details and opening times visit holepark.com


A National Trust hillside garden with year-round features, you can enjoy trails featuring your storybook favourites to wild play and outdoor fun throughout the summer for the family and until Sunday, September 4, there will be a celebration of Eeyore's birthday with a special trail.

Emmetts Garden in Sevenoaks
Emmetts Garden in Sevenoaks

For opening times, admission prices and events visit nationaltrust.org.uk/emmetts-garden


The layout of the grounds dates back from the 1790s, though the planting has been altered over the past two centuries. The gardens consist of a walled garden, pinetum, wooded areas, formal lawns and a large kitchen garden.

The gardens are open all year round between 10am and 6pm. For more details and entry costs visit belmont-house.org/the-gardens


The garden near Sevenoaks are a listed hillside garden for the whole family to enjoy.

Renowned for their carpets of bluebells in the woodland in springtime, and a spectacular array of rhododendrons and azaleas in spring, the gardens also have views over the Weald.

Riverhill Himalayan Gardens
Riverhill Himalayan Gardens

Try den building in the woods, the adventure playground and the hedge maze - and there's the Riverhill Yeti who you might spot in the woods.

Find Riverhill Himalayan Gardens at postcode TN15 0RR, call 01732 459777 or riverhillgardens.co.uk

Follow us

Like Us on Facebook

Most popular

Kent Travel News

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More