Visit the many attractions near Southgate Little Fowlers Bed and Breakfast – including Sissinghurst Castle Garden, Great Dixter House & Gardens, Bewl Water, Pashley Manor Gardens, Scotney Castle, Bedgebury National Pinetum & Forest, Chartwell (Home of Sir Winston Churchill).
Places to Visit
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Great Dixter House & Gardens
Great Dixter was the family home of gardener and gardening writer Christopher Lloyd – it was the focus of his energy and enthusiasm and fuelled over 40 years of books and articles. Now under the stewardship of Fergus Garrett and the Great Dixter Charitable Trust, Great Dixter is an historic house, a garden, a centre of education, and a place of pilgrimage for horticulturists from across the world.
Sissinghurst Castle Garden
Sissinghurst Castle Garden historic, poetic, iconic; a refuge dedicated to beauty. Vita Sackville-West and Harold Nicolson fell in love with Sissinghurst Castle and created a world renowned garden. Vita Sackville-West, the poet and writer, began transforming Sissinghurst Castle in the 1930s with her diplomat and author husband, Harold Nicolson. Harold’s architectural planning of the garden rooms, and the colourful, abundant planting in the gardens by Vita, reflect the romance and intimacy of her poems and writings.
Today, by joining a guided winter tour, you can take in the ruined architecture of the extensive original buildings, the vast panoramic views from the top of the Tower, the current working farm and the 450-acre wider estate.
Pashley Manor Gardens
Pashley Manor is a quintessential English garden located on the Sussex and Kent border in the heart of South East England’s garden country. Pashley offers a sumptuous blend of romantic landscaping, imaginative plantings and fine old trees, fountains, springs and large ponds.
A winner of the HHA / Christie’s Garden Of The Year Award
Scotney Castle – Country house, romantic garden, 14th century moated castle – all in a beautiful wooded estate. Relax in our picturesque garden with the glorious backdrop of our fairy tale castle. Venture into the wonderful woodland and parkland with over 770 acres to explore. Discover the delights of our Victorian country mansion with its secrets and stories; you might meet our much loved cat in residence ‘Puss Puss’.
Enjoy a delicious meal in our tea-room or bring your own food along to eat in our newly created woodland picnic area. Your day would not be complete without a visit to our shop, where you will find tasty local produce including our very own Scotney bitter and yummy honey made from our busy bees. The estate is open all year, offering a variety of walks through our beautiful parkland, woodland and Hop farm.
Bateman’s – Jacobean house, home of Rudyard Kipling
Bateman’s – ‘That’s She! The Only She! Make an honest woman of her – quick!’ was how Rudyard Kipling and his wife, Carrie, felt the first time they saw Bateman’s. Surrounded by the wooded landscape of the Sussex Weald, this 17th-century house, with its mullioned windows and oak beams, provided a much needed sanctuary to this world-famous writer.
The rooms, described by him as ‘untouched and unfaked’, remain much as he left them, with oriental rugs and artefacts reflecting his strong association with the East. Bateman’s is very much a family home, but impressive none the less.
Bedgebury National Pinetum & Forest
Bedgebury National Pinetum & Forest – Bedgebury Forest is ideal for cycling, walking, running and riding, adventure play and Go Ape. Visit the National Pinetum, one of the world’s finest conifer collections, perfect for walks and picnics. Safe, healthy outdoor fun for all ages and abilities. Open all year & great value for money, Bedgebury is the place to visit on the Kent/Sussex border. “Bedgebury is cared for by the Forestry Commission for people, wildlife and trees”.
Knole House and Deer Park
Knole is more of a town than a house: six hundred years of history. Nestled in a medieval deer-park, Knole is vast, complex and full of hidden treasures. Originally an Archbishop’s palace, the house passed through royal hands to the Sackville family – Knole’s inhabitants from 1603 to today.
Inside the show rooms, art lovers will find Reynolds, Gainsborough and Van Dyck to admire. Textiles enthusiasts can marvel at the 17th-century tapestries and furniture that make the collection internationally significant.
Ightham Mote is an outstanding 14th-century moated manor house. Lose yourself in this romantic moated manor house, described by David Starkey as ‘one of the most beautiful and interesting of English country houses’. Built nearly 700 years ago, this house has seen many changes and been owned by Medieval knights, courtiers to Henry VIII and high society Victorians.
Highlights include the picturesque courtyard, Great Hall, crypt, Tudor painted ceiling, Grade I listed dog kennel and the private apartments of Charles Henry Robinson, who gave Ightham Mote to the National Trust in 1985. The house is surrounded by peaceful gardens with an orchard, water features, lakes and woodland walks.
Chartwell – Home and Garden of Sir Winston Churchill
Chartwell was the much-loved Churchill family home and the place from which Sir Winston drew inspiration from 1924 until the end of his life. The rooms remain much as they were when he lived here, with pictures, books and personal mementoes evoking the career and wide-ranging interests of a great statesman, writer, painter and family man. Additionally, every winter we put on a new temporary exhibition to explore Churchill in more detail and draw items out of storage.
The hillside gardens reflect Sir Winston’s love of the landscape and nature. They include the lakes he created, the kitchen garden and the Marycot, a playhouse designed for his youngest daughter Mary. Beyond the gardens there is an expanse of woodland with looped trails, natural play areas and swings. There’s den building, a Canadian camp and opportunities to stretch your legs.
Bewl Water Country Park
Bewl Water is the greatest lake in Kent and Sussex with a 13 mile perimeter. Bewl offers beautiful waterside walks all year round. The track is open to cycles and horses from Spring 2015.
The lake is also home to great sporting facilities including sailing, rowing, canoeing and one of the country’s top trout fisheries.
Bewl Water Country Park looks forward to welcoming you and to offering you an experience that you’ll remember for a long time to come.
Hever Castle dates back to the 13th century, Hever Castle was once the childhood home of Anne Boleyn, second wife of Henry VIII and Mother of Elizabeth I and formed the unlikely backdrop to a sequence of tumultuous events that changed the course of Britain’s history, monarchy and religion.
Its splendid panelled rooms contain fine furniture, tapestries, antiques and an important collection of Tudor portraits regarded as ‘one of the best collections of Tudor portraits after the National Portrait Gallery’ by David Starkey. Two beautifully illuminated prayer books on display in the Book of Hours Room belonged to Anne Boleyn and bear her inscriptions and signature. One is believed to be the prayer book Anne took with her to her execution at the Tower.
Leeds Castle visitors never forget their first breath-taking vision of Leeds Castle in Kent, rising majestically from the moat as it has done for over 900 years.
With 500 acres of beautiful parkland and formal gardens, daily events and year round attractions, Leeds Castle is one of the best days out in Kent, you will want to come back time and again!
Open all year, there is something new for everyone to discover every day. Your admission ticket allows you to visit as many times as you like across a whole year.