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Plan A Visit to Sissinghurst Castle Garden - Sissinghurst Visitor Information

A romantic garden presented in "rooms"

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English Cottage Garden at Sissinghurst Castle Garden in Kent

English Cottage Garden at Sissinghurst Castle Garden in Kent

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Illustration, Sissinghurst

Artists impressionon of the "rooms" in the layout of Vita Sackville-West and Harold Nicolson's Sissinghurst Castle Garden

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Tudor Castle at Sissinghurst in Kent

Remains of a Tudor Castle at Sissinghurst in Kent

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Sissinghurst is one of England's most romantic country gardens. Created by pre World War II English writer Vita Sackville-West and her husband Sir Harold Nicolson, it is divided into intimate garden "rooms" that offer an array of color all year round. The White Garden is world famous.

Sissinghurst Essentials

  • Where:Sissinghurst Castle Garden, Sissinghurst, nr Cranbrook, Kent TN17 2AB, England
  • Phone: +44 (0)1580 710700
  • Opening times: The gardens are open mid March to the end of October, from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Last admission is one hour before closing (or before dusk if earlier). The gardens are always closed on Wednesdays and Thursdays.
  • See their Website for shop, house and restaurant openings.
  • Admission: Adult, child, family and group admission prices. National Trust Members go free.
  • Services for the disabled: Wheelchairs are available.

Getting to Sissinghurst Castle Garden

By car: Sissinghurst Castle Garden is in Kent, two miles northeast of Cranbrook and one mile east of of Sissinghurst village on Biddenden Road, off the A262.

By train: Trains from London Charing Cross leave regularly for nearby Staplehurst. The journey takes less than an hour. The Maidstone-Hastings bus (Arriva route 4/5) stops at Staplehurst Rail Station. Sissinghurst is a 1.25 miles away.

About Sissinghurst Castle Garden

Vita Sackville-West was a writer and a member of the Bloomsbury set in the 1920s but today she is known more for her love affair with Virginia Woolf - she and her family home, Knole, were the inspiration for Orlando. She is also famous for the wonderful garden she created with her husband, historian and diarist Harold Nicolson at Sissinghurst Castle.

Sissinghurst has been an inhabited since the 12th century. At one time it was the site of the first brick house in Kent, a part of which still survives. An Elizabethan house on the site was used for French prisoners of war in the mid 18th century. Most of that is also in ruins but the towers and gates give the estate its name, Sissinghurst Castle.

The gardens and grounds surround an 1855 farmhouse, purchased by Sackville-West, along with 400 acres of farmland, in 1930. She was looking for a place to create the garden, first opened to the public in 1938 and owned by the National Trust since 1967.

About the Garden

Sissinghurst Castle Garden is the most visited garden in England. Plan your visit in the afternoon when it is quieter. What you will see is a series of enclosed spaces or garden rooms each styled and planted in a different way but all giving an overwhelming impression of abundance and romanticism. Rare plants mingle with traditional English cottage garden flowers. Surprising views of small hidden spaces and long vistas open up at every turn.

Special events at Sissinghurst

Throughout the summer months, there are regular events at Sissinghurst including garden and supper evenings, tutored "paint in the garden" days, photography sessions, "pond dipping" for children, wildlife walks and more.

Read about More Great English Gardens.

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